WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dēmos, a movement-oriented think tank committed to racial justice, released the following statement in celebration of Juneteenth:
“Today, we come together to honor and commemorate the 158th anniversary of Juneteenth—a significant milestone in America's ongoing struggle for social, racial, and economic justice. As we celebrate Juneteenth and the pride it represents, we cannot overlook the fact that America remains far from fulfilling its promise of full citizenship and equity for Black Americans.
For generations, Black Americans have courageously confronted the deeply ingrained systemic discrimination and racism that have hindered forward-looking progress. The consequences are evident across every aspect of American society: limited homeownership opportunities, alarmingly high unemployment rates, undervalued and underpaid workers, burdensome student debt, and a persistently widening wage gap that hampers progress from one generation to the next.
Yet, despite these formidable challenges, Black Americans have drawn on the unwavering determination and resilience of those left behind in Galveston, Texas to produce bold brilliance that resonates from within the Black community.
As we honor the spirit of freedom and struggle Juneteenth represents we must renew our commitment to bringing about structural change that actively dismantles the legacy of systemic racism and white supremacy.
As we honor the spirit of freedom and struggle Juneteenth represents we must renew our commitment to bringing about structural change that actively dismantles the legacy of systemic racism and white supremacy. This requires bold solutions at the state and federal levels. It necessitates reparations as a vital step toward rectifying the enduring effects of slavery and systemic racism. It also demands systemic reforms such as the child income tax credit, student debt cancellation, fair housing policies to dismantle redlining, and expanded access to the ballot box to elect leaders who will legislate on behalf of Black communities.
Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, but it is also a time for us to mark the progress we have made on the journey towards a fairer, more equal and just America. Inspired by the unyielding spirit of those who fought for freedom, let us seize this moment to build a more inclusive and prosperous future for all.”