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Juneteenth Will Replace Columbus Day as Government Holiday in Franklin County in 2021

Walker Evans Walker Evans Juneteenth Will Replace Columbus Day as Government Holiday in Franklin County in 2021
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The Franklin County Commissioners announced today that they are taking steps to move forward with Juneteenth as an official paid holiday for county employees in 2021, and removing the recognition of Columbus Day.

“June 19th celebrates the abolition of slavery in America, and the recognition that African Americans are entitled to equal rights in this country they helped to build,” stated a release issued this morning. “Yet 155 years later, their ancestors and other people of color are faced with unequal opportunity in pursuit of the American Dream. On this Juneteenth, we recognize the struggle that so many have endured and are still enduring to help us realize the dream of a more perfect union, and we stand with our residents in the ongoing fight for racial equity.”

Discussions are underway at both the state and federal level to recognize Juneteenth the same way. The State of Ohio officially recognized the date as a ceremonial holiday in 2006.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed a proclamation today, officially recognizing June 19th as Juneteenth at the city government level.

“I signed a proclamation recognizing today, June 19, as Juneteenth in the City of Columbus — recognizing Freedom Day for African Americans while understanding that many of our black and brown neighbors still do not feel free to walk or drive in some neighborhoods for fear of being profiled or to pursue their dreams of owning a home or starting a business because of economic inequalities,” stated Ginther in a social media post. “Let’s stand together, Columbus, to recognize this significant day.”

Several corporations have also made the move to either give employees the day off or holiday pay starting this year, including Target, Uber, Best Buy, Square and others. Locally, the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) is following suit.

“Our world is changing. My hope is that the changes we are seeing now will enable us to reflect individually and together on how we as an organization move forward,” stated ECDI Founder & CEO Inna Kinney.

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