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San Francisco Kicks Off Juneteenth Celebrations at City Hall

Elected leaders and community members kicked off a series of community events to commemorate the Juneteenth holiday in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today joined elected and City officials and community members to kick off a series of community-led events to honor the upcoming Juneteenth holiday in San Francisco. Following President Joe Biden’s 2021 resolution declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday, Mayor Breed signed an order declaring June 19 an official holiday in San Francisco. This year marks the first time that Juneteenth celebrations will take place around and on the official holiday.

Today’s event included a flag-raising ceremony outside City Hall, performances from the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Company (SFBATCO), the Curtis Family, and much more.

“Juneteenth is a recognition of our culture and accomplishments, but it’s also a solemn reminder of the bonds of slavery and the struggle for equality that continues today,” said Mayor Breed. “For years, San Francisco’s Black community has commemorated this day through celebrations across our city, but this year is special as it is the first time we are coming together to celebrate Juneteenth as an official holiday. I want to thank the community and our city leaders who continue to put in the work to ensure that Black San Franciscans have an opportunity to thrive.”

Community members are encouraged to commemorate the Juneteenth holiday and the history of San Francisco’s Black/African American community through a series of citywide events. To find out more information about events, please visit here.

“Last year, June 17, 2021, our President signed this historic day into law as a national holiday. For years, we have been fighting to get to this point. I’m so excited and looking forward to participating in all the events through the end of the month,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton.

“Although President Biden signed into law Juneteenth as a federal holiday in 2021, San Francisco’s Black community has celebrated Juneteenth National Independence Day, also known as, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day for years now,” said  Phelicia Jones, Founder and Leader of Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community. “This year, as we commemorate June 19, 1865 when all enslaved people in America were freed, I look forward to being with community.”

The City of San Francisco celebrates Juneteenth by recognizing the strength and resilience of its Black/African American leaders and by making real investments in the community. Last week, Mayor Breed announced her proposed citywide budget that includes several critical investments to serve San Francisco’s Black/African American community, including a continued investment of $60 million annually for the Dream Keeper Initiative, a citywide effort launched by Mayor Breed to reinvest into San Francisco’s diverse Black communities.

“Despite the steady decline of the San Francisco’s Black population over the years, Juneteenth recognizes that Black people are rooted here, that our culture is alive in this city and worthy of celebration,” said Dr. Saidah Leatutufu-Burch, Director, Dream Keeper Initiative. “Juneteenth is not only limited to one day or one month; Juneteenth represents Black people’s freedom to live, laugh, and love in San Francisco year-round. As Black people continue to fight for liberation, the Dream Keeper Initiative is proud to support events such as Juneteenth that highlights our community’s beauty, brilliance, and influence.”

“Juneteenth is an epic success in bringing together the Black communities in San Francisco and truly displayed the potential of how Black SF can come together and celebrate historical milestones. It is a refreshing feeling in light of COVID and hardship. It is a success in solidarity in a time that is most needed,” said Rachel Madison, San Francisco and Bayview native.

“Juneteenth represents Black freedom, something we’re still fighting for in America. Juneteenth is a celebration of Black culture, our food, our music, our dance. We cannot continue to celebrate our country’s independence until we are all truly free with equal rights, equity, and inclusion,” said Tiffany Carter, Co-Founder, SF Black Wall Street.