Friday, June 19th is Juneteenth. Also known as Black Independence Day, Emancipation Day, and Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19th, 1865, when Union army general Gordon Granger read federal orders in the city of Galveston, proclaiming that all enslaved persons in the U.S. state of Texas were now free. Although President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier on January 1st, 1863, it was not until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9th, 1865 that slavery ended structurally, because the regime that sustained came to an end.

We join in solidarity and celebration with our community and the nation. Amid calls to reform, defund, and abolish the police, Juneteenth 2020 takes on special significance as our country confronts the consequences of the deeply rooted racism that has defined and shaped our most cherished institutions.

The Whatcom Human Rights Task Force endorses a community based review of defunding and restructuring of local law enforcement as needed to bring about the best practices of public safety within the city and the county. We stand together with organizations that are pledged to implement both change and equity to formulate a proactive, non-discriminatory civic agency which visibly provides service, protection, and support for all the inhabitants of Whatcom County.

Learn more about Juneteenth

6 Black museums join forces to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?
By Dr. Henry Louis Gates

What Exactly is Juneteenth?
By Natasha S Alford, VP of Content, theGrio

Why Juneteenth Should be a National Holiday

Six nineteen: Defend Black Lives-organized by Movement4Black Lives

Learn more about what “Defund the Police” really means

Uprising & Abolition: Angela Davis on Movement Building, “Defund the Police” & Where We Go from Here

Opinion: Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police, Because Reform Won’t Happen
By Mariame Kaba

What does ‘defund the police’ mean? The rallying cry sweeping the US – explained
By Sam Levin, the Guardian

How Defund and Disband Became the Demands
By Amna A. Akbar, New York Review of Books
How Defund and Disband Became the Demands

8 TO ABOLITION: Abolitionist Policy Changes to Demand from Your City Officials
Pdf available at


Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment, ed. Angela Davis

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill

Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement, eds. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha & Ejeris Dixon

The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale