APHA commemorates Juneteenth as day of freedom

Date: Jun 18 2020

CONTACT: APHA Media Relations, 202-777-3913

Statement by APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

The American Public Health Association joins with millions of Americans in commemorating Juneteenth on Friday, June 19.

This observance — which marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas were notified of their freedom and celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. — serves as a reminder to advance racial equity in health care, education, employment, housing and justice. Ultimately, Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom that touches us all.

This occasion is even more significant during this watershed moment in our history, when millions of us are standing up in unison against racism and law enforcement violence against black Americans. We are united by our resolve to change course so tomorrow’s America is one where equality is not simply a catch phrase.

We must dedicate our efforts and resources to confront and dismantle a system of oppression that for too long has stained the country. Racism is an ongoing public health crisis that needs our attention now.


APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.