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APHA Celebrates Freedom and Progress on Juneteenth

Date: Jun 19 2023

Contact: Media Relations

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

“The American Public Health Association is proud to celebrate freedom, equality, and the ongoing pursuit of social justice with the commemoration of Juneteenth. This marks the third time our nation will unite for this federal holiday to commemorate the pivotal moment in American history when enslaved people in Texas were notified of their freedom. It celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. and our nation’s first step towards healing the wounds of the past.

The well-being of our communities depend on the equitable treatment of all individuals within our society. Juneteenth offers an opportunity for us all to foster the dialogue, education and action needed to address the disparities from systemic racism that continue to harm public health to this day.

We’ve made progress, but racism remains a public health crisis.

Together, let us honor the resilience, strength and determination of those who fought for freedom as we strive for a brighter tomorrow, where all people in all communities experience equity.”


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at