Skip to main content

The Solar Industry Commemorates Juneteenth

Friday, Jun 18 2021

Share
By
SEIA Comms Team

Yesterday President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth an official federal holiday, following a unanimous vote in the Senate and a 415-14 vote in the House. It’s the first new federal holiday created since MLK Day in 1983, and as such, it is a big and important step thanks to the millions of grassroots advocates who have pushed our political leaders for change over the last year and beyond.

However, as many have pointed out on social media, this isn’t a simple victory, and it’s important to acknowledge the work we have left to do. The arc of the moral universe is long, and it’s our responsibility to help bend it towards justice. 
 
When then-President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, that led to the freedom of Black slaves, it still took time, effort, and even Union Army enforcement, particularly in the South where many slave owners refused to acknowledge that hard-fought freedom. The announcement by Union Army General Gordon Granger in Texas on June 19th enforced the proclamation that freedom from slavery was in fact, the law of the land. It wasn’t until the first anniversary of that statement in 1865 that the observance of June 19th became a holiday commemorating African American Emancipation Day.

Historically, Juneteenth has been an under-recognized day in American history and in our yearly national holiday celebrations. Last year, following the death of George Floyd and coupled with a global pandemic, the largest Juneteenth observation was held in the U.S. and the movement towards that recognition has been embraced by many Fortune 500 brands. While Juneteenth is now an official holiday, this momentum needs to continue in order to combat and hopefully prevent racist acts and hate crimes that are still prevalent in the United States. 

There are many ways you can observe Juneteenth and acknowledge its importance in American history. Here are a few ideas:

Whatever you do, reach out to your friends and family and share what you’ve learned in your effort to celebrate and better understand Juneteenth.

Article Type

Related News

Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021

Solar Industry Launches Certification Program to Empower Companies to Improve Diversity

SEIA releases a first-of-its-kind online program to help energy companies take a series of actionable steps on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ).

Read More
Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021

Solar Industry Doubles Down on Solar+ Decade Goal, Targets 30% Solar by 2030

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is increasing its goal for Solar+ Decade, aiming for solar to account for 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. The organization’s previous goal was 20% by 2030, and this revision aligns with the Biden administration’s clean energy targets while accounting for the growing urgency to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions in the electricity sector.

Read More
Thursday, Sep 09, 2021

900,000 Opportunities to Advance Equity in the Clean Energy Economy

President Biden is right: When you think of climate action, you should think jobs. In order to fully decarbonize our electric grid by 2035, the solar workforce must reach 900,000 Americans. This is an historic opportunity, but we must take steps to ensure that workforce reflects the diversity of our country and allow the rising tide of the solar industry to lift all boats. 

Read More