NEWBURYPORT – Mayor Donna Holaday and the City of Newburyport invite the public to attend the city’s inaugural celebration of Juneteenth, marking the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery in Confederate states.
Friday, June 18 at 11:30 a.m.
The steps at City Hall, 60 Pleasant St.
In 2020 Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law June 19 as a state holiday. It reflects the day, June 19, 1865, when Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and shared the news of freedom with enslaved African-Americans.
The City will observe the holiday with a ceremony on Friday.
“Juneteenth is a commemoration for all Americans and is a poignant reminder that the journey to freedom and liberty has looked, and felt, very different for many of us in this country,” Mayor Holaday said. “I’m proud of the efforts of our organization to grow and take active steps toward ensuring a wide and welcoming pathway for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in local government.”
In December, Mayor Holaday created the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Alliance, a group of residents, City employees and local leaders. The DEI Alliance works toward creating a welcoming community for people of all backgrounds; removing barriers to full participation by individuals or groups; and promoting racial and social justice.
All city offices will also be closed on Friday, June 18.
- Mayor Holaday will give welcoming remarks.
- Edward Carson, Dean of Multicultural Education at Governor’s Academy, will give remarks about the history of Juneteenth.
- The Rev. Rebecca Bryan, First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist, Newburyport, will offer a prayer.
- The Rev. Jarred Mercer, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Newburyport, will read a poem.
- Deborah Szabo, English and Creative Writing Teacher at Newburyport High School, and students Mason Chambers and Audrey Hoover will read a poem. The poem was written by Chambers, Hoover, Riley Dougherty and Ella Lane.
- The Juneteenth flag will be raised.
- Melissa Sills, a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance, will give closing remarks.
For more information about the DEI Alliance, visit its website.