Juneteenth Sample Letter

Last Friday was Juneteenth. What is Juneteenth and why is there a movement to recognize it as a national holiday? The Bulldog Blog published an interview with Interim Director of Diversity Initiatives Monique Stennis about the event’s history and why, after 155 years, it remains relevant. You are encouraged to learn more by reading the article here. In addition, Campus Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is encouraging people who support recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday to contact their congressional representative. This sample letter below can be used, and if you are uncertain who your representative is or how to contact them, please visit here

 

 

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Feinstein:

My name is NAME. As a student/faculty member/staff member/administrator/alumni at the University of Redlands, I am writing to request that you urge Congress to send President Donald Trump legislation amending SJR 45 2012, Chapter 1, Part A, Subtitle I, Title 36 of U. S. Code 36, to include Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance. The resolution, SJR 45, was originally written and presented in 2012 by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

As a citizen of this great country, I am troubled by the diminishment of truth due to the propaganda and the era of "fake news," undermining the significant information that is important in moving the democracy of this country. I am terrified that the noise touted in mass media and social media may be the historical account for future generations. At the same time, the histories of Black people continue to be silenced. For example, in my home state of California, many people are unaware of the significance of Juneteenth as a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States.

Given where we are in our country today, Juneteenth is a day that honors Black freedom, Black resistance, and focuses on Black people's unique contribution to this country to the struggle for justice in the U.S. This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities and nation to proclaim that Black Lives Matter and that we will not tolerate anything less than justice for Black people. As many major companies have announced in the last few weeks, they will either honor or recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for their employees this year, as a sign of support for the Black community. If national companies see this need, Congress also recognizes the need and can encourage change to make Juneteenth a national holiday legally in our country.

The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) President Steven Williams says, "Now more than ever Juneteenth is needed and demanded by the people. Juneteenth National Freedom Day, along with the 4th of July Independence Day, completes the' cycle of freedom' for America's Independence Day observances. Juneteenth commemoration brings balance to America's freedom celebrations."

I am asking you to be just as passionate as I am in ensuring that this is a significant part of the United States of America's history is not forgotten and is finally recognized at the highest level.

Thank you, Senator Feinstein, for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Name

 

 

Resources

S.J.Res.45 - A joint resolution amending title 36, United States Code, to designate June 19 as "Juneteenth Independence Day"

Contact

Senator Dianne Feinstein
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Dianne Feinstein
11111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 915
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Email

Senator Kamala D. Harris
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Kamala D. Harris
11845 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 1250W
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Email

Representative Pete Aguilar
31st Congressional District of California
109 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Pete Aguilar
685 E. Carnegie Drive
Suite 100
San Bernardino, CA 92408
Email