Trinity Youth Services honors and acknowledges Juneteenth (June 19) as a significant day of importance for our nation, our staff, and the families and youth we serve. This week, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Since the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, following the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War in 1865, a lot of positive change has occurred for civil rights and equality. However, there is more work to be done. Systemic racism exists to this day, affecting children and families across the nation.
Children of color enter the foster care system at an alarmingly disproportionate rate than other children and are at significantly higher risk of systemic institutionalization and incarceration as adults. Black children face challenges and burdens other children do not. CEO, Cher Ofstedahl, stated, “The mission of Trinity Youth Services is, ‘Helping children and families create a better future.’ How can we possibly do that, without raising our voices and taking action? We have an obligation to do everything in our power to provide them with a pathway to the ‘better future’ our mission statement promises.”
Juneteenth serves as a reminder of how far we have to go.