Juneteenth is an official City holiday

May 19, 2021

Mayor Frey has approved making Juneteenth a new City holiday.

Observed June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when the last of enslaved people in the U.S. received news of their freedom and entitlement to natural born human rights under the law, which had actually been bestowed upon them two and a half years earlier with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The employee resource group MBEN made the initial request to acknowledge this historic day. Human Resources team members engaged with City leaders, labor partners and employees to research and present the importance of commemorating Juneteenth as a City holiday.

“Juneteenth is a time to uplift the liberation of American people, Black American descendants of slavery, a holiday we should all honor and recognize,” said City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, who sponsored the measure. “I hope the City of Minneapolis will lead as an example for other organizations to establish Juneteenth as a holiday and embed discussion about its origins into a culture that promotes inclusion and anti-racism.”

Because June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, the City’s Juneteenth holiday observance will take place Friday, June 18.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the new holiday, please contact your HR business partner.