The San Diego Unified Board of Education encouraged the state Tuesday to officially recognize Juneteenth, June 19, as an annual school holiday to celebrate the "past, present, and future of Black resilience, culture, and liberation."
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the end to slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
It is celebrated annually but has gained much more attention since protests erupted following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis in May.
The proposed resolution hopes staff, students and the community would use the day to "reflect on the historical oppression of the Black community and engage in individual and collective action to break the cycle of systemic racism that exists today."
If the state takes action, the resolution sponsored by Board President Dr. John Lee Evans and Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne would ask educators to have lessons throughout the year to teach students about Juneteenth and current movements like Black Lives Matter, according to the SDUSD.
Discussing Juneteenth and its significance would further teach students about the systems of oppression that affect the physical and mental health, safety, and education of the Black community.
The meeting was live-streamed on the SDUSD YouTube channel starting at 5 p.m.