Vera Institute of Justice on Juneteenth National Independence Day

This Wednesday, Congress voted to make Juneteenth, which falls annually on June 19th, a federal holiday. President Biden is expected to sign the Juneteenth National Independence Day legislation into law, ensuring that a federal holiday will now commemorate the end of slavery.

The Vera Institute of Justice issued the following statement:

“Making Juneteenth a national holiday is long overdue. However, we would be remiss not to use this occasion to recognize the myriad ways in which systems in the United States continue to uphold the racist and anti-Black hierarchies that slavery was built on.

Anti-Blackness continues to permeate the criminal legal system at every level, from policing to prosecution to prison sentencing practices. Mass incarceration is a direct reincarceration of slavery and is a form of state-sponsored, economically incentivized institutional terror that destroys the lives of Black people and many others in this country.

This Juneteenth, Vera joins our partners and community members across the country in deepening our commitment to building a just and accountable criminal legal system for all.”

The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and activists working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

Related Content