Statement from OSHR Director Barbara Gibson

The North Carolina Office of State Human Resources affirms the observance of Juneteenth as an opportunity to recognize the historic pain and tragedies caused by racial inequity and to promote equity and equal opportunity among state employees.

To support and celebrate the cultural diversity of our communities, and to lend a hand and lift up neighbors in need, we remind state employees that they are provided paid Community Service Leave to volunteer at nonprofits and community-based organizations. OHSR collaborated with VolunteerNC, Activate Good and others to create a partial list of organizations that provide social justice-related outreach to clients.

While Juneteenth is observed on Saturday, June 19, we encourage all state employees to dedicate a few workday hours in June to benefit nonprofits that seek to effect change in racial equity.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This annual holiday recognizes the events of June 19, 1865, when news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Galveston, Texas, freeing enslaved people in the furthest reaches of the South. The event took place two and a half years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

June 17: North Carolina’s Liberation Story

This on-demand webinar from Angela Thorpe, Director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, explores how enslaved people experienced liberation, and how Black people liberated themselves and others between 1861-1865 in North Carolina. Viewers will also learn about the various sites, spaces, landscapes and people that are connected to these liberation stories.