Fairfax County School Board and Superintendent Brabrand Acknowledge Importance of Juneteenth

School Board
June 18, 2020

The Fairfax County School Board’s agenda today includes a resolution acknowledging the historical significance and importance of Juneteenth, observed annually on June 19th. Additionally, all FCPS employees join state and county employees  in observing Friday, June 19 as an official holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 that word of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, effectively marking the end of slavery in the United States. Watch School Board Meeting Video.

In a letter to FCPS employees, Superintendent Scott Brabrand expressed his support for the observance and encouraged all employees to use the day to reflect and learn. His letter to staff is posted here.

The School Board’s resolution follows:

Juneteenth - 2020

WHEREAS, the month of June is the time that many in our nation, recognize Juneteenth as the holiday that celebrates Emancipation Day, the day in history when the last state ratified the Emancipation Proclamation; and

WHEREAS,  this date marks the time period where African Americans of Texas received notice from President Lincoln that slavery had been abolished a declaration that was codified in the 13th amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America; and,

WHEREAS, June 19th also marks the day that African Americans in the southern states exercised independence from those who benefitted from their labors in the founding of this nation; and, 

WHEREAS, the journey of African Americans represents both great achievements and great hardship; and,

WHEREAS, our nation is currently witnessing the injustice of the African American journey  that have existed for far too long, this June 19th celebration weighs heavily on our hearts  and our minds in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and others who have not been treated equally under the law; and,

WHEREAS, the pain and anguish displayed on our national stage developed from generations of systemic racism that impacts our students, families, staff and communities.

WHEREAS, the educational institutions of this nation, including FCPS has a particular responsibility to recognize the painful realities of our history and to make sure that our curriculum reflects these realities; and,

WHEREAS, working with the community as One Fairfax, this Board is committed to identifying actionable items to improve policies and procedures to improve access to opportunities to ensure that students, families, and staff do not experience inequities in Fairfax County Public Schools.

WHEREAS, we value diversity and are united in our opposition to racism and hate. We stand in solidarity with our African American students, educators, staff and their families.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County Public Schools hereby officially commemorates Juneteenth as a day to celebrate and emphasize a collective call to action against injustice of any kind.