This year, for the first time at Enda, we are celebrating Juneteenth - one of the oldest known celebrations honoring the end of slavery in the US.
From what we see in media and social media, many people are celebrating for the first time this year. It’s worth asking: why? Why does the US celebrate independence from Britain, but not freedom for the American people?
And this day ought to bear the significance not just in the US, but to the rest of the world. It marks the end of one of the great injustices of history. We should also note 13 May, when slavery was finally ended in 1888 in Brazil, the last place in the Americas to end slavery. These days mark progress.
In Kenya, we celebrate independence on Jamhuri Day. Our celebration on that day honors the unfinished work of advancing for racial justice, ending discrimination, and restitution for oppression. But why is Jamhuri not celebrated in the UK? Ending the injustice of colonialism should be a moment of joy for everyone.
The same should be for Juneteenth. Whether your ancestors were enslaved or slavers (or neither!) you should celebrate this day as a day of progress. A day to recall the work we still need to do.
On this Juneteenth day, we would like to recognize and awaken an urgent need for action not only in Kenya and the US where we operate but to every corner of the world. We continue to urge you to take action by joining and supporting works of justice and continuously taking action wherever you are.