June 2020

Franklin County to make Juneteenth a holiday, replaces Columbus Day

Courtesy of ABC6
June 19, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) – The Franklin County Board of Commissioners announced Friday Juneteenth will be an official paid county holiday for employees, replacing Columbus Day.

Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed. In recent weeks, there has been a national push for companies and local governments to recognize it.

In years past, working families had to schedule celebrations around work.

“For us, it usually ends up being a celebratory event at home. Part of systemic racism is no one is talking about history,” Stephanie Hightower, President of the Columbus Urban League, said. “No one wants to delve into what happened in history and how it relates to slavery.”

Some big-name companies such as Nike, the NFL, and Target recently announced they will recognize Juneteenth as a holiday.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners said in a statement:
On this Juneteenth, we recognize the struggle that so many have endured and are still enduring to help us realize the dream of a more perfect union, and we stand with our residents in the ongoing fight for racial equity.

The changes will go into effect in 2021.

by Matthew Thomas, WSYX/WTTE Staff

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