Celebrate Juneteenth by recognizing structural racism

Andrea Burton and John Petit


This week, individuals and organizations around the U.S. will celebrate Juneteenth. The holiday marks a key transition in our country’s history, and it’s important to recognize that in the proper context.


As legal advocates, we live each day inside the justice system. Our expertise lies in how laws create structures of opportunity or, as has too often been the case with our country’s minority citizens, systems of oppression.


In recognition this year of Juneteenth, we’re taking a hard look at the laws and court decisions, tracing back to the founding of our nation and carrying through to present day, that have shaped the Black and Brown experience in America. We invite you to join us in learning (and unlearning) the history that brought us to where we are today.


View our timeline of racial justice history here.


In closing, we leave you with these words from attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson: “You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance. You have to get close.”


We at Community Legal Aid are keeping our Black and Brown clients, colleagues, volunteers, partners, and community members close -- on this day, and every day.


This article is part of Legal Aid’s “Big Ideas” series.

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