SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) –The San Francisco Board of Education approved a resolution Wednesday making Juneteenth – June 19 – a district holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 that African Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that President Abraham Lincoln had declared them free more than two years earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed enslaved people in Texas and all the other Southern secessionist states of the Confederacy except for parts of states not in rebellion.

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June 19 became a federal holiday one year ago, when President Joe Biden signed a bill that Congress passed in May 2021. San Francisco students will have ended their school year on June 1 this year, but the district’s year-round services will be closed Monday, June 20, in observance of the new district holiday.

“As a school district we are committed to equity by eliminating oppression, ending biases and ensuring equally high outcomes for all,” board President Jenny Lam said in a statement released by the district. “Recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday is rooted in our multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic, and multiracial practices.”

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