Our thanks go out to all who helped us celebrate Juneteenth in Montgomery County this year! We look forward to celebrating freedom once again next year!
On June 17, 2021, Montgomery County announced its adoption of Juneteenth as a County holiday. Montgomery County embraces diversity, equity and inclusion and believes that all are valued and welcomed.
What is Juneteenth and why is it celebrated?
On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free — more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas was the most remote of the Confederate states, and the last place the Emancipation Proclamation issued two and a half years later was enforced. However, this was not the end of slavery in the United States. People enslaved in Union-held territory were not freed until the passage of the 13th Amendment several months later on December 18, 1865.
Winners: The Art & Prose of Freedom
Congratulations to all the students who participated in our first annual Juneteenth Art & Prose of Freedom Contest! We'd like to thank you for using your time and your incredible talent to share with us your view of freedom in 2022. Please see below for a slideshow of this year's winners.
We'd also like to thank our Art and Prose of Freedom contest judges:
- Art Judge - Charlotte Stone, Program Operations Manager at Center for Culture, Art, Training and Education (CCATE)
- Poetry Judge - Jocelyn Charles, Director of the Ricketts Center (Pottstown), Interim Executive Director of Boyertown Area Multi-Service, Inc., and author of Release: A Book of Poetry (2013).
- Essay Judge – Dr. Monica D’Antonio, Associate Professor of English at Montgomery County Community College, elected member of the Norristown School Board and leader of One Book One Norristown Literary Project.
Want to learn more about Black history and culture?
Check your local Montgomery County Library branch for availability of these fantastic resources.
I Am Not Your Negro
Freedom by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar
I Am Not Your Negro
Between the World and Me
Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown
How to Be Antiracist
To Be Young, Gifted, and Black by Nina Simone
12 Years a Slave
Strange Fruit by Billie Holliday
Fight the Power by Public Enemy
Black is King
The Bluest Eye
Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Fire Next Time
This is America by Childish Gambino
When They See Us
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
The Purpose of Power
Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America
Stamped from the Beginning
The Warmth of Other Suns
Brown Girl Dreaming
Juneteenth for Mazie
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are core values to Montgomery County government. We continue to build an organization that values, supports, and embraces diversity while simultaneously creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. We will also continue to leverage and build upon the resources, talents, strengths, and opportunities available in our community. The County is also committed to aligning our culture and business practices to be a vibrant example of equity, inclusion, and belonging for all.
To meet this goal, the County is committed to: (1) maintaining an inclusive, productive, supportive, open, innovative, and equitable workplace where every individual is valued for their unique characteristics; (2) fostering respect, understanding and acceptance of differences; and (3) enabling employees to reach their full potential, thus, enhancing and nurturing the relationships among staff and optimizing the quality of services to our residents and the public.
Montgomery County expects and requires employees to treat others with dignity, respect, and professionalism at all times. Staff are to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during work activities, at work-related functions, whether on or off County property, at all County-sponsored events, and through all processes and services the County provides.
We intentionally provide definitions for “diversity”, “equity”, and “inclusion” to allow for shared understanding and thoughtful conversations.
- Diversity: The representation of varied, dissimilar, and unique identities, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives. The similarities and differences between employees account for all aspects of one’s personality and individual identity. The dimensions of diversity include (but are not limited to) age, race and ethnicity, national origin, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, religious beliefs and commitments, ability/disability status, veteran status, and political perspective.
- Equity: The fair and just treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement of all, while at the same time, striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups, especially for those who are underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged. Equity does not mean everyone receives the same treatment or outcome. Equity requires that everyone have the same access to shared resources and opportunities.
- Inclusion: The maintenance of a welcoming culture in which differences are accepted and celebrated, where varied perspectives and viewpoints are respectfully heard, and where every individual’s sense of belonging is promoted and encouraged. Everyone is valued, respected, and encouraged to participate and reach their full potential. All employees should believe they belong and can contribute fully to the County’s success.