We celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage.
We create experiences that stimulate cultural equity.
We empower inclusive communities to tell their stories.
The Alliance of National Heritage Areas is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our membership organization of Congressionally-designated National Heritage Areas and partner-affiliated organizations works collectively to protect and promote diverse people and places that tell America’s stories equitably and inclusively.
Nationwide, there’s a movement underway to broadly honor, celebrate and recognize Juneteenth. National Heritage Areas are committed to telling the stories of all people, especially those that historically have been left out of conversation. The Alliance of National Heritage Areas, of which the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA) is a member, is firmly committed to achieving a national culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Juneteenth is “the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.”
Most states, including Arizona, and the District of Columbia, have passed legislation recognizing the day, June 19, as a holiday or an observance. The celebration dates back to June 19, 1865, when Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and read General Orders No. 3. Nearly two and a half years following President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. It very appropriate to further educate people about this important history given the mass protests which are still going on across the country decrying police brutality, and in support of equal justice under law. Consequently, there are renewed calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
In celebration of Juneteenth, the YCNHA offers this perhaps little known story about the history of slavery in New Mexico Territory, which included present-day Arizona until 1863. To learn more about Juneteenth, visit www.Juneteenth.com.