Two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX on June 19, 1865 to ensure that all enslaved people were freed. Since then, June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, and/or Jubilee Day, is celebrated by Black Americans as a national holiday. For most Black Americans, Juneteenth is recognized as an alternative to July 4th, given the historical history of how black people were brought to America and how they have been treated since.
The mission of Triad Health Project is to “provide emotional and practical support to individuals living with HIV, to their loved ones, and to those at risk for HIV; implements strategies to educate those at risk and the community about HIV; and advocates locally, regionally, and nationally for individuals and groups infected with or affected by HIV”. It is impossible to keep the mission of this agency without acknowledging the people of color we serve at this organization and the challenges they face daily. A major one being racism.
Racism, like HIV/AIDs is a public health issue. According to the CDC, “Blacks/African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races/ethnicities. In 2018, Blacks/African Americans accounted for 13% of the US population, but 42% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas”. HIV/AIDs disproportionately affects the lives of black people in America. Racism is a driving force and a barrier to health equity. It affects the health of America by preventing some from the opportunity to access their highest level of health.
Triad Health Project believes in social justice, advocacy, and freedom. We celebrate and honor the lives of past and present Black/African Americans, because they have always and will always matter. We celebrate Juneteenth, because we acknowledge the importance and foundational role of Black/African Americans in this country.
From The Desk Of,
Monét Johnson, MSW, LCSWA