EUGENE, Oregon – For 45 years, the state of Oregon recognized June 19th as June 10th to mark the end of slavery.
In April, legislators voted to make it a national holiday from next year. But from this year the city of Eugene has declared the day an official holiday, according to Mayor Lucy Vinis.
With a unanimous 28-0 vote, the Senators passed House Bill 2168, recognizing the cultural and historical significance of the June 19th holiday. Governor Kate Brown signed it last week.
Eric Richardson, the executive director of the local NAACP, said this was a huge step forward for our country.
âI want people to know that this is just an opening to more discovery, more interaction, and more understanding of where our nation has been and where our nation can go with collective effect, to come together and really see best practices for the future Richardson said.
A June 10 celebration will be held this Saturday from 12pm to 7pm at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. This family-friendly event is free, and with live music, dancing and education, it’s set to be a âmagicalâ day for everyone, say the organizers.
Event organizer Drea Smith said there was an extra reason to celebrate this year.
“Joy needs to come first, especially after a pandemic when we’ve all suffered – regardless of race,” said Smith. âEveryone has experienced some kind of severity during these times. So this is a time to celebrate and come together. “