LAWRENCE – Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health’s offices and clinic will be closed, Friday, June 18, in observance of the Juneteenth holiday, which is Saturday, June 19.
LDCPH joins with millions of Americans in commemorating Juneteenth — which marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas were notified of their freedom and celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.
“The holiday serves as a reminder of the importance of celebrating freedom that touches everyone,” said Director Dan Partridge. “Juneteenth is also a stark reminder along with many events of the past year, that there is still so much work ahead of us in public health and our community on advancing health for all, especially among achieving racial equity in health, education, employment, access to safe and affordable housing and justice.”
The Lawrence-Douglas County Board of Health in 2020 declared racism a public health crisis and directed Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to work with the steering committee for the Douglas County Community Health Plan to add a fifth issue area in the plan focused on Health Equity.
“A bright light has been shone on longstanding unequal treatment by the recent injustices resulting in the murders of Black people, and their disproportionate deaths in this time of COVID-19,” the Board said in its statement approved in July 2020. “We are all called to end racism and its harm to public health and wellbeing, and we publicly claim that as this community’s public health responsibility."
Board members noted findings in the 2018 Douglas County Health Equity Report and other identified health disparities by race in the community when compared with the Douglas County population.
Black Summer is also presenting a Juneteenth BBQ Getdown from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday at Watson Park, 727 Kentucky St. LDCPH is a co-sponsor of the community event.
LDCPH’s offices and clinic will reopen Monday, June 21.