COLUMBUS (WCMH) — City officials announced that starting in 2022, Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for full-time Columbus city employees.  

“Over the past year, we have all been reminded of the unrelenting power and promise of a free, inclusive society,” stated Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther in a release, Thursday. “I encourage everyone, no matter your background, to learn from the lessons of our past, consider the vital work that still lies ahead and move forward, together, with renewed optimism and determination in pursuit of a more equitable, honest and accountable society.”

In the release announced that full-time city of Columbus employees will be granted an additional paid holiday this year in celebration of Juneteenth, and June 19 will be observed as a paid holiday starting next year.

“Junteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 and marks the day in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX, to assume control of the state and announce the freedom of all enslaved people two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. It represents liberty, hope and resiliency as what is widely considered to be the oldest African American holiday in the United States,” the release reads.

City Hall will also be illuminated red, black and green – the colors of the Pan-African flag – June 18-20.