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Juneteenth: Information is POWER
June 20, 2022
In 1865, federal troops informed a group of African Americans in Galveston, Texas that they were no longer slaves; indeed, they had been legally free since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863—two and a half years prior—but no one had told them. Observed on June 19, Juneteenth is an important commemoration of the end of the horror of chattel slavery in our nation’s history, and clearly illustrates that equity is more than words, more than legislation: it is action and must be practiced to be realized. As such, Abt celebrates the change that is commemorated by Juneteenth and sees it as a reminder that we should always seek inclusiveness for disenfranchised and marginalized populations, and that impactful decisions should be shared with all in a timely manner. Put more simply, we follow the credo “Nothing about us without us,” an approach that is applicable to our work around the world.
Juneteenth has been celebrated for over a century in communities across Texas. More broadly, the greater African American community has been observing Juneteenth for decades, to remember the millions of persons enslaved across the U.S. and the millions more lives lost during the middle passage from Africa to the Americas. This commemoration of the abolition of slavery gained greater prominence nationally in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, with his death serving as another reminder of the severe inequities that persist in our society, particularly towards African Americans. These historic inequities are embedded in many of the United States’ housing, education, health, justice, and workforce policies, that impact the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places where we live, work and play—all areas in which Abt strives to bring equity.
At Abt, equity is the cornerstone of our work, and we partner with clients to reform or remove systems and structures that have traditionally marginalized African Americans and other vulnerable populations. We embrace intersectionality technically, culturally, and ethnically to achieve our mission of improving the health and economic wellbeing of people worldwide, using the broadest array of tools and approaches for sustainable impact.
As a data-driven company, Juneteenth reminds us that information is power, and its equitable dissemination and application are foundational both to those who are marginalized and those who are in position to be allies. At Abt, we celebrate the arrival of vital knowledge and remember that we must persevere on our journey toward equity, so the full rights and privileges of a prosperous society in this country and around the globe are afforded to, and received, in a timely manner by all.