Juneteenth: A Day to Celebrate Freedom and to Reinforce our Commitment to Equality

By Andrea King-Smith, Senior Strategic CSM & Customer Engagement Lead, Carbyne

Juneteenth 2024 blog

In the midst of my busy profession in public safety—a job I love and am deeply passionate about—it’s easy to get absorbed by the day-to-day hustle. However, today, like every June 19th since 2021, I am grateful for the opportunity to pause and celebrate humanity’s most valuable possession: freedom.

Juneteenth symbolizes freedom and the ongoing struggle for true equality. It’s a day to reflect on history, celebrate progress, and recognize that the journey towards justice is ongoing.

Dating back to June 19, 1865, Juneteenth marks the day Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news of the Civil War’s end and the freedom of all enslaved individuals—two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The delay in enforcement, especially in remote areas, highlights the challenges in realizing freedom.

Juneteenth thus commemorates the complete and final end of legal slavery in the United States.

As I reflect on our country’s fourth year of commemorating Juneteenth, I am reminded of a recent Gallup poll that brings to light some of the challenges we still face in today’s world. Less than half of Black women in the U.S. (46%) report feeling safe walking alone at night in their neighborhoods. Additionally, one in four Black women (25%) report being treated unfairly in the past 30 days because of their race or ethnicity. These statistics underscore the persistent issues of safety and discrimination that many still face.

We’ve come a long way, but there is still much to be done, fixed, and improved. I’m proud to be part of a team at Carbyne, where we leverage technology like real-time video, instant chat, real-time translation and transcription, and geolocation to revolutionize the 911 space, providing a platform that enables direct communication between citizens and first responders. ALL citizens, regardless of their race, gender, socioeconomic background, or anything else. Access to swift, efficient emergency services should not be a privilege but a right accessible to all. EVERY person counts.

It is incredibly fulfilling to know that technology addresses these inequities, ensuring that everyone’s call for help is answered promptly and appropriately. Technological advancements like real-time video, instant chat, and accurate location tracking help bridge the gap of unequal access to public safety resources.

Despite the current polarization and prevalent discrimination in America, there is a reason for hope. A 2024 AP-NORC poll reveals that most Americans still agree on core values. An overwhelming 91% of those interviewed believe that the right to equal protection is extremely important to the American identity. This shared belief in equality gives me hope for a more inclusive and just future.I look forward to continuing doing my part along with my Carbyne colleagues, one call at a time. 

May we all celebrate and use this day as a reminder of our responsibility to ensure equality for all. And may our differences be erased by our common value for equal protection and love of freedom.

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