Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes New Juneteenth Federal Holiday, Offers 2nd Online Juneteenth Educational Program

(WASHINGTON, DC, 6/17/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed passage of legislation marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

Later today, President Biden will sign the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that commemorates the day — June 19, 1865 — when enslaved people in Texas were told of the Emancipation Proclamation.

SEE: Biden to sign Juneteenth bill today, creating federal holiday observing end of slavery in US

“We welcome passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act and await President Biden’s signature on this important legislation,” said CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “However, legislative efforts to celebrate historic progress against racism cannot take the place of legislation that would combat racism today, such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.”

He noted that later today, the national and Houston (CAIR-Houston) offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will host the second of two online educational programs in honor of Juneteenth. Guests on the CAIR on Air “Remembering the Past, Empowering Our Future” program will offer reflection on Juneteenth and the struggle against racial injustice.

Guests Include:

  • Malik Shaw, Executive Director, Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
  • P.K. McCray, Co-Founder, Think Peace International
  • Mustafaa Carroll, Community Activist and Former CAIR-Houston Executive Director

WHEN: Tuesday, June 17, 3 p.m. ET   

WHERE: Facebook and YouTube

CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Director of Operations Ambreen Hernandez, 713-838-2247, CAIR-Houston President and Chairman of Board of Directors John Floyd, Attorney,, (713) 224-0101     

On Saturday, June 19, the Maryland office of CAIR will join other community and civil rights organizations at a protest and march to mark Juneteenth and to address the desecration of an African-American burial ground and continuing environmental pollution in Black communities.

SEE: CAIR to Join Maryland Juneteenth Protest Against Desecration of African Burial Ground, Environmental Pollution

[NOTE: “Juneteenth,” or “Freedom Day,” commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas; the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. That announcement came two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, which ended slavery in the United States. The 1863 proclamation was ignored by Confederate states, and it was not until the end of the war in 1865 that the order was enforced in the South.] 

CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.      

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos. 

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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