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June 19 is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the end of slavery in America and a major holiday celebrated by African-American communities across the country!

Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, the day the final enslaved people were liberated from plantations – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on paper. Juneteenth is observed as a state holiday in Texas, where the June 19th liberation occurred, and has grown in cultural significance as a holiday in African-American communities over the past century and a half. Fifty states have passed resolutions or recognized Juneteenth in some way, yet the significance of Juneteenth has been historically marginalized.

Labor unions are increasingly observing Juneteenth, and ONA is proud to also recognize Juneteenth: learn more about Juneteenth and ONA’s commitment to racial justice here.

We are proud that several ONA employers have chosen to also recognize Juneteenth this year, and applaud the continued examination of health care inequities and the inextricable impact that racial disparities in our field and profession impact our patients, our coworkers, and us. 

Black American Civil Rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer said “Nobody is free until everyone is free,” a sentiment we couldn’t agree with more. Let us continue to rise together towards freedom. Happy Juneteenth!


ONA Supports Black Lives Matter


Throughout history, nurses have been on the front lines of social transformation, committing ourselves to advocating for change as we strive to achieve health equity.

The Oregon Nurses Association recognizes the injustice in the recent death of George Floyd as a part of the ongoing legacy of racism. We also recognize the public health crisis created by racism. We see the ongoing need for fundamental transformation to ensure equal protection under the law and to end discrimination in all its forms.

In order to appropriately address this issue, we must call attention to the glaring health inequalities racism creates; including the systemic barriers faced by many members of our community. We stand with members of our local and national community who are grieving, marginalized and to whom the grave injustice of racism and its resulting discrimination has led to not only the loss of life but systemic injustices.

We have a collective responsibility to eliminate injustice. As nurses, we hold a unique position to create significant change: from individual actions at the bedside, to collectively raising our voices in the service of others. At the core of our profession, we recognize the importance of service, advocacy, and presence to acknowledge the intrinsic value of one another as individuals deserving of respect, caring, kindness and acceptance.

We understand that by lifting up the most marginalized voices in our community, we strengthen us all. While we do not condone acts of violence, we fully support communities which cooperatively work for social change, equality and human rights. Our voices are powerful because they are rooted in the ability to find understanding in suffering and to offer compassion and empathy. We know above all that suffering requires compassion for healing.  

As nurses we encourage each other to utilize the skills we have to listen to suffering, to find compassion within ourselves, to educate ourselves and our communities and to stand with those fighting to end oppression in all forms.

We ask our neighbors and community members to do the same.

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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)