I was very proud that at its last meeting the Riverside village board of trustees unanimously declared Juneteenth an official village holiday and a paid holiday for village employees. 

In keeping with Riverside’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the recognition of this holiday appropriately highlights the innumerable contributions made by African Americans to our country’s history. It is also a reminder of the horrors of slavery and its still-present aftermath.

Our nation will never move beyond its legacy of oppression and discrimination until it fully accepts this history and its lingering effects. Riverside’s formal recognition of Juneteenth as a formal holiday is a welcomed step toward this critically needed reconciliation.

Benjamin Sells, Riverside