INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today issued the following statement by ZeNai Brooks – candidate for State Auditor – to commemorate the Juneteenth holiday. The statement was originally provided during the Indiana Democratic Party’s Hoosier Hospitality Dinner last Friday:
“It shouldn’t be lost on any of us the significance of this Juneteenth weekend. It’s especially meaningful to me as a Black American and someone who is always one of a very few in most spaces.
June 19th was established as a U.S. Holiday by President Biden, commemorating the freedom of the last enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas. While we acknowledge and celebrate, it’s also important that we recognize some of the practices, policies, and biases that are still a threat to the freedom of many Black people and other underrepresented communities.
Democrats, we now have the privilege and the opportunity to shape what Juneteenth means for Black people and Americans across the nation – including right here in Indiana. Not as performative gestures, but with meaningful actions, engagements, and policies that affect change.
Juneteenth is about restoration. It’s about liberation. It’s about freedom and equity.
But here’s a hard truth I must share with you: This vision only happens if as a group, we decide to actually operate differently. This vision for our nation only happens when we see the past in its truest form and work create a better tomorrow for future generations.
So I challenge everyone to not just engage in performative behaviors like written statements or public remarks – but to be an advocate and use your position of privilege to reframe how your networks see our nation.
That starts by how we support our Black communities. Not just when we need the Black vote, or Church circuit or a Black face around the table. But equal access to job opportunities, fair housing practices, police reform, equitable funding for education. The list carries on with every aspect of our lives
So, we’ll have our festivals and we will celebrate, but Black people also want to be treated fairly and equitable throughout the rest of the year.
The time is now! Let’s really lean into what freedom and restoration looks like!”
– ZeNai Brooks, candidate for Indiana State Auditor