US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



Black people unite to rest this Juneteenth

Jun 18, 2020

While the federal government has yet to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday, the US Human Rights Network Coordinating Center will be observing June 19th as an annual paid holiday for Coordinating Center employees. 

We are celebrating Juneteenth as a day to uplift the right to rest and leisure which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights Article 24, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Article 7

The right to rest and leisure is too often elusive for Black people in the United States who continue to face old racist tropes of Black people as lazy and idle; the socialization of Black womxn towards being selfless, accessible, and helpful to others without caring for themselves; and enduring structural oppression which means Black people are more likely to spend more time working and more time commuting to and from work.

Rest and leisure are key to supporting healthy Black minds, bodies, families, and communities. 

Rest and leisure are key to supporting healthy Black movements. 

Rest and leisure are your human rights.

To employers: Make Juneteenth a paid holiday for your employees -- a day of rest and leisure for Black people, and a day of education and organizing for their allies. 

To employees: Take the day off if your employer hasn't made Juneteenth a holiday yet. We encourage Black employees to take the day off to rest and rejuvenate, if you are able to. Check out The Nap MinistryBlack Power Naps, or Adrienne Maree Brown's Pleasure Activism if you need some inspiration on Black rest and leisure. And we encourage non-Black workplace allies to advocate to make Juneteenth a paid holiday, and to take the day off in support of Black colleagues; spend the day educating yourselves and mobilizing your communities to support Black people everywhere. Get involved with M4BL's #SixNineteen initiative; they're organizing  3 days of activism in the streets or online to defund the police and call for the resignation of Donald Trump this Juneteenth.