Celebrating Juneteenth without Representation for D.C.

Washington, D.C. — Today, we celebrate Juneteenth, honoring the emancipation of enslaved Americans in 1865. Juneteenth has long been a joyous day for Black Americans to honor freedom, but the 700,000 residents of Washington, D.C. are still locked out from enjoying the full rights of our democracy. 

Jamal Holtz, Lead Organizer of 51 for 51, issued the following statement:

On Juneteenth, we celebrate Black liberation and continue the fight every day as we take to the streets for D.C. statehood. No one is free until everyone is free, and the residents of Washington, D.C. cannot be free without a voice and a vote in our democracy. Juneteenth itself recognizes that slavery and injustice didn’t end with the Emancipation Proclamation — Black and Brown activists have had to put their lives on the line for every freedom we have, and now we’re fighting for D.C. statehood to continue this struggle for Black liberation.

D.C. was one of the first locales to end slavery, but in 2021, we’re still fighting for full freedom for 700,000 Washingtonians. As we look ahead to the Senate hearing on statehood on June 22nd, we know that now is the time to end this stain on our democracy.”

 Jamal Holtz was recently featured in MSNBC’s Into America podcast in an episode about Juneteenth, Black liberation, and D.C. statehood — listen to the episode here and watch the MSNBC segment here

51 for 51’s campaign manager, Stasha Rhodes, also published an op-ed in the Washington Post about D.C.’s ‘emancipation without representation’ and quest for freedom. 

To speak with a representative of 51 for 51, please contact 


51 for 51 is a coalition of D.C.-based and national groups committed to equal representation for the over 700,000 D.C. residents who remain locked out of our democracy. The coalition of 20 progressive groups believe American citizens living in the District deserve a voice in Congress and control over their own local laws. Already, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Senators Warren, Markey, Gillibrand and Hickenlooper have endorsed 51 for 51’s proposed path to statehood. 

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