Happy Juneteenth!‎

Happy Juneteenth!‎

Chapter Leadership Brief 6.18.2021

By Jill Scibilia, CFRE, AFP-NYC President-Elect
Vice President, Development, Phelps Hospital, Northwell Health

June 19th is a new national holiday: Juneteenth National Independence Day.  President Joe Biden signed this into law on June 17, 2021 after it passed the Senate and the House earlier this week.  It is the first new federal holiday since President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law in 1983.“

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery and is also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day and Juneteenth Independence Day. Its name stems from June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, issued General Order No. 3, which announced that in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, “’all slaves are free.’” (NY Times)

Values are ever-present in our work as professional fundraisers.  We give people and organizations who want to make a difference the opportunity to do so when we align their values with our missions.   Through our respective missions our organizations seek meaningful impact…like ending hunger, increasing inclusion, equity and access for all underrepresented communities, lifting women out of poverty, saving lives, helping children and students reach their full potential, ending discrimination and violence against the LGBTQIA community, investing in the arts, improving the health of our communities, and taking care of our planet…to name a few.

There are also values that transcend all of our missions and organizations.  Freedom is a value that is as old as our country and yet until 156 years ago (June 19, 1865), it was not available to all.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has four core pillars (read values) that guide our work:

  • Promote IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access)
  • Provide relevant and high-quality fundraising education
  • Increase capacity and strengthen community
  • Champion Ethical Fundraising Practices

IDEA is a pillar because we know the fundraising industry will do our best work for our missions and for society when we represent the deep diversity of the people in our communities.  All of our pillars depend on it, in fact. We are still very much on this journey of achieving this goal as a fundraising industry, and it is work that is underway and valued at AFP. 

IDEA does not work without freedom and our ability to champion it.  The new national version of Juneteenth comes at a pivotal time in our history, and it gives me hope that we are moving in the right direction.  Let’s follow Dr. King’s counsel “to keep moving forward:”

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t, run then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to professional fundraising.

With gratitude,


P.S. - If you are not already engaged in AFP-NYC, I want to encourage you to get involved and add your voice to the conversation.  We are stronger together. 

P.P.S. – I am honored to serve on the IDEA Committee of AFP-NYC.  Our work is led by my colleagues Crystal Fields-SamChrista Orth, and Pinky Vincent

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