MGC Observes Juneteenth as a State Holiday

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) joins the Commonwealth in honoring Juneteenth Independence Day as a state holiday. The MGC is pleased to recognize the significance of June 19, 1865: the day the last enslaved Americans learned they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed more than two years earlier.

In July 2020, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill declaring Juneteenth an official state holiday, commemorating the historic day that ended slavery in the United States.

The MGC observes Juneteenth as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and social justice.

MGC Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said, “The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, in addressing systemic racial inequities, has adopted a proactive approach to foster inclusion and justice. MGC offices will be closed on Friday, June 18 in observance of Juneteenth, providing an opportunity to reflect on our commitment to this sustained work and purposeful focus required to advance our shared goal of a better and more just future.”

The Commission encourages MGC staff and community stakeholders to honor the holiday as a day of reflection, recognition, and healing.

In June of 2020, the MGC Equity and Inclusion Working Group was convened by Chair Judd-Stein in response to a national movement for racial justice. The Gaming Commission unanimously adopted the Working Group’s five-point action plan, with anti-racism as a primary guiding principle. The purpose of the Equity and Inclusion Working Group is to ensure that the MGC’s internal and external-facing systems do not yield inequitable outcomes, protecting individuals and communities of color from disproportionate negative effects and dismantling barriers obstructing racial equity.

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