All WSECU branches and offices will be closed June 18 and 19, 2021, in observance of Juneteenth. WSECU is committed to taking steps to advance racial equity and will now recognize Juneteenth as a closure holiday of celebration and reflection. Our Online Banking, Mobile Banking and ATM network will remain available during the closure.
We believe it is our shared responsibility to make strides toward greater racial equity, especially in financial services. As a people-centered credit union, one piece of this is thoughtfully recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday while continuing to learn and work toward a more equitable landscape where all people can thrive. Learn more about our other commitments to our members and communities.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Texas with the news that the war was over and enslaved people were free. June 19 has subsequently been celebrated as "Juneteenth," or Emancipation Day, to commemorate the abolishment of slavery. Texas was the first state to observe Juneteenth as an official holiday, starting in 1980.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be fully implemented in places still under Confederate control. This meant in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later.
The recognition of this important historical event is a tribute to resilience and courage. It offers the chance to better understand and commemorate Black history. At its core, it’s a celebration some refer to as our nation’s second Independence Day.
How will WSECU recognize Juneteenth?
We will close our branches and headquarters and join with many others who recognize Juneteenth as a day of freedom and celebration. By embracing a holiday that showcases Black joy and pride and that acknowledges our scarred shared history, we’re taking another step to stand with our Black members, employees and neighbors.
This addition to our closure schedule also aligns with the Washington State Legislature’s designation of Juneteenth as a legal state holiday starting next year, which passed this year with bipartisan support. At the federal level, Congress recently passed legislation to make Juneteenth a holiday.
“We encourage our staff and members to use the day as an opportunity for education, engagement, connection and celebration,” said CEO Gary Swindler. “We’re sharing resources with employees to learn more about Black history, racial equity and commemorations of Juneteenth that they can join or attend.”
Why is WSECU closed for two days?
June 19 falls on a Saturday in 2021. As with other holidays under these conditions, WSECU will close all locations on Friday, June 18, to observe Juneteenth, and we will remain closed on Saturday. Like all holiday closures, this is a paid holiday for our team.
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