Juneteenth Economic Justice Plan: NYC to provide universal baby bonds, CUNY scholarships

Local News

NEW YORK — As New York City prepares for Juneteenth celebrations, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a new plan that would assist Black and low-income students.

“Right now, in America, the net worth of the average white family has grown ten times that of the average Black family. The answer is redistribution,” the mayor said Thursday. 

De Blasio unveiled the Juneteenth Economic Justice Plan, with the goal of building generational wealth and “right the wrongs.”

The key components in the plan include:

  • Universal NYC baby bonds: Expand baby bonds to all school districts and provide universal NYC scholarship accounts for every public school kindergartener beginning the next academic year. 
  • CUNY Scholarship fund: The focus would be “on kids right now ready for a higher education,” de Blasio said. Under the plan, the city would provide 2,800 four-year scholarships for Black and low-income students.
  • Brooklyn Recovery Corps at Medgar Evers College: Medgar Evers College will provide over 200 students with paid internships, work experience and career prep.

“Our ancestors believed that education would be the key to Black liberation because knowledge, once attained, cannot be stolen or beaten out of anyone,” Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson said, “We can use knowledge to change the world. That is why it is so right to invest in education today in honor of Juneteenth. It is an investment in making New York City a true symbol of freedom.”

For a full list of NYC Juneteenth events, visit nyc.gov/Juneteenth 

The House voted 415-14 to make Juneteenth, or June 19th, the 12th federal holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.

Clarification: The story has been updated to reflect Medgar Evers College is not an HBCU.

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