As we approach Juneteenth 2023, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, we must acknowledge the companies that have taken the initiative to observe and celebrate this momentous day.
Juneteenth has gained more recognition and importance in recent years, and many companies have joined the movement to honor this historic moment.
If you’re trying to figure out which companies observe the holiday, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will take a closer look at “What Companies Are Observing Juneteenth” in 2023 and how they acknowledge and celebrate this important holiday.
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Companies & Juneteenth – The History
Emancipation Day, also known as Juneteenth, honors the day that brought an end to slavery in US. When Union General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, he declared that all slaves were now free. Texas declared Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980, and as of June 17, 2021, it is now a federal holiday.
Only recently have American companies begun to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. When several states declared the day a statutory holiday in the 1990s, the concept started to take off. Some businesses began to pay attention as Juneteenth acquired more notoriety.
Texas Instruments was one of the first businesses to declare Juneteenth a vacation. In 1996, the business declared the day a holiday and started paying workers for their time off. Soon after, other Texas-based companies did the same, and the practice started to catch on across the nation.
More and more businesses now observe Juneteenth as a vacation over time. Some companies, like JCPenney, started celebrating the day in the early 2000s. However, Juneteenth’s popularity among American businesses didn’t really take off until the summer of 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s assassination and the ensuing demonstrations against racial inequity.
Following these incidents, numerous businesses released comments in support of racial justice and equity, and some started to take actual action to support those statements. One of the most frequent acts was declaring Juneteenth a vacation. In 2020, organizations like Nike, Twitter, and Square declared the day a holiday and permitted their staff to take the day off with compensation.
An essential step in acknowledging and resolving the nation’s past of enslavement and racial discrimination is for businesses in the United States to observe Juneteenth as a holiday.
Companies recognize the importance of Juneteenth and the influence enslavement has had on the United States by declaring it a holiday. Additionally, they show dedication to advancing diversity, equality, and inclusion at work and beyond.
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What Companies Are Observing Juneteenth?
Some of the companies that have announced their observance of Juneteenth include:
Like many other companies, Google honors Juneteenth, an annual celebration on June 19, marking the abolition of enslavement in the United States. Although Google’s Juneteenth celebrations vary yearly, the company usually tries to acknowledge the day’s significance and raise awareness of the holiday.
Amid the national demonstrations against racial inequity and police violence in 2020, Google declared that beginning in 2021, Juneteenth would be a company-wide holiday.
The business made this choice as part of a larger initiative to combat systematic prejudice and inequality. The decision was explained to Google workers in an email from Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO.
Google has made Juneteenth an annual holiday and made other efforts to commemorate the day and raise awareness of its importance. By way of illustration, the business modified its logo in 2020 to honor Juneteenth and featured articles and videos on its Google Arts & Culture website. The contents highlight the occasion’s history and Black Americans’ accomplishments.
In general, Google’s Juneteenth celebration shows the company’s dedication to diversity, equality, and inclusion and its awareness of the continuing fight for social justice in the US.
Target declared that it would observe Juneteenth as a company-wide holiday in reaction to the national demonstrations against racial injustice in 2020. The business added that it would give its team members more tools and assistance to work on and learn about social equity.
CEO of Target, Brian Cornell, explained the choice in a memo to staff members – “We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different.”
Target has made Juneteenth a holiday and done other things to commemorate the day and raise awareness of its importance. For instance, the business shuttered its doors early on Juneteenth in 2020 to enable staff to celebrate the holiday. To help the National Urban League with its efforts on racial justice problems, it also gave $250,000 to the organization.
Nike is the industry champion in athletic clothing, tools, and footwear. The business is well known for its dedication to social justice and equity, and its celebration of Juneteenth is evidence of this dedication.
Since Juneteenth is a significant holiday, Nike has taken measures to observe it internally. According to Nike CEO John Donahoe, Juneteenth will be honored as a formal corporate holiday in 2020.
Nike’s Juneteenth celebration is a component of the company’s broader dedication to inclusion, diversity, and justice. Nike has invested heavily in assisting Black communities, combating racial injustice, and designating Juneteenth as a corporate holiday. For instance, the business promised to donate $40 million to groups promoting social and racial equity over four years.
Nike has also started several programs to encourage equality and variety within the business. The Nike Black Community Impact Fund supports projects that seek to resolve racial inequality and advance social justice. At the same time, the company’s Black Employee Network offers a platform for Black workers to interact and support one another.
Nike has used its position to advocate for change and increase consciousness about racial inequality in addition to its internal programs. The company’s advertising efforts feature athletes and activists trying to improve their neighborhoods. For instance, Nike’s “Equality” ad starred Common, the rapper, and players like LeBron James and Serena Williams.
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#4. Best Buy
Leading American electronics store Best Buy has also taken action to acknowledge and honor Juneteenth. The company’s holiday celebration is distinctive in several ways.
First, Best Buy promised to give staff members compensated time off on Juneteenth. The business declared in 2020 that Juneteenth would be observed as a paid corporate vacation moving forward, making it one of the few significant retailers to do so.
Second, Best Buy has also started several programs to inform staff members about Juneteenth and its importance. The business made training materials and tools to aid staff in understanding the past and legacies of enslavement in the United States. The focus was to motivate members to continue fighting for racial justice and equity.
Finally, Best Buy has promoted social equity and brought attention to Juneteenth by using its platform. Using the hashtag #FreedomTogether, the business started a social media campaign to commemorate Juneteenth and support groups that advance racial equality. The company also donated to support the National Urban League’s efforts to promote racial equity.
#5. J.C. Penney
J.C. Penney commemorates Juneteenth in several ways, one of which is by closing its shops on that day. The company’s dedication to variety and inclusion and its understanding of the continuing fight for racial justice and equity are reflected in this choice.
J.C. Penney has done more than close its stores on Juneteenth; it has also taken measures to encourage inclusion and variety within the business. The J.C. Penney Foundation funds groups advancing diversity and inclusion in American neighborhoods. At the same time, the company’s Inclusion & Diversity Council promotes a culture of inclusion and regard within the organization.
J.C. Penney has also promoted social justice and brought Juneteenth to people’s attention through its platform. Using the slogan #JuneteenthIsOurFreedom, the business started a social media campaign to draw more focus to the holiday. The company has also made sizeable donations to various racial justice organizations.
Twitter gives employers a unique opportunity to celebrate Juneteenth by giving workers a day off. The business declared in 2020 that it would honor and observe Juneteenth as a corporate holiday, providing staff with a paid day off.
Offering instructional programming and tools is another way Twitter makes its Juneteenth celebration unique for businesses. The business provides tools and training materials to staff members to learn about the background and legacy of slavery in the United States and the continuing fight for racial equity and justice.
Additionally, the business holds gatherings and talks centered on Juneteenth and its importance, giving staff members chances to learn about and participate in the holiday.
Twitter also utilizes its forum to support social justice and Juneteenth awareness. The business has started social media campaigns with #Juneteenth and #BlackLivesMatter to encourage dialogue about racial justice problems and increase consciousness.
Twitter has also given money to groups that support racial fairness and equity, such as the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
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In honor of Juneteenth, Spotify curates playlists that exclusively feature music by black musicians and artists. These playlists honor the accomplishments of Black musicians in the music industry and include a wide variety of categories and techniques.
Additionally, the business offers unique audio segments that examine the background and importance of Juneteenth. These episodes feature discussions of the heritage of enslavement, its effects on African American culture, and conversations with scholars and experts in these fields.
Additionally, it uses its stage to raise the profile of Black artists and producers. The organization urges its members to support Black-owned companies, artists, and entrepreneurs during Juneteenth by highlighting them.
One of the top ride-hailing businesses, Lyft, recognizes and celebrates Juneteenth by recognizing its historical importance. All workers are granted the day off to honor and celebrate Juneteenth because the business observes it as a company-wide holiday. This enables workers to observe the holiday with their families and groups and consider its historical importance.
Lyft collaborates with neighborhood associations and civic officials to support Juneteenth-related events and activities. This includes funding marches, celebrations, and other civic gatherings in honor of Juneteenth.
Lyft understands how important it is to inform both its users and workers about the historical meaning of Juneteenth. To accomplish this, the business offers its staff instructional tools and resources, such as webinars, videos, and articles that discuss Juneteenth’s significance in history.
#9. General Motors
General Motors understands how crucial it is to inform both its staff and the groups it works with about the historical meaning of Juneteenth. To accomplish this, the business offers its staff instructional tools and resources, such as webinars, videos, and articles that discuss Juneteenth’s significance in history. General Motors also urges its workers to attend neighborhood events and festivities to learn more about the Juneteenth holiday.
The business collaborates with neighborhood groups and civic officials to support Juneteenth-related events and activities. This includes funding marches, celebrations, and other civic gatherings in honor of Juneteenth.
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Coca-Cola gives its workers the day off on the Juneteenth holidays. The business also provides tools and educational materials to ensure workers understand its significance.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a museum and cultural organization devoted to advancing social justice and civil rights. The National Museum of African American History and Culture received a $5 million donation from Coca-Cola as part of the company’s more extensive initiatives to promote racial equality and fairness.
Coca-Cola has also started several programs to help Black-owned companies and enterprises. Black women receive support from the company’s 5by20 initiative, which seeks to promote 5 million women’s businesses.
Additionally, Coca-Cola and the National Urban League have teamed up to support and award Black-owned companies negatively affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
In addition to these measures, Coca-Cola has worked to make the workplace more inclusive and varied. The business has established several employee resource groups (ERGs) to assist its diverse populations.
It has set objectives to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in leadership roles. These ERGs include the Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and Black Employee Networks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many companies, including Twitter, Square, Nike, Lyft, and Target, observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday.
The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and social justice movements that swept across the country in 2020 brought renewed attention to the need to address systemic racism and promote racial equity. Many companies recognized that observing Juneteenth was a meaningful way to acknowledge and honor Black history and culture while demonstrating their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
While the observance of Juneteenth as a paid holiday by companies is relatively new, the holiday has been celebrated by Black communities since 1865. The recent recognition by companies results from the renewed focus on racial justice and equality.
Yes, many companies are offering initiatives and programs to celebrate Juneteenth. These may include educational resources and training programs to promote cultural awareness and understanding, community service opportunities, and special events and activities.
No, companies have no legal requirements to observe Juneteenth as a holiday. However, many companies recognize the importance of honoring Juneteenth to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and demonstrate their commitment to social justice and equality.
In recent years, Juneteenth, an important day in American history that marks the abolition of slavery, has drawn more attention and acknowledgment. Many businesses have begun celebrating Juneteenth as a holiday to demonstrate their support for social justice and equality.
It is crucial to remember that recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday is only a modest first step in combating systematic prejudice and inequality.
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