Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. On June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after implementing the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved African Americans were informed of their liberation from slavery. More and more U.S. companies have been recognizing this holiday in meaningful ways. As we commemorate this important holiday in the U.S., it’s important to recognize that there is still more work to be done to increase equity and further racial justice – both within our walls and in the communities, we serve around the world.
We encourage you to join us in our celebration of Juneteenth and to stay committed to furthering equality, here are some ways organizations and individuals can do just that.
Make a Commitment
LexisNexis along with hundreds of other companies nationwide have signed the Parity Pledge, agreeing to interview and consider at least one qualified woman and one qualified person of color for every open VP, C-Suite, and Board role. There are many other places to commit, including the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.
Tap into New Sources of Talent
For example, we attended the Black is Tech conference, are working closely with the Historically Black College & University recruitment network, and are partnering with professional organizations like the Black Young Professionals Network and Black Women in Science & Engineering. There are many initiatives like this across all industries.
Encourage and Promote Education
It’s important not to assume that our circles and communities know about Juneteenth and its significance but there are plenty of resources to further that education. For example the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is moderating a virtual event, One Year Later: Juneteenth for All Americans, where scholars will discuss the historic and social complexity of Juneteenth exploring the lessons that the holiday imparts, historically and currently, about social justice, democracy, and community building. Another amazing resource is SHRM’s Together Forward @ Work, an initiative designed to initiate open dialogue about racial inequity in the workplace. The page has all kinds of downloadable resources and guides to continue the conversation all year long.
Lastly, spread the word! Be sure to share how you are celebrating Juneteenth on social media.