June 15, 2022
by Kiley VanGilder
Juneteenth is an extremely important day for the United States of America, a day that should be celebrated by all companies! Juneteenth, observed on June 19th, is the oldest holiday in place celebrating the end of slavery in America. It’s a holiday that not a lot of companies are known to recognize as of yet, but we feel that is due to a lack of awareness about the holiday. As more and more resources are built and get the message out there around this historic holiday, our hope is that this holiday will be recognized like many other important holidays.
President Biden designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday in February 2021, and it is now an observed holiday in all 50 states.
So what can your company do today to begin recognizing this holiday?
The first step is to take the time to learn about the significance of Juneteenth and really immerse yourself into the history of this day. We recommend checking out Juneteenth.com to dive deep into the history.
Next, begin recognizing this holiday within your company. You can offer this as a company holiday listed within your handbook and give all employees the day off, either paid or unpaid! It’s a great way to show that your company is committed to its DEIB efforts. Don’t have a DEIB strategy within your company just yet? Jump on over here to learn how you can begin to implement DEIB strategies in your business today. You could even start by surprising your team with the day off to celebrate Juneteenth this year!
There are a number of other ways to celebrate Juneteenth and spread awareness to your team and community. There are large celebrations popping up more and more each year to celebrate Juneteenth. Many communities host parades and make a fun day-long celebration where the community comes together for a wonderful celebration. Reach out to your team and think about setting up a company booth in your local community and make it day to remember with not only your team, but your community!
Another option would be to offer a paid day off to allow your employees to go volunteer in the community. Start by researching some local volunteer programs in your employees’ cities, or encourage them to do research and send you over the name of the program they sign up with to volunteer. We recommend compiling a list of all the places your team ends up volunteering and sharing the list with the entire team to show what one day of efforts can accomplish. This not only helps local communities, but also creates great team camaraderie on such a historic and celebrated day.
Juneteenth may be new to the federal holiday list, but it has been around and celebrated for many years. If this is your first time learning about this holiday, think about how many others are like you and could benefit from this knowledge. Think about doing something as simple as sharing this blog, or some information related to Juneteenth on social media and help spread the message about the importance of this holiday.