11 Ways Every Company Should Celebrate Juneteenth

11 Ways Every Company Should Celebrate Juneteenth

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Angelica Tara360
I drive words to emotions - in marketing & life.
April 14, 2024 at 7:38AM UTC

June 19th is not just a date; it’s a celebration. Celebrated as Juneteenth, June 19th marks the day 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas and declared all enslaved people in the United States legally free.

Two years earlier, in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and enslaved people in the Confederate States were declared legally free. However, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free every enslaved person. Only enslaved people under Confederate control were freed; enslaved people in states under Union control were not.

It took two years from the Emancipation Proclamation for the other 250,000 enslaved people to be freed. This day is observed as Juneteenth.    

On Juneteenth, we all must consciously take a step forward, together. Whether we call June 19th Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day or Juneteenth, it is a day of leaving the past behind, and walking to a new dawn, together. 

Here are some ways every company can celebrate Juneteenth at work.

1. Offer a paid holiday.

Observe Juneteenth as a day of celebration and education of Black history and culture.  

2. Make it a day of reflective and meaningful action.

Partner with nonprofits and organize service events for team members. Show your support to black-owned businesses, organizations and creators alike.

3. Promote DEI initiatives.

 Share the initiatives you have undertaken or plan to pursue such as unconscious bias training and equitable compensation. Lead critical conversations about making opportunities at your company (and beyond) accessible to the Black community.

4. Learn from a speaker.

Invite a guest speaker with expertise on the subject to share their views on the occasion (and if you do, make sure to compensate them for their work!).

5. Share on social.

Share your team members’ thoughts and initiatives on social media handles of the company. This promotes your efforts publicly and can make your team members feel heard.

6. Shine a spotlight on diversity, visually.

There is beauty and warmth in diversity, especially when we can see ourselves represented. Embrace diverse photography from resources such as nappy.co, Ttonl and CreateHER Stock.

7. Give back.

Your donations can make a meaningful difference, every single day. There are several networks and organizations to donate to, from the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network, to Know Your Rights Camp, to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

8. Share with your team.

Even if you’re not the one organizing Juneteenth celebrations, you can show your support by sharing links to state-held events and museums. There are numerous events across the country, from Georgia to Pittsburgh and New York.

9. Talk it out.

 Have a conversation about the history of Juneteenth with your team members and their children, too. Involve the kids too and be prepared to be surprised by their knowledge of what and how it all started. For inspiration, check out these activity sheets.

10. Support Black-owned brands.

Here’s a list of 50+ brands and 10 Etsy shops from which you can buy gifts for your crew as a reminder for making self-care a priority. For the book-lovers amongst your team, or company, you can share your love and support by reading, and supporting, black-owned bookstores as listed here.

11. Let there be music.

June is also African-American Music Appreciation Month. Ask your team to share their favorite playlist or a song that takes you back to a place, time or person.

Let’s make Juneteenth a day that touches our heart and soul — and not as a platform to sell something. Let’s make a conscious effort to make space for all at work with a bigger table, not just on Juneteenth, but every day.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

What’s the no. 1 way you’re celebrating Juneteenth at work? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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