In Celebration of Juneteenth: Recognizing Our Past to Build an Inclusive Present and Future
Juneteenth has quickly become a well-recognized historical event within our society. While celebrated in Black communities for years, its broader understanding and acknowledgment within most of Corporate America has been limited until just two years ago. In a truly momentous moment for the holiday, on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making it an official federal holiday.
To summarize this important event: in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, enslaved people were informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, “all slaves were free.” This occurred two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Civil War at Appomattox Court House in Virginia and a full two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
The first Juneteenth celebration occurred exactly one year later, on June 19, 1866, and has been celebrated in the United States since then. Texas was the first to recognize it as a state holiday in 1980 and over the next few decades it became recognized as an official observance by almost all 50 states.
For many companies, Juneteenth has impacted how they think about inclusion, representation and allyship, especially for people of color. Many of our federal holidays are meant to commemorate the sacrifices of specific groups, giving them recognition for their struggles and contributions to our nation’s community. Having Juneteenth recognized as a federal holiday shows an acknowledgement of the struggles and challenges the Black community has come up against. It also shows acknowledgement of their importance to our national ethos. It represents another step in the right direction for ensuring all are equal, and ensuring equality for the BIPOC community as a whole.
At Flexential, the importance and relevance of this day is deeply ingrained into our DEI mission, not only in commemorating the triumphs of our past but in stamping out racial inequality now and in the future. As an equal opportunity employer, we are focused on maintaining equitable hiring practices, diverse talent pipelines, diverse representation in our workforce and more.
Our Employee Resource Group (ERG), FlexMORE, is focused on bringing programming, educational opportunities, and community to our BIPOC team members and allies. Standing for Multicultural Opportunity, Resource and Engagement, the FlexMORE ERG believes in the power of dialogue and is providing opportunities for continued conversation and growth through our upcoming movie discussion series and upcoming BIPOC executive speaker series.
On top of giving recognition to key dates and holidays that represent our diverse community, we encourage employees to take advantage of our unlimited PTO benefit for time off to commemorate days like Juneteenth and remember why they are important, both now and for the future we want to see in the world.
Are you interested in how we’re building a diverse workforce? Visit www.flexential.com/careers to see our current openings!