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In quick succession in June 2020 Nike, Target, and Best Buy made Juneteenth an official company holiday. We were proud to join. And if you haven’t yet, you should, too!

We wanted to share a bit more about why we made it a company holiday at Kazoo and how to celebrate Juneteenth in your workplace to create a truly inclusive culture.

Create welcoming workplaces year-round.

2022 Workplace Inclusivity Calendar

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19. This day commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union general Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with the federal orders that all previously enslaved people in Texas were now free. Though the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves in America two years earlier, Texas was the most remote of the slave states. So about 250,000 people remained slaves in Texas until Granger carried the orders to Galveston in 1865, finally ending slavery in the U.S.

Today, the holiday is celebrated in cities across the United States. Activities are as diverse as readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, street fairs, rodeos, cookouts, reading the work of influential Black American writers, and more.

 

Why did we make Juneteenth a company holiday?

Though Juneteenth is relatively new to our holiday calendar, it isn’t really a novel addition. It reaffirms what our company already believes.

Moreover, it’s an opportunity — via company policy — to put those beliefs into action.

Officially creating a paid holiday sends a signal that we’re observing something important to members of our community. And therefore, to all of us.

The magnitude and importance of Juneteenth is so obvious, we knew this holiday had to become part of our DNA as a company. To that end, the People & Culture team (the same folks behind Kazoo + WorkTango’s Pride Month events) encourage us all to learn more about the history behind the holiday and it’s far-reaching importance.

Celebrate Pride Month 2022

Read more

 

How you can celebrate Juneteenth at your workplace

Make it a paid holiday

It can be complicated to create new company holidays, especially at the last minute. But it counts.

Company calendars, policies and holidays set the tone for creating an inclusive company culture. These things show your employees that you recognize diversity in your workplace and you’re committed to having an inclusive culture.

Educate yourself and encourage others to do the same

Why is it called Juneteenth? Find out where the name originated.

Challenge your employees to read up on the history of the holiday and to learn why it’s important to the Black community..

Not sure where to start? Check out the resources from Juneteenth.com and this video tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slavery & Freedom, 1400-1877.

Important tip! Don’t ask your Black employees to educate you or your team or the organization at large. It’s a form of tokenism that flies in the face of genuine diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Promote self-education instead.

Celebrate Black music, food, and culture

Find out what celebrations are taking place in the communities where your employees live and your organization is located. Share this list of commemorations to make it easier for everybody to attend parades and street fairs, catch performances, and sample food.

Virtual and in-person freedom festivals are planned from one coast to the other. Click here for a list of more than 500 online Juneteenth events for 2022. The handful of links below might also come in handy to help you and your employees make the most of this milestone day!

Juneteenth NY Festival 2022 Juneteenth Dallas 2022 Juneteenth San Jose 2022
Juneteenth Atlanta 2022 Juneteenth Kansas City 2022 Juneteenth Denver 2022
Juneteenth San Antonio 2022 Juneteenth Chicago 2022

Juneteenth Annapolis 2022

Take your DEI initiatives steps further

Your actions make a statement.

Walk the talk.

Observe Juneteenth as a company holiday. Welcome it as part of a strong diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.

At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only Employee Experience Platform that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, supports alignment through goal setting and feedback, and offers actionable insights through employee surveys.

WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. So if you’re ready to improve (work) lives, schedule a demo today.

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