These outsized impacts— and recent protests around systemic inequality and police brutality— have thrust the Juneteenth holiday into the spotlight.
As conversations about race, privilege and opportunity sweep America,corporations have pledged more than $1.7 billion to racial and social justice causes.
Now, as part of ongoing efforts to take meaningful action, many companies are also observing Juneteenth— the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States— for the first time:
- Lyft, Twitter, Postmates, Nike and Target announced that they will observe Juneteenth as a permanent paid company holiday.
- Capital One, Fifth Third, JPMorgan and U.S. Bank announced that they will close their offices early in commemoration of the holiday.
- Bank of America and Citigroup told employees to take an extra personal day off.
- Amazon and Google are cancelling meetings and using the day as a learning opportunity for employees.
Companies are encouraging employees to use the time off to commemorate a pivotal moment in American history and reflect on the racial injustices that continue to impact American society.
Advocates hope the holiday becomes a meaningful day of reflection and action instead of an excuse for a three-day vacation.