Pharrell Williams Helps Declare Juneteenth a State Holiday in Virginia
While Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, major companies such as Twitter, Square, Nike, Meredith Corporation, owner of PEOPLE, and the NFL recently announced they will be recognizing June 19 as a company holiday for its employees.
Earlier in June, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the holiday will mark a time of "celebration, education, and connection" for employees at both the social media company and Square.
"Both Twitter and Square are making #Juneteenth (June 19th) a company holiday in the US, forevermore," Dorsey, 43, tweeted.
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"Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation, and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present," he added.
Last week, Nike and the NFL announced plans to to make Juneteenth a company holiday beginning this year.
“This year, as we work together as a family and in our communities to combat the racial injustices that remain deeply rooted into the fabric of our society, the NFL will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 19th as a recognized holiday and our league offices will be closed," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that went out to teams Friday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future," he added.
Meanwhile, Nike CEO John Donahoe issued a similar statement to employees, declaring that Juneteenth will be an annual paid holiday.
In the memo, Donahue said the recognition is an “important opportunity to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture,” according to Forbes.
“When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand,” he said.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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