Juneteenth or the 19 June celebration is a holiday. The oldest and most famous holiday celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Take the time to understand the deep historical and emotional significance of Juneteenth, integrate it into the workplace, and support your corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives.
What is Juneteenth
Today’s Juneteenth is an event that commemorates the day the last enslaved people in the United States were liberated in 1865. It is the most popular annual celebration of liberation from slavery in the country.
Juneteenth has grown in importance with the # BlackLivesMatter movement over time and on this day major social platforms sought to amplify black voices and provide events and resources to highlight its cultural significance.
Several companies have announced that they will honor and recognize June 18 as a paid holiday for their employees as a sign of support for the black community this year. Facebook is staging a series of events on its minisite, Lift Up Black Voices which launched this week as part of a series of new funding, resources, and pledges to support black communities.
Significance of Juneteenth
June 19 marks the day in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas to inform slaves that the Civil War ended and that slavery had been abolished. Some companies in honor of June fourteenth are giving their employees paid days off in honor of the Day of Remembrance, while others take a moment of silence like General Motors.
What Companies around the Globe are doing for Juneteenth
Last year, brands from Adobe to Nike to the NFL declared June a paid holiday.
At a time when the most common way to honor June is to do nothing, many companies are going a step further. Some companies have stepped up to recognize Juneteenth, such as Zara USA, which has made Juneteenth a paid vacation for all employees. Many business owners have wondered why they shouldn’t celebrate June 18.
When Nordstrom recognized Juneteenth in an introduction by Pete and Erik last year, there was a virtual event where employees could network and learn more. The company plans to take a similar approach this year. Zara USA has also made it a paid holiday for employees, providing staff with educational resources throughout the week about June 18 and its importance. The focus is on providing staff with information and resources to help them learn more about the holiday, a company spokeswoman said.
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would honor June 18 this year by giving its employees a paid day off. The software company Trade Desk announced that June 13 would be a paid holiday for all employees. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced in a tweet that June 13 will be a company holiday this year.
June 18 is a public holiday in 47 states and Washington, D.C., but not a federal one. In 1980, Texas was the first state to set June 18 as a public holiday (it has been celebrated since 1865), and in 2019 New Hampshire was the last state to recognize it as a public holiday
Compared with major events like Memorial Day and July 4, June remains a low-key holiday that many Americans celebrate on a smaller, local stage, rather than in the national spotlight – a kind of holiday in waiting. Starting in 2020, 47 states will recognize June 18 as a public holiday or compliance day. Over the years, large and small businesses have chosen to recognize the holiday with paid days, with Nike, Twitter, Square, Lyft, Mastercard, and the NFL among the prominent organizations.
Age of Social Activism & Social Media
Today, social activism is more prominent than ever, and awareness of the Fourth of July holiday is growing on social media. Now that June has been declared a national holiday, many brands are keen to celebrate it. Twitter and Square have made June 19 a company holiday in the US.
Other companies such as Nike, BuzzFeed, Lyft, and VSCO have followed suit. Hundreds of companies have used their social media channels in solidarity with George Floyd in the wake of his murder by a Minneapolis police officer last year and the ensuing police brutality and protests in response to officers’ actions and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As of June 19, 2020, NFL brands have received the most responses to their social media posts related to June 19, with the posts receiving an average of 52,801 responses. The NBA had the second-highest total, with an astonishing 50 social media posts from June 19 with an average of 34,906 replies.
For example, on June 19, 2020, 35.2% of the 1,100 social media posts shared by S & P 500 brands were associated with June 18. By comparison, on the same day, only 4% of the 1,551 posts shared by S & P 500 brands on social media mentioned June. While the NFL announced plans to close its league offices on June 13, the NBA highlighted its players’ protest efforts against social justice in its many other related posts.
As a student, you can use your social media accounts to share Juneteenth-related posts, launch hashtags, and raise awareness of notable black figures. Consider sharing a message on social media or adding your own.
June 18 is a national holiday that recognizes the humanity of black people and rejoices in the progress we have made as a nation. It is recognized as an official holiday by 47 states and the District of Columbia. Texas was the first state to introduce June 18 as a paid holiday, and Washington state did the same.
On June 19, the emancipation of enslaved people in the USA was recognized. Celebrate Juneteenth with college students and promote the black history and social justice. Watch Juneteenth by supporting black businesses and donating to social causes.
Let us have a look at some
Social media Ideas that you can incorporate as a Company and Brand this Juneteenth:
Take this as an opportunity to Educate
While Social Media is all about showcasing the most fascinating snippets of your brand, use this as an opportunity to show not only your efficient side but also your sensitivity and honoring aspect as a Company. You can put out factoids and listicles that support the commemoration of Juneteenth as a day on the whole
Say No To Social Media Promotion
Remember oppression is not yours to capitalize, don’t use this as an opportunity to run any targeted ad campaigns or even post anything with an aim to conversion.
Give a Shout-Out
It is time to honor and uplift. Use your reach as a platform to uplift the community. Recognize leaders, executives, etc for their pursuit towards excellence and their excellent achievements, also throw light on their journey and struggles.
Don’t stop with just a day, one post, or one day off. This is much more than that. This is to commemorate Black history.
Make sure you as a brand always try to bring forth real stories to amplify the voices that have been left unheard.
The June 18 celebration is a step toward recognizing the full extent of American history and the unfinished work of promoting racial justice. Commonly known as Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day, June commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and has special significance for black Americans as such. This day is celebrated every year on June 19 marking the day the last enslaved people learned of their freedom in Galveston, Texas in 1865.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.