As week 3 of nationwide protests continues, the eyes of many have opened during a powerful movement for #BlackLivesMatter. Many companies and businesses have been expressing their gratitude and support for the culture. Now, #Nike has announced that they are making #Juneteenth an annual company holiday in celebration of the end of slavery.
Juneteenth or June 19th is the day in 1865 where union soldiers announced the news of the proclamation to enslaved African Americans. Just two years after the Emanicipation Proclamation was issued, Texas was the last to hear that the Civil War had ended two months earlier. Companies acknowlegment of Juneteeth is an amazing first step.
Nike CEO John Donahoe made an announcement to employees through a letter along with several other plans the company has to take light of nationwide demonstrations calling for racial justice. “At Nike Inc., we aspire to be a leader in building a diverse, inclusive team and culture. We want to be better than society as a whole” says Donahoe. He also explained how “observing Juneteeth is an opportunity to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture”. Now, we know #Nike has relied on black athletes and talent to build and market its huge brand but the CEO himself even acknowledged that the company’s culture may not be as welcoming to black employees.
“As I have listened deeply during my first six months and over the past few weeks, what i have learned is that many have felt a disconnect between our external brand and internal experience”. He says he plans to change the fact that they don’t celebrate, support and recognize their black teammates the way they deserve.
#Twitter , #Square , and Vox Media also plan to the same in regards to celebrating the holiday. Let’s keep pushing forward to change the narrative until we get justice served!