June 13, 2021

Resources for Juneteenth

Along with our friends at Ogilvy, we have compiled a list of books, articles, videos, podcasts and learnings to educate yourself and others in honor of Juneteenth.

BOOKS

ARTICLES

WATCH

LISTEN

LEARN

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ACT

July 1, 2020

Bottle Rocket’s Calvin Carter: ‘We estimate we are 10% more efficient working from wherever.’

Bottle Rocket CEO & Founder Calvin Carter discussed with Dallas Innovates how the company is adapting to the future of work and business. Carter provides insights on the company’s new “work from wherever” model and how it’s maintaining a collaborative spirit in a Q&A.

Dallas Innovates: How is Bottle Rocket adapting to COVID-19 and changing the future of work?

Calvin Carter: Bottle Rocket has always been an innovator. A decade ago, we pioneered the concept of working cross-functionally versus departmentally in pods surrounded by whiteboards, which later became the norm for many companies around the globe.

But like everyone else when COVID-19 hit, we shifted to a work-from-home mandate to protect employees and their families. What we quickly learned is that we don’t have to all be under the same roof to do game-changing work for our clients, and we don’t all have to sit together to maintain our normal level of collaboration and cross-functional work. Through the use of technology, advanced tools, and revamped processes, we have been able to continue “business as usual” while still delivering immense value to our customers. This led to our new future we call “work from wherever.” To us, this isn’t unique to this time. We are always challenging and iterating on everything in our business. The pandemic simply forced us to embrace a new way of working much faster, and after just a few short months, we knew that the time was right to make this a permanent shift.

What I feel is different from other work-from-home announcements is the very specific and purposeful use of the word “wherever.” Wherever indicates the sense of place is less important than some other element. In this case, we are sending a strong, fresh message that the “work” is more important than the place the work is done. This honors the employee as a person of craft and skill, and trusts them to act as the adult they are to make the best decisions based on all the valid information they have, which includes ways of working that are uniquely effective to them. Wherever could mean at home, in our amazing office space, across the country, or outside in a park with an internet connection.

We estimate we are 10% more efficient working from wherever. This has allowed people to trade the stressful, expensive, and time-consuming commute to more time working productively or spending time with friends and family. This doesn’t mean we’re getting rid of our office. Physical interaction is still very important, but it’s not the most important thing.

DI: How do you maintain your sense of culture and collaboration, and continue to grow as a team through remote work?

CC: I’ve been nothing but impressed with our team’s ability to really come together during this challenging time. I believe our success can be attributed to our balanced focus on tools, processes, people, and culture. We’ve leaned on many terrific tools such as Slack, Zoom, the Atlassian suite, and Salesforce, but we’ve also brought on many new ones in the past few months, including Miro (virtual whiteboards which are simply awesome), Lattice (employee engagement), Teem (office space reservations and hoteling), and VacationTracker.io (vacation management), that have helped us manage our business efficiently and effectively.

I define culture as the space between the people in an organization. It’s how you treat one another, speak to one another, honor promises, socialize, and empathize. That space is just as important in a work-from-wherever environment, but that space is redefined to not just be in person, but through a whole host of other experiences that we are able to make possible by properly leveraging technology and ensuring our staff is always connecting with one another. We have open-sourced our culture and invite ideas from all corners of the company. Leveraging the power of diversity, we can ideate and execute much better ideas than more traditional organizations.

DI: What trends are you seeing in the types of apps companies are creating (or additions to existing apps) as a result of COVID-19?

CC: The types of requests we are receiving from clients is really not too different from how it was pre-COVID-19. However, the reason why clients are coming to us has changed dramatically. Pre-COVID-19, digital was seen as a competitive differentiator for most of our clients. Since the pandemic, digital delivery of services has become table stakes.

In a future world greatly changed by COVID-19, being able to conduct simple actions digitally is a requirement, and finding points of differentiation will require more continual investment and dedicated focus from the entire executive leadership group. In this new world, we are seeing three main types of customers.

First, there are the digitally mature. These organizations have made prior investments in digital and have established digital customers; think Chick-fil-A or Chipotle. Chick-fil-A moved on mobile ordering long before it was an industry standard. Chipotle has easily been able to flex the power of its digital platform and has seen 50% growth in its loyalty enrollment and digital sales soaring 80.8%.

Next, there are those that were early-stage digital—firms that had started to digitize backend processes and develop customer-facing digital touchpoints. These companies have had a low rate of digital purchases as a percentage of total sales (less than 5%). These firms can compete and drive rapid acquisition of net-new digital customers and retain those customers with relevant experiences and digitally delivered services. In order to do this, however, these companies will need to find a way to prioritize significant spending on customer-facing digital experiences in a time when every single dollar spent is scrutinized by the entire leadership team.

Last, there are the disrupted firms, organizations that had established business models that were performing well before COVID-19 and now have to completely reinvent themselves. When is the next time you plan on going to a music festival or live event with densely packed crowds? Firms in this camp also include discount retailers with variable inventory that doesn’t make sense for digital, such as Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx.

Within this camp, we are seeing two variants: those that have been disrupted by COVID-19 and consumer behavior changes (i.e., movie theaters, live events, discount retail, etc.), and those who are utilizing the pandemic as a time to disrupt themselves (think Frito-Lay’s recent launch of Snacks.com). Either way, digital is a journey that requires years of maturation, and these firms have to adapt, test, and learn at light speed.

I realize I may be biased, but what I’m saying is the truth—there is likely nothing more important to the survival of your firm than to invest in meeting customers where they are. It’s not just about COVID-19, it’s about very clear and quantifiable changes in consumer behavior that are mandating changes in the way business is universally conducted. Digital is a tool; how you use that tool to accomplish goals, retain existing customers, and attract new customers is what will determine the winners and losers in this new-world order.

This Q&A is part of an ongoing series of Dallas Regional Chamber interviews with representatives from our member organizations about how they are facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

This article was originally published in DallasInnovates.com.

June 30, 2020

Finding Pride through Advocacy: Rocketeers create grassroots fundraiser for LGBTQIA+ community

Here’s the story about how this 3-inch rainbow sticker raised over $1,000 for The Trevor Project and sparked a larger conversation for change and awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community at Bottle Rocket.

I’m Rebekah, the Office Experience Assistant, at Bottle Rocket. The biggest portion of my job that I take pride in, is the ability to amplify the voices of others and be the advocate for positive ideas. In my support role, I am proud to advocate for ideas both big and small.

I’ve been happy to help turn fun ideas such as a gumbo cook-off for Mardi Gras, to a candy-gram valentine’s fundraiser for the American Heart Association, to the hopes of a large-scale Mid-century space themed Holiday Party, into a reality!

Little did we know that come March the fun in-person events would no longer be possible. On March 5th,we had our last in-person meeting with our volunteer group, called LIFT, which is a combination of the “party-planning committee” and an activism group. As all of our jobs have adapted to the circumstances, we knew that all events, including Pride, would have to adapt as well.

I am confident I am not alone when I say that this Pride Month has felt unlike any other. With the murder of George Floyd, we watched Americans rise to action, amidst our quarantine, to speak out, march and sign petitions, in passionate effort to fight against racism, systemic injustice and police brutality that we have witnessed in our country for many years.

We did not want the momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement to be hindered, but instead amplified moving into Pride Month 2020. If it were not for trans activists of color such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and countless others who fought during the Stonewall riots and protests, the progress in our country wouldn’t be where it is today.   

John Sarmiento, Madison Luzarraga and Michaela Banks

Meanwhile at Bottle Rocket, a grassroots effort began to take shape. I partnered with a team of three, another LGBTQIA+ ally and Talent Operations Generalist; Madison, a co-worker who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and Experience Design Researcher; John, and a talented Rocketeer and Visual Designer; Mika, to create this Pride sticker fundraiser campaign!

When it comes to scrappy grassroots efforts, this is the definition. We started by drafting a request for this internal initiative to adapt our beloved BR logo to a rainbow version to be sold as a sticker. We created and posed an internal poll to decide which LGBTQIA+ organization we would collectively like to donate proceeds. We drafted emails on the cost approval to create this magical 3-inch circle to be mailed and proudly displayed.

Thanks to the talented Mika, we had 8+ iterations of the beautiful rainbow BR logo within two hours, with the speed of our leadership we had approval for internal use the following day, and thanks to Sticker Mule we had stickers in tow by the following week.

In the span of 10 days, we received approvals, produced a sticker that our co-workers loved and selected an organization that members of our company were excited to support! The beauty of teamwork!

We were thrilled that we landed on donating all our sticker proceeds to The Trevor Project, which offers accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services to LGBTQIA+ youth that create safe, accepting and inclusive environments over the phone, online and through text. (More info here: https://www.thetrevorproject.org)

To date, we’ve sold over 128 stickers within our 180 staffed company. Through the sale of the $3 stickers, Rocketeers offering to match total donations and the efforts of our parent company Ogilvy offering donation matching, by the end of June 2020, we will have $1,000 in donations.

We were thrilled to see Bottle Rocket elect to publicly change our logo to the proud rainbow design, and we are challenging everyone to display more actions that reflect the support of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are proud to see continued efforts with Inclusion and Diversity teams at Bottle Rocket as well to provide a safe and equitable work culture.

Now from my couch at home, I work on my laptop that proudly displays a circular sticker with the two letters, ‘BR’, blanketed by the 6 stripes that create a gorgeous rainbow, and I feel pride. Though it may feel small, the pride is found in the passion it takes to continue to advocate, educate and partner with communities that are often silenced. 

We must continue to advocate for the many members of the community, such as the Black trans deaths of Tony McDade, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton and those who have not yet been counted. Every step towards justice counts.

So, I encourage you, be a trailblazer. The path may seem unclear, but find a team you trust, even if it’s just four, and lift each other up. Happy Pride month, from me, Madison, John, Mika and everyone else at Bottle Rocket. Together we stand.

June 16, 2020

Juneteenth’s Celebration of Freedom Adds Momentum to Movement for Racial Equality, Justice

Juneteenth is a 155-year-old annual celebration of freedom and independence for African Americans in the United States.

The holiday, named by combining June and 19, commemorates when slaves in Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865, nearly two-and-a-half years after it was signed. It was on that day that Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with federal troops to announce the end of the Civil War and inform enslaved people of their freedom. Gen. Granger’s announcement gave freedom to more than 250,000 slaves in Texas.

Juneteenth celebrations have grown since the late 1800s and include prayer, family gatherings, barbecues, and parades, according to Juneteenth.com. In 1980, Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday, and today 45 other states have designated it as a state holiday. A 2018 U.S. Senate resolution to designate June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day, a national holiday, has not yet reached the House. Juneteenth is also called Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, or Juneteenth Independence Day.

This year, the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery ignited national protests and actions from businesses, including a renewed interest in recognition of Juneteenth. Twitter, Square, Nike, Vox Media, the National Football League, and others have added the day as a paid holiday, calling for reflection and cultivation of knowledge of Black history and culture.

Here’s how some Dallas Region organizations are recognizing Juneteenth:

Big Thought

Dallas-based Big Thought is a nonprofit focused on race and economics in education, arts and culture, and community development. When President and CEO Byron Sanders sent out an all-staff email on the observance of the July 4 holiday, he received one back from an employee stating many ancestors of the students they teach would not have been free July 4, but rather celebrate their freedom on Juneteenth.

“We can celebrate our independence, freedom, and liberty as a country, but at the same time, we must acknowledge that not everyone was free,” Sanders said. “Not until we emancipated slaves could we say that we were living up to the ideals of freedom and everyone on paper truly was free. We are not free until we all are free.”

Big Thought held an executive meeting and decided to make Juneteenth a paid staff holiday.

“Being not racist isn’t enough,” Sanders said. “It has to become a part of who you are. It takes self-reflection and looking at how you combat racism. How do you make sure the many other systems of racism can be chipped away at from your organization?”

Bottle Rocket

Addison-based Bottle Rocket, a digital experience and technology consultancy, added to the momentum of a movement for racial justice and equality, and launched the Juneteenth Movement, an online starter kit of resources for companies to find actionable ways to support racial equality and create an effort to join Dallas businesses together to create actionable change. The project was born out of an internal Slack workspace thread titled “Bottle Rocket for Justice” that became a collaborative internal aggregation of resources on racial injustice and equality.

“There is something about this moment that I think a lot of people felt was different; the momentum has generated hope,” said Bottle Rocket Founder and CEO Calvin Carter. “Momentum is a powerful thing. It is the hardest thing to build and the easiest thing to lose. So, when you have momentum, you have to build on it.”

In addition, Bottle Rocket will observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday and day of reflection, learning, and action for its 250 Dallas Region employees. The company has also created an advisory board to review all internal processes from diverse recruiting and training, to marketing collateral, and contract language.

“We’ve looked at ourselves in the mirror, and we know we can do better,” said Joslin Sansom, Senior Vice President of Client Services at Bottle Rocket. “The passion our company has to continue to impact change is a long-term goal that will be woven into the fabric our company, in our DNA, and in every action we take to really create a future culture.”

Carter also echoed Sanders’ thoughts on the need to intentionally combat racism and noted that, to achieve true diversity and inclusion, business leaders must have a specific focus on racial equity in their plans. Under the umbrella of diversity, Sanders said race is the largest contributor to the gap of equity and success in a U.S. household.

“Learning can only start when we look at ourselves in the mirror and admit our failures and lack of true understanding and awareness,” Carter said. “But once the admission is made, a clearing is created where change and progress can take hold and beat back the inertia of the current state.”

Dallas Mavericks

Following a community conversation, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall has created the Mavs Take ACTION plan to address six systems of racism and oppression: public policy, employment, child welfare, criminal justice, education, and health care. Additionally, the Dallas Mavericks gave employees Juneteenth off to reflect on resources and educate themselves on the holiday. She said it is important at this time in our nation’s history for everyone to honor and celebrate African American heritage and culture.

“Juneteenth, the end of slavery in the United States, is a very important part of our story,” Marshall said. “Black families were finally able to begin their journey by becoming U.S. citizens, to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – but we still have a lot of work to do. We can reflect on the past to help us continue the fight for racial equality.”

Additionally, Mavs employees will be invited to join an NBA virtual watch party for a Magnolia Pictures’ film premier about the life and legacy of John Lewis entitled, “John Lewis: Good Trouble.”

How to Learn, Reflect, and Take Action

This article was published in DallasChamber.org

June 16, 2020

Nike and 47 more companies just made Juneteenth a paid holiday

In 1865, June 19 marked the end of the Civil War and slavery

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is a celebration of the date that the Union Army’s Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and declared the end of both the Civil War and slavery — June 19, 1865. Although the Emancipation Proclamation declared the end of slavery on Jan. 1, 1863, it wasn’t until 2 1/2 years later that the war ended and all slaves were actually emancipated.

Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1866, with Texans memorializing the momentous occasion as a day of celebration and community. Since then, it’s come to be recognized as a holiday or official observance in 46 states and Washington, D.C., Forbes reported.

Although Juneteenth is not yet a federal holiday, these companies are taking it upon themselves to give their employees a paid day off on June 19 — and some also are donating to fight inequality

Nike

Nike CEO John Donahoe announced the Juneteenth holiday in a letter to employees obtained by CNN.

“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,” Donahoe said in the letter.  “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 your internal experience. You have told me that we have not consistently supported, recognized and celebrated our own Black teammates in a manner they deserve. This needs to change.”

Lyft

“Starting this year, we’re making Juneteenth an official holiday at Lyft,” the ride-share company announced on Twitter. “It’s one step in our ongoing journey toward racial equality at Lyft, and in this country.”

NFL
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL teams explaining the significance of Juneteenth and why he has chosen to close all league offices in observance.

“The power of this historical feat in our country’s blemished history is felt each year, but there is no question that the magnitude of this event weighs even more heavily today in the current climate,” he said in the letter, obtained by ESPN reporter 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.”

Postmates

“Starting today @Postmates will observe Juneteenth as a permanent company holiday,” the delivery app’s CEO Bastian Lehmann announced on Twitter. “Not just in response to the moment — but to allow all of us time to reflect on the Black American experience (from 1619 to today) & the actions required to move forward together.”

Spotify

A Spotify spokeswoman told The Dallas Morning News that the company is recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all U.S. employees.

Square

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, tweeted that both companies would be observing Juneteenth.

“Both Twitter and Square are making #Juneteenth (June 19th) a company holiday in the US, forevermore,” he said. “A day for celebration, education, and connection. 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.”

Twitter
As with Square, Dorsey announced that Juneteenth will be a company holiday for Twitter.

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney CEO Jill Soltau sent a memo to staffers obtained by Footwear News announcing that June 19 would be a paid day off for employees, with hourly workers to receive additional holiday pay for working on that day.

“I ask that you take the day to honor the historic pain caused by — and lives lost to — racial inequity and celebrate racial diversity,” Soltau said. “This is an opportunity to continue to learn, connect with each other and reflect on how we can move forward and achieve permanent and lasting change.”

Mastercard

In a letter from the Mastercard management committee shared with its employees, the company announced that June 19 would be designated Mastercard Day of Solidarity.

“This will be a Community Day and how you spend it is entirely up to you,” the letter stated. “We have a way to go to bring equality and justice to all – and it won’t be easy. As one step, we hope this Day of Solidarity allows you to reset, refresh and extend decency and compassion to yourself and to others.”

The New York Times

The New York Times management team announced Juneenth as a flex holiday.

“We have much more work to do on racial equity, but I appreciate the gesture from management,” tweeted John Eligon, who covers race for the paper. “Hopefully it’s a sign of more meaningful change to come.”

Vox

Vox Media’s chief executive Jim Bankoff announced in a company memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Mullin that Juneteenth would be observed as a company holiday. Bankoff also announced that Vox would be launching a fellowship program focused on historically black colleges and universities and members of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Adobe

In a letter sent to all Adobe employees by the president and chief executive officer Shantanu Narayen and chief human resources officer Gloria Chen, the company announced that Juneteenth would be a 2020 holiday.

“This year, on June 19th, we are giving all Adobe employees the day off to focus on reflection and advocacy,” the letter stated.

Eventbrite

“Eventbrite is observing #Juneteenth as an official global company holiday — this year and always,” the company posted on LinkedIn. “We are committed to racial justice, supporting the global Black Lives Matter movement, and stand in solidarity with our Black Britelings and creators everywhere.”

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have designated Juneteenth as a permanent paid company holiday for all of its employees, NBA.com reported.

“I am proud of the decision our organization has made to recognize Juneteenth as a company holiday this year and going forward,” Camye Mackey, chief people, diversity and inclusion officer for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena told the site. “This is one of many steps we’ll take to support the positive change we need to see in society.”

VSCO

“This year and beyond, VSCO will recognize #Juneteenth (June 19) as a company holiday,” the photo and video editing tools company announced on Twitter.

Quicken Loans

“#JuneteenthDay will be a paid holiday for team members who choose to commemorate this day,” Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner announced on Twitter. “We are encouraging those team members to use it to have a voice, to contribute to the community, to celebrate their identity, or use it to learn more about addressing racial inequity.”

United Talent Agency

“UTA will annually recognize and observe #Juneteenth and shut down business throughout U.S. offices,” the talent agency shared on LinkedIn. “The intention behind participating in Juneteenth is rooted in wanting to give UTA employees the opportunity, if they choose, to continue to celebrate, focus on additional conversations and education, or use the day to honor this moment in a way that feels best for them.”

Endeavor

Entertainment company Endeavor announced that Juneteenth would be an official company holiday for all U.S. employees, Deadline reported.

Live365

Internet radio company Live365 announced in a blog post that it had made Juneteenth an official company holiday in the U.S.

“Observing Juneteenth is a vital step in truly acknowledging the history of the United States,” Justin Ruoff, vice president of operations, said in the post. “At Live365, we will be using the day to learn more about Black American history and culture, and our hope is that more businesses will do the same.”

Premier Lacrosse League

“The PLL will be instituting a company holiday for June 19th in perpetuity, commemorating the day that marked the end of slavery in the United States,” the sports league announced on Twitter.

InfluxData

“This year, InfluxData will observe Juneteenth as a holiday for employees,” the company tweeted. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate progress, reflect, and educate ourselves on the history of inequality in America and the work ahead to create a more just society.”

19th News

Nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom 19th News made Juneteenth a staff holiday, the company’s editor at large Errin Haines shared on Twitter.

“I am proud to work with colleagues who are listening and *responding* — something I know goes beyond this moment, but also means a lot right now,” she tweeted. “I love this newsroom.”

Boschan Corp.

Culver City, California-based accounting firm Boschan Corp. announced on LinkedIn that the company would be closing its offices on June 19.

“Juneteenth is a holiday, a day for celebration, connection, and education,” the company wrote.

Citrine Informatics

Artificial intelligence platform Citrine Informatics announced in a company blog post that Juneteenth would be observed as a company holiday as part of its efforts to support the black community and Black Lives Matter.

“The work of being an ally falls to those who have benefitted from great privilege throughout our lives,” the blog post stated. “Therefore, we realize that our responsibility as an organization lies with each of us, as allies, not with those who have experienced a lifetime of discrimination.”

Harper + Scott

Design and manufacturing studio Harper + Scott announced on LinkedIn that the company will be observing Juneteenth as a corporate holiday.

“While it is obvious that systemic racism has prevented Black communities from experiencing true freedom in the US, by observing Juneteenth we stand in solidarity and acknowledge the amount of work that has yet to be done,” the post stated. “As we follow the example of companies who have done this before us, we hope that it becomes obligatory for every company after us.”

Flatiron Family Medical

“Flatiron Family Medical will be closed on this and all June 19ths moving forward to commemorate Juneteenth,” the New York-based medical group shared on Facebook.

HireClub

“Going forward Juneteenth will be a paid company holiday for HireClub,” the company’s CEO Ketan Anjaria shared on LinkedIn. “A day where our team can remember and celebrate this important day in American history.”

PagerDuty

Jennifer Tejada, CEO of the operations platform PagerDuty, announced on the company blog that Juneteenth would be observed as a “Day for Change.”

“During this time, Dutonians (PagerDuty employees) will be asked to use their voices to advocate for equity and critical reform for the Black community,” she wrote. “From education to volunteerism, we’re offering opportunities for all of our employees to contribute and incite change. Specifically, we invite them to:

  • Volunteer with causes that advocate for the rights of the Black community and other marginalized groups
  • Participate in peaceful activism close to their home
  • Educate themselves on the key issues at hand and how to create positive, long-term change
  • Financially contribute to organizations aimed at the sustainable development and advancement of Black communities, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Black Lives Matter.”

Pulumi

“We’re making #Juneteenth a company holiday, have launched a donation-matching program for staff and will be reading @IjeomaOluo’s ‘So You Want To Talk About Race’ as a team to deepen the conversation,” Seattle-based tech company Pulumi announced on Twitter.


Social Driver

“Social Driver is making Juneteenth a company holiday,” the digital agency announced on Twitter. “We encourage you to consider the promises of freedom not yet realized and we invite other employers to join us.”

Universe

“We are celebrating Juneteenth, aka FREEDOM DAY, next Friday,” website design platform Universe shared on Twitter. “We’ll be off from our normal work, but we’ll spend the day protesting, building, and speaking out to push forward the march of freedom for all.”

Praytell

“We’re taking Juneteenth off from work,” the Brooklyn, New York-based agency tweeted. “You should too.”

Spark Capital

Spark Capital announced on Twitter that June 19 would be a company holiday, “a day we’ll spend reflecting, volunteering, and further educating ourselves.”

Wondersauce

“Beginning Friday, June 19th, 2020, we will be closing our offices in observance of Juneteenth as a day to honor, learn, and reflect,” Wondersauce, a digital agency, shared on its website. “We’ve added this date to our handbook and will be observed company-wide moving forward.”

Emtrain

Emtrain, a company that provides online HR, compliance and harassment training, stated in a company blog post that it “celebrates Juneteenth in solidarity with and support for Black Lives Matter,” and recommended that other companies observe the day as a holiday as well.

“Not only does it signal to black employees that you stand with them through this tumultuous and emotional civil rights movement, but you are acknowledging to your entire community that the black experience and the struggles that they have had to endure is one worth acknowledging,” the blog post stated.

Civic

Digital wallet company Civic shared on Facebook that Juneteenth would be an official paid holiday for its employees.

Bottle Rocket

Dallas-based digital experience consultancy Bottle Rocket designated June 19 “as a company-wide day of reflection, learning and action for its 250 employees and invites other organizations to do the same,” the company stated in a press release.

“The company has created a starter pack of ideas and resources for reflection, learning and action that can help any company or organization quickly organize and join the movement,” the release continued.

One Planet

Investment firm One Planet shared on Facebook that Juneteenth would be observed as a company holiday to be used as a day of service.

“It is about time we give Juneteenth the rightful reverence it deserves — this is the true independence date in American history on which ALL people were granted freedom,” the post stated. “On this day, One Planet employees have a paid day off. We must challenge ourselves to engage in service, no matter how small, so that we will eventually be able to heal the racial wounds in this country. Serving humanity is the only way to bring people together.”

FinancialForce

“As we continue our commitment to reinforce a culture of equality, we are closing our doors on Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day) to give employees a day to stop, reflect, and learn about diversity, inclusion, and bias,” computer software company FinancialForce shared on LinkedIn. “Recognizing that meaningful change does not happen in a single moment in time, but requires deep and ongoing commitment, our employees are engaging in open forums and planning ways to use company-granted volunteer days to take action in their own communities and through their own networks. We look forward to sharing our individual and shared voices through this journey.”

Optimizely

“Optimizely has declared #Juneteenth (June 19th) a company holiday in the U.S to enable our employees to self-educate and take actions regarding issues of race and social justice,” the experience optimization platform shared in a company blog post.

Accordion Partners

Financial services company Accordion Partners shared on LinkedIn that as part of its commitment to making “long-term, meaningful improvements across our organization, our industry, and the communities where we live and work,” it would be making Juneteenth a company holiday.

“We’ll be closed for business to stand in solidarity – because #BlackLivesMatter.”

Mad Fish Digital

“Mad Fish Digital will be closed Friday, June 19th to observe Juneteenth, a day celebrating the end of slavery in America,” the digital marketing agency stated on its website. “We hope our partners and friends take the day to honor and learn about the culture, experience and achievements of Black people, and take actionable steps to dismantle white supremacy.”

Sequoia Capital

“We @sequoia will mark #Juneteenth as a company holiday this year and every year,” Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia tweeted. “We will honor this day to learn and reflect on how we can be a part of the solution to racial injustice, and take personal actions to support civil rights organizations and Black-owned businesses.”

JUV Consulting

Marketing agency JUV Consulting shared in a LinkedIn post that it would be observing Juneteenth as a company holiday.

“We have asked our team not to answer emails, schedule meetings, or conduct business operations on Juneteenth,” the post said. “June 19th is a moment in our country’s history that we do not remember or celebrate enough. This historic day is a time to celebrate the culture, progress, & achievements of African Americans. At this time especially, we must recognize the harsh realities Black communities have faced since the foundation of the US, along with the contributions they continue to make to build & create this state.”

Remine

Remine, a real estate platform, announced on Facebook that the company would be observing Juneteenth as a holiday.

Neuroleadership Institute

David Rock, founder and director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, tweeted that the company was giving its employees June 19 off as a paid holiday to celebrate Juneteenth and for “regeneration time.”

Zenefits

Software company Zenefits announced on Twitter that Juneteenth would be a “permanent company holiday to give our employees the space to celebrate —and help advance— freedom for all.”

Qatalyst Partners

“Qatalyst Partners has established #Juneteenth as a company holiday in recognition that, despite slavery’s demise on June 19, 1865, the deep pain of racial injustice continues to persist, and we’d like to be part of the solution to achieve equal justice and opportunity for all,” the investment bank tweeted.

This article was published on MSN.com

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