Juneteenth commemorated the day General Gordon Granger led Union troops into the city of Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to assume control of the state and free enslaved people nearly two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Since June 19th has marked the date that slavery finally came to an unofficial end in the United States. Last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in June 2021. Unfortunately, although this is a federal holiday, many businesses and organizations do not have the holiday off for recognition.
If you are a business leader or manager that does not have Juneteenth off, here are some ways to honor and celebrate the holiday in the workplace.
Lunch N’ Learn: “Lunch and Learn” is event employees attend during their lunch break that can feature a presentation or keynote speaker about the selected topic. The employer or employees who provide lunch can bring their lunch with employers selecting a theme for the lunch meeting. This experience is a helpful way to get your team together to break bread and learn about Juneteenth and the importance of the holiday.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt: Throughout the entire country, multiple cities have memorials and pieces of living history related to slavery. With the various locations that have had some mark on slavery, a scavenger hunt will be an excellent way for you and your team to visit these spots and reflect on the nation’s history. Check out local and federal government websites for slave memorials and recognition ceremonies to find these commemorative spots.
Schedule a Virtual Museum Tour: Instead of having employees focus on daily tasks for the business/organization, you may want to schedule a virtual tour of a museum. There are many institution tour guides and curators to design a tour that covers information about black history, Juneteenth, and the dark past of the nation’s struggle that we need to overcome. There’s no limit to the tour you can arrange for your business and organization; however, it is crucial to pick a theme to focus on for the Juneteenth holiday.
To help celebrate ongoing conversations about issues of diversity, equity, and inclusions that need to be handled better, check out speakers Dr. Jermaine Davis and Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Dr. Jermaine Davis, a leadership expert on influencing up, down, and across your organization, empowers his audience with keynote addresses that help employees and business leaders with organizational synergy with a little TLC (teamwork, leadership, and communication) with an inclusive lens. An advocate for empowering youth and women from racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Yassmin Abdel-Magied delivers an excellent keynote speaking on valuing and harnessing diversity.
At EaglesTalent, we are committed to advancing an anti-racist agenda and promoting our speaker to become more equitable in society. We stand in support of racial justice today and every day.
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