Juneteenth is a day of great significance to Americans, which acknowledges the end of slavery in the United States and serves as a massive milestone in the ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all. On this day, Trust & Will encourages team members to reflect, learn, and celebrate the struggles and accomplishments of Black people in America.
The Importance of Juneteenth
Juneteenth comes from “June” and “nineteenth,” referencing the date that marked the end of slavery in America. On June 19, 1865, or “Juneteenth,” (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day) the last remaining slaves in the US were read the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing them and abolishing slavery.
Juneteenth continues to be important today not only because it marked the end of slavery all those years ago, but because it is a day for Black Americans to celebrate their historical story of perseverance. Historian Jarvis Givens notes that Juneteenth has become “a ritualized, political holiday that tells and retells the story of Black people’s ongoing struggle in a nation that’s so invested in forgetting.”
Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth
Historically, Juneteenth has not been recognized as a holiday; however, President Biden is expected to officially sign the bill passed in congress recognizing the date as a Federal holiday. At Trust & Will, we encourage employees to take the day off in observance of the holiday and to support Black-owned businesses, donate to a favorite nonprofit organization, and get educated on the history of Juneteenth.
Learn More About the Holiday
There are some great resources online to learn more about the history of Juneteenth and what it’s all about. For the holiday’s full history, including a timeline of events and images from that time period, check out this article. We really enjoyed this NY Times article about the holiday’s significance and how people across the U.S. celebrate it.
13th is a thought-provoking documentary film directed by Ava DuVernay, which explores the history of the 13th amendment and how that impacts our world today. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and was adopted to the American Constitution in 1865. This film explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the US.
Support Black Creators and Business Owners
A great way to observe Juneteenth is by supporting Black-owned businesses and creators. Support Black-owned businesses by trying apps like EatOkra, that helps you locate Black-owned restaurants in your area. If you are thinking of purchasing a new book, consider purchasing from one of these Black owned bookstores. You can also check out Goodreads’ 2021 list of the 66 Most Anticipated Fiction by Black Authors. You can also check out, support, and listen to Black artists on Spotify by browsing playlists such as Black Lives Matter, Black Girl Magic, and The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975.
We are always proud of the ways Trust & Will can make a difference, especially this Juneteenth. This year, all team members will get the day off as a paid holiday. Trust & Will also is encouraging the team to support local Black-owned businesses by reimbursing staff members for meals at a Black-owned restaurant.
Trust & Will will be donating a portion of all sales on June 19th to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. They are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice. Trust & Will encourages members of our team to donate to organizations like EJI by matching charitable donations up to $250 annually per employee.
If you want to make a donation this Juneteenth, consider EJI or one of these organizations: