Juneteenth: A Time to Celebrate, Commemorate, and Reflect
Juneteenth marks a significant date in American history as the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. This date signifies a time to honor the experiences of African Americans, as well as their sacrifices and contributions throughout history.
In this post, we’re celebrating Juneteenth by highlighting a FormAssembly customer that helps mission-focused organizations improve their DE&I efforts.
On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended and that slaves were now free. The celebration of freedom was called “Juneteenth” and was passed on through family members and descendants of formerly enslaved people.
For many years, Juneteenth wasn’t widely celebrated beyond the African American community, and its celebration was stifled in many ways in the decades that followed. The civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s fueled a resurgence for Juneteenth celebrations, and Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday in 1980. On June 17, 2021, the Biden Administration officially recognized June 19 as a federal holiday by signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.
Now, the recognition of Juneteenth is spreading nationwide, with more celebrations emerging year after year. Throughout history, today, and in the future, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in America, as well as the achievements, history, and culture of African Americans.
Customer highlight: Promise54
This Juneteenth, FormAssembly is honored to highlight our customer, Promise54. Promise54 is one of many organizations that dedicates its mission to pushing back against racial injustice and inequality. The organization’s objective is to help mission-driven organizations create cultures of diversity, equity, and inclusion that allows their employees to maximize their impact.
“Institutionalized oppression, micro-aggressions, discrimination, inequity, and violence still obstruct the path to self-determination and a life trajectory full of choices for people from involuntarily marginalized communities. Race, in particular, remains the strongest single determinant of life outcomes in the US. This can’t continue. Promise54 was formed to enable organizations to deliver on the promise of equity.”–Promise54
Promise54 offers resources and tools that empower organizations to strengthen DE&I, do better, and become radically human. To learn more, explore some of their resources below:
- On Tulsa, Juneteenth, and (Un)Learning Dishonest History
- Moving Past the DEI Checklist – Even in a Remote Environment, by Cornelius Lee and Stephen Pham
- A Chief Diversity Officer Will Not Solve Your Problems, by Constance (CJ) Jones and Xiomara Padamsee
- Unrealized Impact 2.0: The Hard Truth About Where We Are and Ways to Move Forward
- 50 Actions Your Org Can Take After Posting About BLM, by Vanessa Douyon
- Promise54 on Youtube
As we reflect on the historical significance of Juneteenth, we must make a commitment as individuals and organizations to work together toward social justice and racial equality.
Discover more ways to learn and celebrate Juneteenth here. To hear from Black leaders who are blazing trails in the tech industry, check out our blog post, Tech in Black: The Evolution of Diversity in Tech.