Juneteenth has slipped under the radar until recent years, but due to an ever-changing society and a new understanding of our nation’s history, it’s finally getting the limelight it deserves.
If you’re not familiar with this seemingly brand-new holiday, it began on June 19th, 1865. That’s the day the final slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas at the end of the American Civil War, and it has been celebrated across the nation every June 19th ever since.
For the general public, Juneteenth is a day to come together and celebrate freedom with backyard barbecues, unity-focused gatherings, and even prayer in more religious communities. In some cities, there are even community-wide celebrations such as parades and block parties to celebrate the holiday.
However, while corporations and small businesses were slow to hop into the Juneteenth festivities, they’ve become far more active in recent years. Of course, you probably didn’t notice this in 2020, due to COVID-19 precautions and restrictions, but this year, you’ll likely see a dramatic increase in company participation as the nation continues to get back into full swing.
Here are five exciting ways companies are planning to celebrate Juneteenth in 2021.
Paid Time Off
One exciting way American companies are showing their appreciation and helping their employees celebrate Juneteenth is by simply offering paid time off for the occasion. Nearly 39% of companies are closing up shops and allowing their employees to celebrate such a monumental part of history without having to worry about missing out on their paychecks.
While not everyone will get to enjoy this accommodation, it’s worth checking with your employer to see if perhaps you could be paid to join the celebration.
While not quite the same as paid time off, many businesses will be closing their doors on Juneteenth to show their support and allow their employees to participate in their local celebrations. This doesn’t just include private businesses, though.
Federal and state-level government services will begin closing on the 19th of June starting in 2022. This is due to the unofficial holiday currently being passed through multiple legislative systems to become a national and state-level holiday.
If you’re lucky enough to work at one of the participating businesses, or you’re a government employee, you may just get a day off to reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth and enjoy the festivities yourself!
Juneteenth is about much more than just barbeques or getting paid time off from your employer. It’s also a time to reflect on a pivotal moment in American history, the way that moment has affected the population over 155 years, and what still needs to be done moving forward.
To help with this, some companies are holding virtual events to not only celebrate such a monumental achievement, but also to educate their workforce and the rest of the American population on the importance and meaning behind Juneteenth. There are dozens of Juneteenth virtual events springing up as we approach the long-awaited holiday, and you’re just a Google search away from finding one to participate in.
This approach is even more popular in 2021 due to the ongoing concerns revolving around COVID-19, and it allows those who are still a bit cautious about group gatherings to take part in the celebration.
As you probably know, brands oftentimes tend to be all about profitability. So, when they do something selfless to promote a great cause, it’s something to take notice of.
In the case of Juneteenth, brands aren’t waiting for it to be passed as a national holiday before they start celebrating it. Most of the biggest brands, and many of the lesser-known brands, are making a statement come June 19th.
On June 19th or even a few days before in some cases, you can expect to see brand messaging on social media platforms change from marketing content to educational and supportive content promoting Juneteenth.
You’ve most likely seen this happening for Pride month and other celebrations, but it’s finally time for Juneteenth to get the support and attention it deserves from the brands we all know and love.
Juneteenth Promotional Sales
You shouldn’t be surprised by this given corporate America’s marketization of nearly everything, but Juneteenth will be a prime time for you to enjoy some exciting promotional sales. More importantly, many of these sales also function as donation drives that directly fund POC communities and civil rights organizations around the country.
Just to name one of such promotions, Bandcamp will be donating 100% of the day’s profits to the NAACP to fund their efforts. Nike, Amazon, and other major brands are planning some impressive sales with similar donations in mind, too.
Not only can you save a few bucks during Juneteenth, but you can rest easy knowing that some of your hard-earned cash is going to a good cause.
Get Out There and Celebrate Juneteenth!
Each year, Juneteenth gains more and more attention across the nation. Whether you’re a business owner looking to do your part, or you’re just an average citizen looking to celebrate a pivotal moment in American history, Juneteenth is a perfect opportunity to do so.
We’ve listed several ways companies are getting in on the festivities, but there are tons of other ways for you to chip in or celebrate, and once it is passed as a legal national holiday, you can expect to see a lot more. Start celebrating Juneteenth, today!