Today is Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the US. This year, with diversity at top of mind, several companies in the workforce ecosystem are observing Juneteenth.
Human cloud firm Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted the company was making today a paid day off for workers.
“We encourage employee to spend it in a way that allows them to stand up against racism, whether that’s by learning, participating in a community action, or reflecting on how to make change,” Khosrowshahi wrote.
Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West also discussed what Juneteenth means to him in USA Today.
“Our corporate C-suites still portray a dearth of diversity that leaves talented voices sidelined,” West said. “And George Floyd’s death in police custody — like too many Black victims before and since — reminds us that within the gap between promises of equality and daily reality lie deadly consequences.”
Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) also announced it would make Juneteenth a holiday.
“In recognizing the historical legacy of slavery, Lyft also acknowledges that Juneteenth represents the day the last Black people were freed from slavery, as Union soldiers arrived in Galveston [Texas] on June 19th, 1865,” Lyft wrote in a blog post. “This official end was the first step in a long journey of liberation and equality. And well after slavery, the Black community continues to endure discrimination.”
Human cloud firm Postmates also made the day a holiday for company workers, founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann wrote in a tweet.
Several staffing firms also weighed in with posts.
The American Staffing Association announced its headquarters was closed today in observance of Juneteenth.
In addition, this week LaFawn Davis, VP of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Indeed, released a post on 10 ways employers can take action to build a safe place for all employees to feel heard and supported.
And CNBC listed large firms observing Juneteenth this year.