As corporations move towards a reconciliation in how to combat racism and support the Black community in the wake of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, Nike, (NKE) adds Juneteenth to the list of its official company holidays. CEO John Donahoe made the announcement in a letter to employees Thursday. Nike joins CEO Jack Dorsey of Twitter who announced on Tuesday, that Twitter will make Juneteenth (June 19th) a companywide holiday.
Dorsey said that both Twitter and payments startup Square, where Dorsey is also CEO, will now designate Juneteenth as a holiday for U.S. employees.
Vox Media Inc. also said in a company memo Tuesday that it will observe Juneteenth as a company holiday. “We hope employees can use the day in your own way for reflection and action as well as a mental break from work,” said CEO Jim Bankoff. The media company will also launch a fellowship program with historically black colleges and universities and offer antiracism resources and training to its employees.
Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 on which, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and announced the news of the proclamation to enslaved African Americans. That coastal area of Texas was the last to hear that the Civil War had ended two months earlier.