Employees Push Companies to Make Juneteenth a Paid Holiday Nationwide

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This year, 2020, many companies are recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday. These companies include Uber, Lyft, Best Buy, Target, Mastercard, Adobe and J.C. Penney. Media companies like The Washington Post and The New York Times are celebrating the holiday too.

Target CEO and chairman Brian Cornell said in a statement on the company’s website, “We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different. Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment.”

Well it’s great the Juneteenth is being recognized by many companies in 2020, many people want it to be recognized as a paid holiday every year. Watch the video below to hear Kamaria Morris explain why this is important to her.

 

Meanwhile, Opal Lee, a 93-year-old woman from Fort Worth, Texas, has started a petition to make Juneteenth a national holiday. She started the petition at the end of 2019, and it already has more than 410,000 signatures. Her goal is to reach 500,000. She would like Juneteenth to be recognized and celebrated the same way we currently recognize the 4th of July as a national holiday. If you would like more information about her petition, you can find it here.

Not sure what Juneteenth is? That’s probably because it’s not taught in school, but Juneteenth is an important part of history. On June 19, 1865, news reached Galveston, Texas, that slavery had officially ended. Union General Gordon Granger arrived in town and read the following proclamation, “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Thus, Juneteenth is the celebration of the end of slavery. That’s certainly a day worth celebrating.

Did your company recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday this year? Do you think Juneteenth should become a national holiday every year?