Many companies are reluctant to accept the June 19 holiday by US companies

As a diversity consultant, Dee Marshall trains Wall Street banks on how to become more hospitable workplaces for people of color. Do you think he will be thrilled when his clients call for help with plans to celebrate his 15th birthday?

It turns out not so much.

“Loves are not encouraged by that,” said Marshall, head of Diverse & Engaged.

Then: murder by police Last year, Flo Floyd Floyd sparked mass protests, sparked racial tensions in the United States, and corporate America adopted the Juneteenth as a way to honor black Americans, to show their commitment to diverse, inclusive workplaces.

Portmanto’s speech marks the fifteenth day of June 19, 1865, when Union Army General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas, to free the last enslaved black Americans. More than two years after the Allies surrendered in the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the end of slavery.

While some black Americans value the late corporate recognition of Juneteenth by making it a paid vacation, others, like Marshall, complain that it seems like an empty gesture, especially when many companies are still obliged to raise Floyd protests. promises of diversity. ,

People carry the 15th sign during a protest rally in Brooklyn, New York, in 2020. June 19 © John Minchillo / AP

“What makes more sense for the population that this is going to be honored?” I do not think they will be too excited about the fifteenth event. “They will be excited when real changes are taking place in the organization,” Marshall said.

Regardless, Juneteenth is now the cornerstone of the racial justice efforts of many companies, including Lyft, Colgate և BP, announcing their holiday acceptance in social impact սոցիալական diversity reports.

About 9 percent of companies will turn 15 this year, according to a survey of employers by consulting firm Mercer, compared to Jr. Day with Martin Luther King 55%. President Biden on Thursday signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday, the 11th of the nation.

The MLK’s founding day campaign began shortly after the assassination of a civil rights leader in 1968;

The debate over the status of the federal holiday of the Juneteenth took place at a time when the United States was struggling to remember its history of institutional racism. Republicans in 20 states have enacted legislation to limit the use of racial critical theory in public schools, an academic strategy used to study institutions from a racial perspective. Conservatives fear that discussing the legacy of discriminatory policies by the United States could fuel anti-American sentiment.

“Even today, as the Conservatives try to erase history with their attacks on critical race theory, understanding the aftermath of systemic racism, we stand here accepting the truth,” Democrat Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts wrote earlier this week. “We will make # fifteenth a federal holiday.”

Duke Anthony Neal, a professor of African-American studies at Duke University, noted that although black Americans in the southwestern United States celebrate the holiday with family gatherings, preparations, and parties, it has never had a “national aftermath” of May 2020.

People in Lisburg, Virginia, Rally Against Teaching Critical Race Theory in Schools © Andrew Caballero / AFP Getty Images

“For many corporations, it was a low-hanging fruit,” Neil said of the companies’ 15th-highest. The date came at most of the Black Lives Matter protests last year, just as many companies were pushing for a public crackdown on racism for the first time.

“If it were Juneteenth in October, it would not have happened,” Marshall said.

Some of the first businesses to offer the Juneteenth Vacation with a day off or overtime pay, including Nike, Square և Mastercard, said they planned to do the same this year.

But in general, commemorative parties are noticeably more muted. General Motors, which stopped for nine minutes last year – when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Shavin knelt on Floyd’s neck – paid tribute to Floyd in the 15th year of last year, said his plans this year include “volunteering” in the community. Involvement. “

Opponents of the holiday noted the financial costs of the missed work. Ron John Onson, Republican Sen. from Wisconsin, who: is blocked Last year, the Nineteenth Legislation estimated the value for federal workers at $ 600 million a year. The US Federal Reserve says most federal employees will be on vacation for the new 15th day on Friday, as June 19 will be reduced on Saturday.

Dakasha Winton, chief executive of the Tennessee-based BlueCross BlueShield insurance agency, says the education direction of a large number of businesses on the 18th holiday makes them worthy.

“Even if you are doing something for the first time, at least you are taking steps to do something, that’s the key,” Winton said.

The New York-based RF Binder Public Relations Diversity Working Group voted to add June 15 to its list of paid vacations և to eliminate another 15th-century Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, to make room for it.

“There’s something very meaningful about giving up Columbus Day for Juneteenth,” said CEO Amy Binder. “Columbus Day marks the invasion of the Western world, the seizure of it from Native Americans. Maybe that’s not a good idea.”

For Marshall, the recognition of the Juneteenth is significant only for black workers when they are part of a unified diversity, justice: inclusion program.

“This day just does not commemorate the past,” Biden said shortly before the holiday came into force. “It calls for action today.”

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