LOS ANGELES - A growing list of companies have decided to officially make Juneteenth a paid company holiday.
Google, Target, and the NFL have joined other prominent companies and organizations across the country that have decided to observe Juneteenth as a recognized holiday.
Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. These decisions come in the wake of George Floyd's death and global protests demanding racial justice and equality.
Target officials wrote in a statement that the company is “committed to standing with black families, communities and team members and creating lasting change around racial justice and equity.
”Target’s Chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell wrote, “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.
”Target employees working on June 19 will be offered paid time and a half.
The NFL announced that it will observe Juneteenth on June 19 as a recognized holiday and close all league offices.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in an internal memo to teams and staff, "It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future."
On Thursday, the league said it will commit $250 million over 10 years to social justice reform.
Google has instructed employees to cancel unnecessary meetings on Juneteenth, according to a staff memo seen by Reuters.
According to the memo, “We encourage all Googlers to use this day to create space for learning and reflection, so please don’t schedule any unnecessary meetings."
U.S. Bank announced that it will close its offices and branches at 1 p.m. local time on June 19 to recognize Juneteenth.
Adam Cecere, chairman, president and CEO of U.S. Bank, wrote, “We are encouraging our employees to use this time to serve in our communities, commit to inclusion and advocacy, or simply educate themselves on this very important topic.”
Best Buy will celebrate Juneteenth by giving all employees a paid volunteer day.
Starting next year, Best Buy announced that Juneteenth will become a formal, paid company holiday.
In a statement from the company, Best Buy said it “is committed to doing better; specifically, taking action to address the racial injustice in our society and communities.”Best Buy made the decision to begin the paid company holiday policy next year only because “June 19 is just a few days away, and we wanted to give as much flexibility as possible to accommodate individual schedules.”
Both Twitter and Square recently made the decision to make Juneteenth a company holiday.
The news was announced on its platform Twitter, where they called Juneteenth a day for celebration, education, and connection.Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, wrote, “Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation, and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present.”
On Nike’s “Purpose” webpage, the company announced that it will recognize Juneteenth as an annual holiday in the U.S.
Nike wrote that it has “given more than $27 million in the last five years to community organizations that help predominantly African American youth in underserved communities achieve their full potential through sport and mentorship.”
In addition, NIKE, Inc. said that they would made a $40 million commitment over the next four years to support the Black community in the U.S. on behalf of the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands.
The ride-sharing company made its announcement on Twitter that it would make Juneteeth a company-wide holiday.
Lyft’s post read in part, “It’s one step in our ongoing journey twoard racial equality at Lyft, and in this country.”
The post went on further to explain in detail what Juneteenth is.
On June 10, Postmates CEO Bastien Lehmann posted on Twitter to announce the company’s decision to observe Juneteenth as a permanent company holiday.
He wrote that it was, “Not just in response to the moment—but to allow all of us time to reflect on the Black American experience (from 1619 to today) & the actions required to move forward together.”
Other companies that are officially recognizing Juneteenth include Adobe, the New York Times, Vox, Buzzfeed, Mastercard, LendingTree, Quicken Loans, Glossier and Harvard University.