Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a celebration held annually on June 19 that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas were told by Union troops that slavery was over—two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
Juneteenth, unlike Independence Day, is not a federal holiday. However, many companies are choosing to make Juneteenth a permanent paid holiday beginning this year, in a show of solidarity and support with Black Americans.
One such company is Nike (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report. CEO John Donahue made the announcement that U.S. Nike employees will get Juneteenth off as a paid holiday in an internal memo to staff on Thursday.
“When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand,” said Donahoe in the memo.
“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,” tweeted Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both companies.
Other companies that have declared Juneteenth an official holiday include: Lyft (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc Class A Report, Postmates, RXBar, Spotify (SPOT) - Get Spotify Technology SA Report, Target (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report, and Best Buy (BBY) - Get Best Buy Co., Inc. Report, to name a few.
This year, the NFL will recognize Juneteenth as a league holiday.
Maven, TheStreet's parent company, has also declared Juneteenth a permanent company paid holiday.
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