It is a growing movement for freedom and recognition
Juneteenth, a federal holiday established two years ago, is being celebrated today to honor the liberation of African Americans from slavery. Furthermore, an increasing number of companies are acknowledging this significant day.
According to Charlotte Burrows, the Chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Juneteenth, also known as ‘Freedom Day,’ ‘Emancipation Day,’ or ‘Juneteenth Independence Day,’ is a commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. In her statement, she highlighted that this day is a celebration of the courage and bravery displayed by African Americans in their fight for freedom, ultimately contributing to the betterment of the nation. Burrows expressed admiration for their resilience and acknowledged their strength.
The Pew Research Center has reported that this year, at least 28 states and the District of Columbia have legally recognized Juneteenth. Additionally, Mercer’s findings indicate that 39% of employers have designated Juneteenth as a holiday this year, showing an increase from 33% last year.
While acknowledging the progress made, Burrows also emphasized that the battle for racial justice is far from over. She drew attention to the high-profile cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other people of color whose deaths have exposed the complex issues of systemic discrimination, economic inequality, and equal employment opportunities. Burrows emphasized that the EEOC continues to encounter instances of racist graffiti, allusions to slavery and lynching, and even nooses in workplaces across the country. These deplorable acts of hatred and bigotry serve as reminders of the urgent need for the EEOC’s work in combating such injustices.