Juneteenth 2021: How major companies are celebrating
The racial reckoning that erupted around the globe following Floyd’s murder by a former police officer compelled many Fortune 500 companies to add Juneteenth to their calendars for the first time while also committing billions of dollars to initiatives designed to combat institutional racism.
In honor of Juneteenth, CNN Business talked to 19 major companies about how they plan to celebrate the holiday this weekend:
Amazon Books and the company’s 4-Star brick and mortar stores are also featuring a selection of books highlighting the history of Juneteenth. The company’s Prime Video platform will feature a landing page with a curated selection of movies and series acknowledging and honoring the holiday.
“The collection celebrates Black Excellence, and includes Amazon Originals such as ‘Small Axe’ and ‘The Underground Railroad,'” a company spokesperson said via email.
The iPhone maker is giving US corporate employees a day off on Friday.
“Apple is honoring this day of freedom through week-long events for employees that are designed to educate, build community, and celebrate,” the company said in an emailed statement.
The Dallas-based global telecom conglomerate is encouraging employees to take time off in observance of Juneteenth if they choose.
The company’s chief diversity and development officer Corey Anthony is also sharing a video blog to raise awareness about the holiday.
AT&T owns WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company.
“[Customers] can round up with change to the next highest dollar amount when ordering from the Chipotle app or Chipotle.com,” the company said via email.
One of the Mexican grill restaurant chain’s employee resource groups is hosting activities designed to advance inclusion, access and awareness throughout the month of June. The activities include a Financial Wellness Series and a “Black is…Black Ain’t,” documentary discussion.
Late last year, the bank created a paid day off holiday option called Heritage Day. Its US employees can use their Heritage Day option to celebrate Juneteenth or any holiday “that is most meaningful to them,” according to the company.
The social media giant is hosting a company-wide Juneteenth Day of Learning event on the same day. Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Tina Knowles-Lawson and other prominent figures will share perspectives on the significance of Juneteenth with Facebook staffers who choose to attend.
“Our Juneteenth programming will focus on allyship and storytelling through volunteering and community engagement, hosting internal conversations about the history of Juneteenth, sharing thoughtful employee reflections on what this day means to them,” a company spokesperson said via email.
The gig app company is observing Juneteenth as company holiday and a “day of reflection” on Friday.
Corporate employees in the United States and Canada will be given a paid day off. An Instacart employee resource group will be hosting a “Juneteenth Cel-Liberation” event celebrating Black Cinema and discussing the accomplishments of prominent Black figures in film and television.
Lyft executives are also participating in a roundtable discussion about Juneteenth, voting rights and allyship this week along with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie Campbell.
“We encourage team members to use this day to reflect, participate in civic engagement, or leverage anti-discrimination resources to deepen understanding of the work still needed to support the Black community,” the company said via email.
The Seattle-based Windows software maker is honoring Juneteenth on Monday (June 21) by inviting all its global employees to join in a day of “exploration, learning, and engagement.”
The company’s corporate offices and its Converse distribution centers will be closed on Friday in honor of Juneteenth. Its retail stores and distribution centers will also be closed on Saturday.
“Nike aspires to be a leader in building diverse and inclusive communities, from embedding diversity, equity and inclusion education in every employee’s journey to leveraging our platform to inspire positive change in our communities,” the company said via email.
The exercise equipment and media company is giving employees a paid day off to celebrate Juneteenth on Friday.
“Our field teams will observe it on Saturday,” a Peloton spokesperson said via email.
The Smithsonian Channel
On Wednesday, the Smithsonian Channel unveiled a series of video essays featuring prominent writers, artists, activists, community leaders and teachers discussing Juneteenth. The network said three of the videos will air on the Smithsonian Channel. The others will be featured on the company’s social media sites.
The Smithsonian Channel will also air a six-part docuseries called “Boiling Point” from 1-11pm on Saturday. The Viacom-owned TV network says “Boiling Point” examines the history of systemic racism and police brutality in America.
The coffeemaker said scheduled hourly employees at its stores, distribution centers and plants will receive 1.5 times their regular wage on Saturday in recognition of the holiday.
“On the platform we will engage in community and conversation, and we hope people will join us by using #Juneteenth and #HappyJuneteenth to unlock our custom emoji,” the company said via email. “We’re also planning other activities on-platform with our community partners to amplify conversations around Juneteenth.”
Twitter also said it supports making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States.
The telecom giant says employees can use allotted paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth if they choose.
“For employees who choose to work on Juneteenth, we celebrate and recognize Juneteenth company-wide through a series of employee events,” the company told CNN Business via email.
On Friday, two of Verizon’s senior executive leaders will discuss the historical significance of Juneteenth during a noon ET panel that the company will broadcast internally to employees. The company’s Black Originators Leaders and Doers employee resource group is hosting a separate “Beyond the Conversation” panel event the same day. The second panel will highlight the contributions of Black women-owned businesses.
Wells Fargo’s employees have the option to use one of two personal holidays or allotted paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend.
Retail bank employees can use the personal holidays/PTO pending manager approval, the company said via email.
The bank’s Black and African-American Connection Employee Resource Network has been hosting a series of Juneteenth events this week.
“We hope employees will take time to learn more about the significance of Juneteenth and consider what each of us can do to enrich the American experience for all people,” the company said.
CEO Rich Barton’s digital real estate marketplace added Juneteenth to its holiday calendar last year. The company said it is also giving employees a paid day off on Friday.
Zilllow launched a Juneteenth 2021 resource page on June 10 and hosted a Juneteenth virtual read-along for employees and their children on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Zillow’s Black African Ancestry Network, an employee resource group, hosted an hour-long Juneteenth music celebration.