Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the legacy of slavery and celebrate the cultural contributions of the African American community. Take inspiration from 6 companies celebrating Juneteenth to understand how organizations can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, and foster a culture of acceptance and belonging.
💡 Did you know? Juneteenth has often been called "America's second Independence Day," and while the first federal legislation to recognize Juneteenth was introduced in 1996, it became an official federal holiday in 2021.
6 companies recognizing Juneteenth and supporting African American communities
These organizations have gone beyond symbolic gestures and have engaged in meaningful community outreach initiatives and powerful social media movements to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth in their workplaces.
“Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment [for racial justice]. Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.” – Brian Cornell, CEO at Target.
Target is advancing racial equity through their program Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) and has since pledged $2 billion to help back entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses succeed. In 2021, Target and the Target Foundation announced an investment of $100 million through 2025 to help fuel economic prosperity in Black communities nationwide. In 2022, they launched the Roundel Media Fund and pledged $25 million to support BIPOC brands to offset marketing costs by 2025. They have consistently ranked high on the list of companies recognizing Juneteenth and supporting black communities, employees, and customers.
"This is a time for action. We have an obligation as corporate citizens to ensure the digital economy is enabled for all, an obligation to be part of the positive change Black communities so rightly need now. We are starting in cities across the country with on-the-ground efforts meant to drive out inequities and create the opportunities, connections and resources that will spark economic growth for the long term." — Ajay Banga, CEO at Mastercard.
Mastercard declared Juneteenth as the “Mastercard Day of Solidarity,” to honor a day of service, learning, and reflection. They have committed to investing $500 million to address the wealth and opportunity gap Black communities and businesses in the US face. Mastercard is also collaborating with city leaders to provide access to essential financial tools and support to 1 million residents with access to digital resources.
If you're also looking to recognize Juneteenth through a day of service, head over to our Juneteenth campaign to plan engaging Juneteenth volunteer opportunities for your teams across the US.
"Our approach [for Juneteenth] is not to offer a vacation day; but instead to create time and space for employees to better understand critical topics related to race, ethnicity and racial injustice. Recognizing this day with intention allows us to stay connected to the many challenges unresolved, violence unaddressed, and inequities unchanged for the Black and African American community worldwide." – Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer at Microsoft.
Microsoft is a big supporter of racial justice, having invested $150 million to strengthen inclusion and double the number of BIPOC and Hispanic/Latinx leadership representation in the US by 2025. Further, they have accomplished more than 90% of their goal to spend an incremental $500 million with double the number of Black and African-American-owned suppliers. They also invested $100 million in the Mission-Driven Bank Fund, aimed at helping communities in need, including black people. With their Black Partner Growth Initiative, they help their Black and African American-owned partners leverage our $70 million to support their needs.
💡 Did you know? All 8 companies have observed Juneteenth as a company-wise paid holiday annually since 2020-21.
“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,” — John Donahoe, CEO at Nike.
In 2020, Nike committed $40 million to support the Black community and continues to pledge $5 million yearly to nonprofits through the NikeUNITED Networks. This year, their Black Community Collective (BCC) is a joint 10-year, $100 million commitment by Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand. To mark Michael Jordan's 60th birthday, the Jordan Brand awarded $2.3 million in Community Grants to 48 grassroots organizations in the United States. The grants will aid in the creation of more equitable futures for Black people.
5. Best Buy
“For me, it [addressing racial injustice] starts with seeing the situation for what it is, acknowledging these experiences for what they are and, quite simply, apologizing for not doing enough. As important, it includes committing the company I lead down a path of systemic, permanent change in as many ways as we can find,” — Corie Barry, CEO at Best Buy.
Best Buy works closely with their Black ERG to action diversity and inclusion within their organisation. They committed $44 million to support college readiness and career development opportunities for BIPOC students, 16 scholarships for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) students and increased scholarship funding for youth in the Teen Tech Center. Best Buy has also pledged to invest $1.2 billion by 2025 to empower emerging BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs, in addition to $10 million in investments to support BIPOC-owned tech startups.
“While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers. As adidas, we will create a lasting change and we will do it now,” — Kasper Rorsted, CEO of adidas.
In 2020, adidas established a global committee to accelerate DE&I, strengthened its global anti-discrimination policies, and reformed hiring and career development processes to eliminate unconscious biases and increase representation. In 2021, adidas employees led a company-wide movement to demand systemic change, which established adidas’s 'United Against Racism' and further strengthened support for BIPOC employees. They also awarded $500k in 2021-22 to the Black & Latinx Community Scholarship with the United Negro College Fund and pledged $3 million more in scholarships till 2025. They plan to invest $120 million in donations for ending racial injustice and/or supporting Black communities through 2025.
Juneteenth campaign ideas for your workplace
Companies must embrace Juneteenth's history and significance and create campaigns beyond mere symbolism to truly make an impact. Here are 4 insights from companies celebrating Juneteenth:
- Amplify resources: Share educational resources on your website, social media platforms, and through employee communication channels to raise awareness about the history, culture, and significance of Juneteenth. Bonus points if all your resources are made by Black creators!
- Partner with nonprofits: Work with local nonprofits in your neighborhoods that work to support Black communities and volunteer with them to advocate for their cause.
- Support Pride Charities: Donate some of your profits to Black charities for Juneteenth to celebrate the cause and show your brand's commitment to social responsibility.
- Host Virtual Events: Plan virtual events such as a concert, panel discussion, or film screening to celebrate Juneteenth and raise awareness about its significance with your employees.
Need more ideas? Head over to our Guide to Celebrate Juneteenth at Work! This guide is jam-packed with resources, fun activities, and nonprofits you can support to commemorate the holiday at work.
By promoting acceptance, equality, and understanding, Juneteenth celebrations can positively impact the African American community and society as a whole. This Juneteenth, let Goodera take care of all the heavy lifting and help you engage your employees meaningfully.
Explore our curated Juneteenth volunteering activities that align with your organization's values and engage your teams — at home, in office, or during your next town hall meeting!