How big tech companies are celebrating the new holiday

President Joe Biden will be presented at a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

Big tech companies will celebrate June thenth by offering educational resources the week of the new US official holiday.

President Joe Biden signed a bill on Thursday afternoon making Juneteenth a federal holiday. The public holiday, which lands on June 19 each year, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States

The reaction from tech companies comes after a year of racial balancing and increased scrutiny of recruiting practices and the treatment of black workers. Some, like Twitter and Square, started recognizing the holiday last year.

“Juneteenth isn’t just about black history – it’s American history,” and “complex,” said Tiffany Bowden, program manager on the Amazon Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, on a Juneteenth blog post for the company. Bowden holds a Ph.D. in communication with a specialization in diversity and inclusion.

“While we are happy about the progress, we must continue to inform ourselves about our history in order to shape our future,” says the Amazon blog. “We honor those who fought, endured, and continued to fight persistently in the fight for equality. We celebrate with the awareness that advocacy is still necessary in the American pursuit of equality and ultimately justice. “

“No meetings”

To commemorate June 10th, Google “introduced a day without meetings” on Friday, June 18, and “encourages all Google employees to use this day to celebrate, study and reflect,” said a spokesman.

Facebook said its employees can use one of their paid Personal Choice Days when they want to celebrate the holiday. Staff can also attend “a discussion day” with prominent activists and public figures, including Henry Louis Gates and Tina Knowles-Lawson, to “share perspectives on the history and significance of Juneteenth.”

“Many meetings have been canceled so people can go there,” added a Facebook spokesman.

Apple announced that Juniteenth will be recognized as a company holiday in the United States, giving its employees a day off on Friday, June 18. Apple Retail and AppleCare will continue to be open for customer support. The company said employees can attend weeklong events “designed to educate, build communities and celebrate”.

Black storytelling and education

Companies will also make racial injustice training materials available to their employees.

“Our approach is not to offer a vacation day, but to use that day to create time and space for employees to better understand critical issues related to race, ethnicity and racial injustice,” said Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Microsoft’s Chief Diversity Officer. “Deliberately recognizing this day allows us to stay connected with the many unresolved challenges, unaddressed violence, and injustices for black and African American communities around the world.”

Microsoft has not specified what tutorials are offered.

Google said it will host a two-hour event that will spotlight black music history and storytelling, including a talk and performance by Erykah Badu.

Amazon’s program includes educational panels on the origins and meaning of Juneteenth, commentary from experts on black history, and a performance and Q&A with New York African-American dance studio Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Facebook said it will feature a video of businesswoman (and Beyonce’s mother) Tina Knowles-Lawson and a “Lift Black Voices Hub,” which includes a curated mix of fundraisers, educational resources, and “content that shows how communities achieve freedom.” reinterpreting the blacks on Facebook “. Platforms every day. “

Amazon will sponsor an opening ceremony called Juneteenth Unityfest. His bookstore will highlight a selection of books that cover the history of Juneteenth in a feature called “Celebrate Juneteenth”. It is also said that Prime Video has a curated selection of films and series to honor and honor Juneteenth.

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