Twitter and Square have set aside Juneteenth as an official company holiday in the US “forevermore.” The companies’ recognition of the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the US, was announced Tuesday by Jack Dorsey, CEO of both companies.
“A day for celebration, education, and connection,” Dorsey wrote in a Twitter thread. “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.”
Observed every June 19, Juneteenth marks the day the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all enslaved African-Americans in the US to be free, was read in Texas in 1865, despite being issued nearly six months earlier.
Dorsey’s announcement comes as tens of thousands of people around the US (and around the world) continue to protest to condemn acts of racial discrimination and senseless violence from the police following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.
A number of major tech companies, including Apple and Google, have since pledged millions of dollars to help social justice and civil rights groups as well as black communities. Apple CEO Tim Cook has also published an open letter on racism that currently adorns the main section of the company’s website.
Earlier this month, Dorsey pledged $3 million Start Small business grants to former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, which works to educate, empower and mobilize “the next generation of change leaders.”
Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.