Although racism and intolerance existed long before the founding of our country, a sea change against them may at last be occurring. Unfortunately, each day lives are lost, dreams go unfulfilled, and discrimination still occurs regularly toward people because of their ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation, just to name a few.
Responsible organizations and individuals are holding up a mirror and reflecting on how, this time, they might again—or perhaps for the first time—speak out against these terrible wrongs. Silence prolongs the pain felt disproportionately by those discriminated against. Symbolic acts help, but they don’t effect real change. Removing racism or any discrimination from our society will take action by all citizens in all communities.
June 19, known as Juneteenth, is not yet recognized as a national holiday. Nevertheless, symplr made the decision to add this important and culturally significant holiday to our calendar. We will observe this holiday and give it a permanent place on our annual holiday calendar going forward. We will encourage all members of our team to reflect, commune, and celebrate with fellow humans.
For those unfamiliar with this day, Juneteenth recognizes the day in 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger brought federal troops to Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War was over and enslaved people were free. This news was delivered in Texas two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Juneteenth is observed as a state holiday in all but three states (and became a holiday in Texas in 1980). The day is also celebrated outside the U.S., with organizations using the day to recognize the end of slavery and to celebrate the culture and achievements of African Americans. Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Cel-Liberation Day, and Black Independence Day.
We also proudly note and celebrate the Supreme Courts’ landmark decision on June 15th establishing protection to all LGBTQ citizens across the United States. This month is of course Pride, and we encourage our employees, customers, and partners to reflect and celebrate this historic milestone as well.