As the protests force more and more Americans to grapple with racism in the country's past and present, some places that didn't already mark Juneteenth as a paid holiday moved in recent days to do so, including NY state and Huntington, West Virginia.
Videos on the Bears' social media channels from players on what Juneteenth means to them and how they celebrate the holiday.
The Chicago Bears are joining the National Football League and a number of other franchises in recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday this Friday, June 19.
While the moves to recognize Juneteenth have been welcomed by many, companies will be scrutinized by the public to see whether they're devoting resources to making concrete, measurable changes in areas such as hiring and vendor diversity, said Howard Belk, co-CEO of Siegel+Gale, a brand-strategy firm.
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Among the early voters were US Ambassador Kelly Craft and the ambassadors of Poland and Turkey. Wednesday's election comes after months of intense campaigning.
As the conversations about race and equality continue and as our nation comes to grips with its painful history, more and more businesses are deciding to recognize this day as a company holiday. "We've had to explain and define black history", said Miles Dotson, co-Founder of HellaCreative.
This year, in the wake of the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, an African-American man, under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests, Juneteenth is a potent reminder of how America's past and present are inextricably connected.
From its origin as a celebration of emancipation in Texas, Juneteenth grew in popularity and spread to other states. President Abraham Lincoln had actually issued the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years prior, on January 1, 1863. So, enslaved people there did not receive emancipation until the end of the war almost two years later. New York's Governor Cuomo declared it a holiday for state employees, and said he is working on legislation to make it an official state holiday for next year. While it's widely known and honored, the day isn't officially a national holiday yet.
In a statement, the Board said, "We believe that we have a moral obligation to stand alongside our Black and Brown brothers and sisters and act boldly to disrupt and dismantle the systems of oppression that plague our city, our state, and our country".