President Biden yesterday signed into law a bill proclaiming Juneteenth to be the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
Today I am proud to announce that every June 19th will be a company holiday for Premise. Employees will be given the day off to reflect on the work that still needs to be done in Black communities across the country and the progress that we have made as a society. During future years when the holiday falls on a weekend, we will make a determination as to whether to give employees the Friday before or the Monday following Juneteenth off.
Juneteenth falls on June 19 every year and commemorates the freeing of the last enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas in 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
This is a milestone moment for our country and for our society. It is a time for reflection on the progress we’ve made, the work that is currently being done to ensure that people regardless of the color of their skin are able to live lives free of prejudice, and the work that still needs to be done.
Juneteenth is a moment that had, until recently, not been a part of the public discourse. Most Americans were unaware of it in part because we as a society have not done a good enough job of educating our children and ourselves about the history of racism in America, from Juneteenth to the Tulsa race massacre in 1921.
It also comes at a pivotal moment for race relations in the United States, and the work is not done. Events over the past year have shone a bright light on racial inequality in our country. All of us, myself included, have had and will continue challenging ourselves to have conversations that teach us more about race relations in this country. They have been educational, they have at times been uncomfortable, but they have been necessary.
Premise is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive working environment where people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations feel welcome, a place where they can be their true self in the workforce.
Premise is proud to celebrate Juneteenth. We are proud to support President Biden’s decision to make June 19th a federal holiday, as it should have been done a long time ago. In the true spirit of Juneteenth, we encourage you to reflect on the progress that we have made, to learn more about our country’s history when it comes to race relations, and to determine what you can do to help keep our country moving forward so that nobody is held back from personal or professional success and fulfillment based on the color of their skin.
We still have a long, long way to go when it comes to improving race relations in the United States of America. I am committed to doing my part as an individual and as an executive, as is Premise as a company.