Celebrating Juneteenth at Qualtrics
Juneteenth was established on June 19th, 1865 to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black people after the Civil War. Now more than 150 years later we celebrate, reflect, and continue to stand firmly against racial discrimination and prejudice. We recognize the significance of the day in catalyzing the inclusion of Black and African American people in American society. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and an acknowledgment of the many sacrifices it took to be achieved.
MosaiQ has chosen the theme “From Freedom to the Future” to highlight this year’s Juneteenth celebrations. This theme emphasizes the importance of the history behind Juneteenth and how the proclamation unlocked freedom and future success for Black and African Americans. It reminds us of enslaved people who had hoped and dreamed of a better future for generations to come.
To me, Juneteenth symbolizes a momentous first step in a long and arduous journey towards equality. A reminder that history should not be something shied away from, but something that can be used as fuel towards dismantling systems of oppression and injustice. We are collectively accountable for deconstructing systems of racial inequity. Understanding that although slavery was abolished, the underpinnings of discrimination towards Black individuals still exists in our society and can be seen in our most prominent institutions. Red-lining, environmental racism, Black maternal health, and the school to prison pipeline are only a few examples of ways in which racial injustice is pervasive in our society and we must not slow progress towards an equitable country for all.
Despite these ongoing struggles, Juneteenth is a celebration of Black freedom and liberation and recommitment to eradicating pain and prejudice towards the community. Juneteenth is a jubilee and celebration of joys and achievements of the Black community. It is an acknowledgement of Black as bold, bright, and beautiful. Often the media constructs images around Blackness that shows the Black experience as one full of darkness, violence, and despair and Juneteenth challenges that narrative. It encourages us to gather in celebration of the many achievements of the Black community, while affirming that a prosperous future is possible.
While we celebrate this day as a Qualtrics community, I encourage you not to think of it as a day off of work, but a day that can be used to learn more about our nation's history and reflect on ways to support the journey towards equity. I look forward to spending the day with my community with reflection over a meal.
How Qualtrics is celebrating Juneteenth:
- Hosting a keynote featuring Michelle Coles
- Lunch catered by Black owned businesses in our US offices
- Creating libraries in our US offices of books about Juneteenth or Black individuals(including children’s books!)
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