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10 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth at Work: A Guide for HR Managers

4 min read
juneteenth hr ideas

The USA has a long list of unique holidays, and even on that list Juneteenth is one of a kind. Juneteenth was recognized as a federal holiday in 2021 and since then, more and more companies have been integrating it into their DEI initiatives. In this article, we will be looking at 10 ideas for HR managers who want a better way to celebrate Juneteenth.

Just like any other celebration, Juneteenth calls for a special commemoration. And, of course, you want to ensure that your Juneteenth celebration at work is memorable, honorable, and brings your team closer together. After all, it is a day that signifies social justice and equality, carrying immense historical significance.

  1. What is Juneteenth?
  2. Celebrating Juneteenth Today
  3. How to Celebrate Juneteenth: Ideas for HR
  4. Keeping track of federal holidays
  5. Time off tracker Factorial ✅

By recognizing the cultural and historical importance of Juneteenth, we can celebrate in a way that holds purpose and relevance to honor this significant day. Let’s take a look at some ideas for how to celebrate Juneteenth.

What is Juneteenth?

The name of the holiday comes from a shortened form of June Nineteenth. It marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved Black people in the US learned they were free. This holiday is also known as Juneteenth National Independence Day or Freedom Day, as it commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for slaves in Texas, marking the delayed arrival of the Emancipation Proclamation. In this way, the national holiday marks the end of institutional slavery in the US.

Celebrating Juneteenth Today

Juneteenth is not only a commemoration of historically significant event, but a chance to think about equality in American society today. Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice and provides an opportunity for reflection, education, and celebration.

President Biden signed Juneteenth to be a federal holiday in the presence of Opal Lee, an activist from Texas who fought for decades to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, considered by many to be the “Grandmother of Juneteenth”. He said at a press conference: “(It is) simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth. After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning.”

How to Celebrate Juneteenth: Ideas for HR

Juneteenth, a significant day in American history, presents an excellent opportunity for HR managers to foster inclusivity, education, and dialogue within the workplace. By celebrating Juneteenth at work, you can honor the historical significance of this day and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Here are ten ideas for Juneteenth for HR managers who want commemorate the day with their teams.

1. Volunteer at Local Events:

Encourage team members to participate in local Juneteenth events or organize a company-wide volunteering initiative. Whether it’s assisting with event logistics or supporting community organizations, volunteering allows employees to actively engage and contribute to the spirit of Juneteenth.

2. Self-Educate:

Promote self-education among employees by providing resources and recommendations on the history of Juneteenth. Share informative articles, books, documentaries, or online resources that delve into the significance and evolution of the holiday. Encourage individuals to explore and expand their knowledge about the experiences and contributions of African Americans throughout history.

Some links you should visit include:

3. Discuss DEI Efforts:

Use Juneteenth as an opportunity to facilitate meaningful conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace. Arrange a dedicated session or roundtable discussion where employees can openly share their perspectives, experiences, and ideas related to racial equality. Encourage a safe and respectful environment for dialogue.

4. Invite Guest Speakers:

Organize virtual or in-person sessions with guest speakers who are experts in civil rights, racial justice, or DEI. These speakers can provide valuable insights, share personal experiences, and inspire employees to take action and contribute to positive change.

5. Show Films:

Host a screening of relevant films or documentaries that highlight themes of racial equality and social justice. Films like “13th,” “Selma,” or “Hidden Figures” can spark important discussions and create opportunities for reflection and learning.

6. Identify Growth Opportunities:

Connect the significance of Juneteenth to broader organizational efforts for DEI. Encourage employees to identify growth opportunities by evaluating policies, processes, and practices within the company. This could involve assessing recruitment strategies, promoting diverse leadership, or implementing unconscious bias training programs.

7. Celebrate African American Culture:

Celebrate Juneteenth by recognizing and appreciating the rich and diverse African American culture. Encourage employees to share their favorite books, music, art, or cuisine that celebrates African American heritage. This can foster appreciation, understanding, and unity within the workplace.

8. Support Black-Owned Businesses:

Encourage employees to support and engage with Black-owned businesses in your community. Highlight local Black entrepreneurs or businesses that align with your company’s values and encourage team members to make conscious purchasing decisions.

9. Create a Juneteenth Resource Library:

Curate a collection of books, articles, podcasts, and other resources related to Juneteenth and African American history. Establish a resource library accessible to all employees, allowing them to further their understanding and engage in self-guided learning.

10. Foster Ongoing Commitment:

Use Juneteenth as a launching point for sustained commitment to DEI efforts. Emphasize the importance of continually working towards a more inclusive and equitable workplace environment. Encourage employees to share their ideas and suggestions for ongoing initiatives and activities.

Closing Thoughts

Hopefully, these 10 ideas on how to celebrate Juneteenth at work will help you HR professionals find a way to honor this important day. By celebrating Juneteenth at work, HR managers can actively contribute to fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture. Through volunteering, self-education, open discussions, guest speakers, films, identifying growth opportunities, celebrating African American culture, supporting Black-owned businesses, creating resource libraries, and fostering an ongoing commitment to DEI, you can ensure that Juneteenth becomes a meaningful and transformative experience for your organization. Let’s embrace this opportunity to honor the past and learn from it.

Keeping track of federal holidays

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of holidays and paid time off. Factorial is an essential tool for HR managers to track and manage federal holidays. With its centralized calendar, automated time-off requests, customizable notifications, and reporting capabilities, Factorial streamlines holiday management, ensuring organization and compliance. Embrace Factorial for a seamless holiday management experience.


If you want to learn more about how Factorial can help you keep track of federal holidays, check out our Time Off Management feature. If you are looking for a holiday calendar for US holidays, check this out: 2023 Holiday Calendar: An Employer’s Guide to Federal Holidays


Did you like this article? Benjamin McBrayer has been a Content Writer for 5 years. He specializes in HR strategy and workplace trends. Check out Factorial's blog for more of his posts on time management in the office, productivity, and HR news.

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