We recently celebrated Juneteenth with our African American and Allies Employee Resource Group leading an Empower Hour to educate our teams on the importance of this holiday. Over (110) team members attended this powerful educational hour!
Our Empower Hour began with a short video about the history of Juneteenth, its relevance today, and why we celebrate this day of freedom. Knowledge breaks were featured, including the history of the Juneteenth flag and its symbolism.
One of the most impactful portions of this hour was the breakout groups, where team members had an open discussion about the value of Juneteenth education in schools and how this education would promote more inclusive workplace environments. We shared our viewpoints with one another, taking the time to connect and intentionally learn through dialogue.
In our second breakout group, we explored ideas and ways to appreciate and bring awareness to Juneteenth, and shared if we have in the past or plan to attend any Juneteenth celebrations this year. Several team members shared events in their cities to further engage with one another and foster inclusivity within their communities.
Our goal was to drive awareness by engaging in dialogue and learning opportunities. In doing so, we dismissed assumptions, promoted inclusivity, and walked away with increased knowledge. The sharing of experiences, perspectives, and stories from our colleagues helped build stronger connections by creating a workplace culture that values and respects everyone.
We developed our DE&I Council, VIIBE (Voices Inspiring Inclusion, Belonging, & Equity), in 2020 and introduced three Employee Resource Groups in 2023. We’re excited to see the ripple effect of how our ERGs will positively impact our teams and the communities we serve.