Pharrell Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Kenya Barris, Van Jones, international advocacy organization Global Citizen, and the global CEO advisory firm Teneo, have announced the launch of the JUNETEENTH PLEDGE, a global effort to rally the private sector to ensure that Juneteenth becomes a paid holiday in the United States.
The effort kicked off with a video call between dozens of leading CEO's and corporate executives. The Juneteenth Pledge is currently live at www.juneteenthpledge.com for any company ready to join the movement.
Specifically, the pledge calls on companies to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for employees in the United States, identify a relevant day in international offices to recognize the emancipation of enslaved people in their country, encourage other leaders in business to sign this pledge and join in making Juneteenth a recognized paid holiday and support employees’ ability to learn, reflect and encourage continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.
This year on June 19, Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, hundreds of CEO's and companies stepped forward to commemorate this historical milestone. This was a step in the right direction, but more can and must be done in the United States and around the world.
Among those companies that participated in the call last week and have agreed to the pledge include adidas, Airbnb, Amblin Partners, Greensill, HP, Participant, The J. M. Smucker Company, Starbucks and Under Armour.
Over the coming week and months, the initiative will be supporting a global campaign to educate and engage companies across the United States, and eventually around the world, to sign the pledge. The initiative will also include a social media campaign and work to support the bi-partisan effort in Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States.
Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen said: “At Global Citizen, we believe that the world's history of injustice and the promise of freedom must be acknowledged; and we need a national dialogue on how this shapes our collective future. We are proud to stand alongside Pharrell and this influential group of companies in recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for our employees to learn, reflect and connect with their communities.”
Declan Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Teneo said: “On behalf of all my colleagues at Teneo, we are very proud to be partnering with our good friends at Global Citizen as well as Pharrell Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Kenya Barris and Van Jones on this incredibly important initiative.
"The private sector will play a critical role in helping drive change across society as a whole and we are committed to doing everything we can to help encourage additional companies to sign-up for the Juneteenth Pledge as well as signing it ourselves," said the Portroe man.