A new tradition! Saturday is Juneteenth, and CRAA is joining with many across the country in recognizing this important day as a holiday. Short for June Nineteenth, the day marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, enforcement was slow and inconsistent; slavery was still practiced in several places including Texas. Over two years later, in 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed slaves that slavery had been abolished.
To highlight the day’s significance, CRAA has revised its work calendar to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all staff, replacing Columbus Day – and is giving employees June 18 off (since Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year). We are paying tribute to the end of slavery in the United States and contributing to a more inclusive future that celebrates the culture and achievements of African Americans.
2020 will go down in history as a year that brought to light the racial injustices and systemic racism that have, unfortunately, become ingrained in some of our institutions and societies. Our organization, as a place to work and as an integral part of our community, recognizes that we need to do our part to address these issues. Earlier this year, we developed a DEI strategy and put our DEI Council in place. With our Council’s input and ideas, and our strategy guiding us, we are working to enhance a culture where representation, opportunity and inclusion are essential. By commemorating this important, historical day, we take a concrete, tangible step in transforming our culture and pursuing our goal of Cultivating Trust and Respect.