June 19 is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the official recognition of the end of slavery in the United States. Here at Levi Strauss & Co., we recognize the significance of this date and honor what it meant for this country then and now. That’s why we observe Juneteenth as a company-wide holiday for all employees.
Juneteenth has been celebrated in the United States as a day to commemorate African American freedom and emphasize education and achievement. It was on this day back in 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 aloud to the people of Galveston, Texas, announcing the total emancipation of enslaved people, two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had abolished slavery in the Confederate Southern states.
“By recognizing this moment in history, we are making space for our employees to learn, reflect on and understand its impact on the Black community,” said Elizabeth A. Morrison, LS&Co.’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. “As we continue to grapple with systemic racism across the U.S. and beyond, it’s heartening to see us take this day to really understand and appreciate why Juneteenth is a significant holiday for all of us.”
Jeremy Brown, a wholesale inventory planner with Dockers® Canada, told the Levi’s® brand blog that he hopes those outside of the Black community use the time off to reflect.
“I would hope that they would use this day more as an opportunity to look inward and ask themselves, ‘Am I doing enough? Am I an ally? Am I standing on the right side as much as I can, and am I doing my part to help dismantle something that my ancestors helped create?’” he said.