Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th, is an important date that commemorates the end of the enslavement of Black people in the United States. While the famous “Emancipation Proclamation” made the enslavement of human beings illegal in 1863, it wasn’t until over two years later — on June 19, 1865 — that every enslaved person was told about this.

Commemorating Juneteenth in your workplace can be an opportunity to reflect on your company’s DEI practices and the relationship you have with Black employees and community members. However, it’s important to celebrate Juneteenth in ways that are actually meaningful, not just to recognize the day on a surface level.

Today, we offer 25 meaningful ways to celebrate Juneteenth in your workplace.

Why is it important to recognize Juneteenth at work?

Just like commemorating Veteran’s Day honors those who have served in the military, Juneteenth is an important day that honors the Black American community and the essential contributions they have made to this country. We undoubtedly have a long way to go, but the recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday is one important step toward spreading awareness about Black history and the Black American experience.

When you recognize Juneteenth at work, it’s a way to take a clear stand. You are telling your employees, as well as the general public, that your organization supports Black American rights and that you stand in solidarity with the Black community.

Although this support and solidarity should never stay confined to special days like Juneteenth — there are ways to proudly stand for Black rights and uplift Black employees all year long — June 19th is one opportunity, of many, to reflect on your organization’s practices and ensure Black employees are treated equally.

25 ideas on how to celebrate Juneteenth at work

Here are 25 ideas on how to celebrate Juneteenth at work in a meaningful way. Some ideas are geared toward workplace leaders (to celebrate with the whole staff), while others are meaningful ways you can celebrate within your team or even by yourself.

Which ones will your organization implement this Juneteenth?

1. Give employees the day off

Just like employees are given the day off on other important holidays, consider making Juneteenth an organization-wide holiday if you haven’t already.

2. Review your DEI policies

To truly uplift your Black employees and colleagues, there needs to be structural change. Review DEI policies and practices to ensure that Black staff are getting equal opportunities.

3. Offer anti-racism training

Juneteenth can be an opportunity for solemn reflection on how much work there is left to do to truly achieve racial equity. Take the time to work toward this goal by offering anti-racism training to staff.

4. Support Black-owned businesses

Support local Black-owned businesses; for example, you can ask a Black-owned restaurant to cater an employee lunch or order employee gifts from a Black-owned shop.

5. Host a Juneteenth speaker series

Invite Black speakers to host workshops about different topics that affect the Black community. Just make sure to pay all speakers well for their time and labor!

6. Offer leadership development for Black employees

Black employees often don’t get the same opportunities for promotions and upward movements as their white counterparts. Ensure that your Black employees have access to leadership and professional development opportunities.

7. Create a Black Employee Resource Group (ERG)

If you don’t have one already, create an ERG for Black employees. Research shows that ERGs help employees feel a stronger sense of belonging at work.

8. Partner with a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)

Partner with a local HBCU to provide scholarships, internships, or continued education opportunities for staff.

9. Show a film

Host a screening of a documentary or film that teaches staff about Juneteenth or other issues that affect the Black community today.

10. Create an online learning portal

Offer education and resources about Juneteenth and Black History by creating an online learning portal that employees can access.

11. Incentivize self-reflection

Provide incentives for engaging with Juneteenth, such as incentivizing non-Black employees to self-reflect on their privilege or implicit biases.

12. Start a book club

Start a book club, and invite members to read one book by a Black author each month.

13. Partner with local organizations

Partner with local organizations that serve the Black community for giving opportunities, including corporate donations.

14. Highlight Black artists and musicians

Celebrate Black art and music history by creating and sharing playlists of songs by Black artists.

15. Create Black mentorship programs

Pair Black senior employees and leaders with newer staff to create mentorship opportunities for Black employees. This can help make it more likely for Black employees to gain access to upward mobility at work.

16. Implement accountability measures

Creating DEI policies is a good start, but it’s not enough. Implement measures to help you stay accountable to these policies.

17. Conduct an anonymous survey

Anonymous surveys can be a psychologically safe way for Black employees to offer feedback about your organization’s DEI practices and how supported they feel as a Black person in your company.

18. Juneteenth reflection prompts

Share daily reflection prompts about racial identity and privilege for employees to answer and discuss in team meetings or by themselves.

19. Invite staff to local museums

If your city has a museum or cultural center focused on Black history, purchase entry tickets for employees so they can visit and learn.

20. Create a Black scholarship fund

Establish a scholarship fund to support Black students pursuing higher education. Match employee donations to the fund.

21. Ensure culturally relevant mental health support for Black employees

Ensure your EAP (and any other mental health benefits) offers resources and support tailored to the needs of Black employees.

22. Partner with a Black leadership organization

Collaborate with a Black leadership organization to develop internship or job shadowing opportunities for Black students.

23. Start a Juneteenth committee

Encourage employees to form a Juneteenth committee to plan future celebrations and advocate for racial equity initiatives within the company. Employees should always be paid for their time, including overtime pay.

24. Publish a DEI report

Develop a company-wide report outlining diversity and inclusion goals, progress made, and the steps that you have yet to take.

25. Promote Juneteenth on social media

Use your company’s social media platforms to increase awareness, share educational content, and celebrate Juneteenth.

We hope that this list has given you some ideas of how you can meaningfully celebrate this important day at work.

Happy Juneteenth!


In solidarity (and to your wellbeing),

The MINES Team