Today we celebrate Juneteenth, a significant holiday that marks the end of slavery in the United States. A recognition of history and a celebration of hope.
In the wake of last year’s national protests for racial justice, understanding Juneteenth—and the legacy of slavery and its impacts on society today—is essential to staying on the right side of history.
Our employees recently shared their thoughts about Juneteenth and how we continue to help create lasting and meaningful change by having thoughtful conversations and sharing our life experiences.
Juneteenth becomes a federal holiday
While Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery, the holiday has morphed into a celebration of achievement, community, family, hope and possibilities. Many celebrate Juneteenth with educational events, church services, parades, festivals and more.
This year, there’s even more to celebrate as the United States Congress recently passed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. President Biden signed the bill into law on Thursday.
Juneteenth being recognized by the government as a federal holiday is an important moment in our country’s history. We are evaluating how this designation as a federal holiday will impact our company holiday schedule.
The history of Juneteenth
June 19, 2021, marks the 156th year since Juneteenth’s inception, commemorating the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free.
While the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, slavery continued in the south until June 19, 1865—two months after the Civil War ended—when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to declare that all slaves were free.
- Juneteenth: Why it’s important to learn from the past to create a better future #WeMustDoBetter
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion progress on our journey to a more inclusive workforce
- Black employees and allies are driving meaningful change for a more equitable future at Alaska where everyone belongs
- Alaska Airlines takes education and equity to the skies with newest aircraft