Sportswear giant Nike is adding June 19th, a state holiday or special day of observance in 47 of 50 states called Juneteenth, to its list of official, paid company holidays.
Nike joins a growing number of companies that announced this week they are making Juneteenth, the oldest known US celebration of the end of slavery, an annual company holiday. Twitter (), Square ( ) and Vox Media also plan to do the same.
Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 on which, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and were announced the news of the proclamation to end slavery in the United States. Texas was the last confederate state to hear that the Civil War had ended two months earlier.
Nike’s board and executive team also plan to set targets for diversifying the company’s workforce, with a focus on increasing the number of black, Latinx and women employees.