Veritas announced in late 2021 that we added Juneteenth (June 19) as a U.S. Public Holiday, which we’ll observe on Monday, June 20 this year.
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It marks the date when Major General Gordon Granger and federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX, informing the slaves that the Civil War had ended, and that slavery was abolished. This was on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that “all persons held as slaves…are, and henceforward shall be free.”
When I first heard about Juneteenth, I was shocked. I learned about the Emancipation Proclamation in school, and I thought that once Abraham signed that, everybody was free. There have been continued struggles through the years, but when I learned that there were people still in servitude for two additional years, I was angry and sad. I was also joyous that the people were now free. Their children and grandchildren will never have to work for free ever again. I’m excited because this is the first year that Veritas will recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday. Juneteenth is not just a celebration for African Americans or Black people; it is for everyone.
Juneteenth is a time to celebrate, reflect, and take action. The Black Employees at Veritas Empowered (BLEVE) ERG commemorates and observes this day of freedom and provides ways for everyone to join the celebration:
This is what Juneteenth means to the BLEVE Family:
Mously Pluviose |Solutions Engineer Renewals
I came to the United States when I was just fifteen years old. While receiving my high school and college education, I discovered a passion for history. Despite my exposure and understanding of U.S History, I wasn’t aware of Juneteenth. It wasn’t until I started working at Veritas and volunteered to work on a project on behalf of BLEVE—Black Employees At Veritas Empowered—that I learned what Juneteenth was and its significance. Juneteenth is a significant inflection point in our history, marking the true ending of Slavery. I feel that I missed out on a great piece of history that I could have carried with me all my life. To me, it’s a realization that there is so much more I can learn about our own history.
Semira Abdu | Marketing Operations Manager
Juneteenth has much history to process. During your formative years, my educators positioned Juneteenth to be about joy, liberation, resilience, equality, independence, and hope. It can be sad to learn that so many people are not aware of Juneteenth as an adult. I find joy in witnessing someone learning about Juneteenth for the first time, its importance in our culture, and its historical significance. I continue to embody the importance of Juneteenth by supporting various causes near and dear to me, helping black-owned businesses, educating myself on history, and sharing my knowledge with my peers.
Deona Riley | Assoc Mgr, Global Customer Service
I, like some of my BLEVE members, did not learn about Juneteenth until recently. I am originally from The Bahamas where Emancipation Day is a huge holiday that we celebrate. Juneteenth places Black people at the center of the conversation about freedom, it's meaning and manifestation in this nation. Juneteenth is here so that we can teach people who do not always have access to this knowledge in their homes or in their schools. You can learn about Juneteenth in your city's parade, different events, or in your friend’s home. I am happy Juneteenth is now a federal holiday where people can come together and celebrate.
Josepha Kingsley-Williams | Ethics and Compliance Lead, Global Legal Affairs
I had generally been aware of Juneteenth for several years. However, amid growing awareness of race relations and tensions in the US during the pandemic, I got to fully understand this period of American history and its significance after learning of the events leading up to the final emancipation of slavery in Texas. Having lived on three continents before relocating to the US, I was familiar with Independence Day Celebrations of African and Caribbean Nations from colonial rule. In drawing Pan-African parallels in the struggle for emancipation and autonomy, I understand, respect, and appreciate the importance of Juneteenth as a lauded milestone in American history and culture.
Cassandra Anderson | Chief of Staff, IT InfoSec, Infrastructure & Cloud Services
Each year, celebrating Juneteenth becomes more and more important to me. I celebrate Juneteenth because of the significance that it represents. Juneteenth represents freedom and celebrating the resilience of my ancestors whose shoulders I stand on. I am grateful to have such a rich history to be able to celebrate and honor. In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are several opportunities to celebrate Juneteenth. It is a joyous time filled with cultural expressions, lots of food, entertainment and allows us to connect with others.
At Veritas Technologies, members of BLEVE have committed to being changemakers, and we proudly do so by promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives within the Veritas community and beyond. Learn more about the Veritas commitment to DEI.
Veritas values uniqueness and we know that a more diverse and inclusive workforce makes a winning team. Interested in joining our organization? Come as you are, apply and find out more about #TeamVeritas!
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