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19 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

19 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

19 Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

A list of 19 things leaders can do on Juneteenth to demonstrate their commitment to change.

"The standard is not perfection – the question is: are you on a journey to continuous improvement?"

– Megan Cunningham, CEO and Founder of Magnet Media

This article was first published in 2020. It was updated in June 2021.

Last year, Magnet Media made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. We view it as a day to celebrate, reflect, learn, and take action. Our hope is that we, collectively, will continue to share stories that matter for us to live in a more inclusive and empathetic world.

It’s been encouraging to see that racism and diversity are gaining renewed focus, and in some cases, real change is starting. After nationwide protests over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and other Black Americans… for leaders, this moment provides an opportunity to commit to taking action and accelerate our anti-racist journey – for both ourselves and our organizations.

These are not easy times, and nor is there a simple solution. But as a leader, there’s a clear way to address your fear head on: let’s all avoid performative allyship and turn the lens on our own behavior. (Special thanks to Fortune’s Ellen McGirt for her ongoing commitment to educating us on tough topics.)

So many brands have responded with emails or social media moments that are supportive and powerful. But on their own, these marketing exercises are superficial. Making donations can be significant — but on their own writing checks can distance us from engaging with the real, sustained work of personal growth, and of committing to a lifelong journey of anti-racism.

In an interview with Callie Schweitzer, Senior News Editor for Marketing at LinkedIn, Megan Cunningham, CEO and Founder of Magnet Media, shared: “Not a single brand would stand up and say ‘we’ve nailed it, we have a perfectly inclusive culture, we’re sustainable, our supply chain is perfect…’ The standard is not perfection – the question is: are you on a journey to continuous improvement? Things like changing your tagline are only important if they’re followed up with other more meaningful commitments.”

So, what is the most impactful work we can do as a team to educate ourselves and create consequential, lasting change?

Below is a list of 19 things leaders can do on Juneteenth to demonstrate their commitment to change. Warning: No excuses necessary! Most free and all are meaningful. 

This article was first published in 2020. It was updated in June 2021.

Last year, Magnet Media made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. We view it as a day to celebrate, reflect, learn, and take action. Our hope is that we, collectively, will continue to share stories that matter for us to live in a more inclusive and empathetic world.

It’s been encouraging to see that racism and diversity are gaining renewed focus, and in some cases, real change is starting. After nationwide protests over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and other Black Americans… for leaders, this moment provides an opportunity to commit to taking action and accelerate our anti-racist journey – for both ourselves and our organizations.

These are not easy times, and nor is there a simple solution. But as a leader, there’s a clear way to address your fear head on: let’s all avoid performative allyship and turn the lens on our own behavior. (Special thanks to Fortune’s Ellen McGirt for her ongoing commitment to educating us on tough topics.)

So many brands have responded with emails or social media moments that are supportive and powerful. But on their own, these marketing exercises are superficial. Making donations can be significant — but on their own writing checks can distance us from engaging with the real, sustained work of personal growth, and of committing to a lifelong journey of anti-racism.

In an interview with Callie Schweitzer, Senior News Editor for Marketing at LinkedIn, Megan Cunningham, CEO and Founder of Magnet Media, shared: “Not a single brand would stand up and say ‘we’ve nailed it, we have a perfectly inclusive culture, we’re sustainable, our supply chain is perfect…’ The standard is not perfection – the question is: are you on a journey to continuous improvement? Things like changing your tagline are only important if they’re followed up with other more meaningful commitments.”

So, what is the most impactful work we can do as a team to educate ourselves and create consequential, lasting change?

Below is a list of 19 things leaders can do on Juneteenth to demonstrate their commitment to change. Warning: No excuses necessary! Most free and all are meaningful.

This article was first published in 2020. It was updated in June 2021.

Last year, Magnet Media made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. We view it as a day to celebrate, reflect, learn, and take action. Our hope is that we, collectively, will continue to share stories that matter for us to live in a more inclusive and empathetic world.

It’s been encouraging to see that racism and diversity are gaining renewed focus, and in some cases, real change is starting. After nationwide protests over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and other Black Americans… for leaders, this moment provides an opportunity to commit to taking action and accelerate our anti-racist journey – for both ourselves and our organizations.

These are not easy times, and nor is there a simple solution. But as a leader, there’s a clear way to address your fear head on: let’s all avoid performative allyship and turn the lens on our own behavior. (Special thanks to Fortune’s Ellen McGirt for her ongoing commitment to educating us on tough topics.)

So many brands have responded with emails or social media moments that are supportive and powerful. But on their own, these marketing exercises are superficial. Making donations can be significant — but on their own writing checks can distance us from engaging with the real, sustained work of personal growth, and of committing to a lifelong journey of anti-racism.

In an interview with Callie Schweitzer, Senior News Editor for Marketing at LinkedIn, Megan Cunningham, CEO and Founder of Magnet Media, shared: “Not a single brand would stand up and say ‘we’ve nailed it, we have a perfectly inclusive culture, we’re sustainable, our supply chain is perfect…’ The standard is not perfection – the question is: are you on a journey to continuous improvement? Things like changing your tagline are only important if they’re followed up with other more meaningful commitments.”

So, what is the most impactful work we can do as a team to educate ourselves and create consequential, lasting change?

Below is a list of 19 things leaders can do on Juneteenth to demonstrate their commitment to change. Warning: No excuses necessary! Most free and all are meaningful.

This article was first published in 2020. It was updated in June 2021.

Last year, Magnet Media made Juneteenth a permanent company holiday. We view it as a day to celebrate, reflect, learn, and take action. Our hope is that we, collectively, will continue to share stories that matter for us to live in a more inclusive and empathetic world. 

It’s been encouraging to see that racism and diversity are gaining renewed focus, and in some cases, real change is starting. After nationwide protests over the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and other Black Americans… for leaders, this moment provides an opportunity to commit to taking action and accelerate our anti-racist journey – for both ourselves and our organizations.

These are not easy times, and nor is there a simple solution. But as a leader, there’s a clear way to address your fear head on: let’s all avoid performative allyship and turn the lens on our own behavior. (Special thanks to Fortune’s Ellen McGirt for her ongoing commitment to educating us on tough topics.) 

So many brands have responded with emails or social media moments that are supportive and powerful. But on their own, these marketing exercises are superficial. Making donations can be significant — but on their own writing checks can distance us from engaging with the real, sustained work of personal growth, and of committing to a lifelong journey of anti-racism.

In an interview with Callie Schweitzer, Senior News Editor for Marketing at LinkedIn, Megan Cunningham, CEO and Founder of Magnet Media, shared: “Not a single brand would stand up and say ‘we’ve nailed it, we have a perfectly inclusive culture, we’re sustainable, our supply chain is perfect…’ The standard is not perfection – the question is: are you on a journey to continuous improvement? Things like changing your tagline are only important if they’re followed up with other more meaningful commitments.” 

So, what is the most impactful work we can do as a team to educate ourselves and create consequential, lasting change?

Below is a list of 19 things leaders can do on Juneteenth to demonstrate their commitment to change. Warning: No excuses necessary! Most free and all are meaningful.

1 Celebrate

While it may be new to some, Juneteenth has been celebrated by others for years. There is no “correct” way to celebrate the holiday – from reuniting with family to honoring history to supporting Black-owned businesses. Here are more ideas for how to celebrate.

2 Reflect

True reflection takes dedicated, quality time. We’re taking the day off to give ourselves that time to reflect in a focused way. If you’re a leader, why not ask your team not to work and get involved? Or provide them with the resources they need to increase their personal awareness and understanding?

3 Unlearn

We’ve all grown up in a society that is systematically racist. How do you break your implicit bias patterns? Here are the lists of resources that are there to help us understand the history of racial injustice.

4 Learn

It’s important to educate yourself to become anti-racist and to diversify your sources of information and inspiration. Read about different perspectives, backgrounds, cultures. Follow publications that regularly feature Black stories and amplify Black voices. Here are a few amazing sources we recommend.

Top Book Lists:

Publications:

Other Instructive Articles and Resources:

5 Listen

Despite the decrease in commuting, we still love ourselves some podcasts. We polled our team, and here are some of our top picks. (Full disclosure, there are several from NPR, whose leadership we’ve featured in our The State of the Story event series.)

Informative Shows

Featuring Black Podcast Producers

6 Watch

These films and shorts are worth watching at any time, but especially now.

7 Teach 

Learning and unlearning starts at home. Pass the knowledge to the next generation by educating the kids in your life with these children’s books.

8 #GiveBlack

We contributed in our small way to our colleague Christina Lewis’s important project. She explains: “There isn't any database or list of black-founded nonprofit organizations so I'm trying to crowdsource one. But I need help building it out. Check it out and please help fill in or improve it!” 

Support Black communities and the Black Lives Matter movement by giving back to these amazing organizations:

9 Hire

This is a topic that is near and dear to our hearts, as we’ve hired diverse creative storytellers all over the world for over 20 years, and have worked with one of our favorite startups, Greenhouse, since they were formed to help the world get great at hiring.

We are committed to partnering with a number of brands and fellow creative community leaders to improve the diversity of our own organization and our industry. In the meantime, here are a few resources to start you on your journey of diversifying:

10 Mentor

Mentoring provides professional socialization and personal support to facilitate success for others. It’s also historically been a biased system, where privileged people who have access to networks are able to find mentors; and those who do not are excluded. Building on our history of expanding the voices within the 3 communities in which we work – the creative community, the marketing community, and the startup world – we are supporting several different mentoring efforts.

  • We’re mentoring startup founders from diverse backgrounds through the TechStars Mentorship Program
  • And we have a long-standing history of supporting female filmmakers and women of color through hiring directors at Chicken & Egg.
11 Support

Providing support is an area that doesn’t require tremendous time or money. It requires thoughtfulness on where you can stand up for your colleagues, speak to others who are not being supportive, and be intentional around where you can make the biggest impact.

12 Amplify

If you’re a storyteller, ensure you’re including black voices in your stories. Tag black leaders and presenters from your community of recent conversations – link to their sites and/or linkedin profiles in our post. If you speak on panels, ensure there’s black people on every panel and event. If you create paid content, consider ungating or not putting behind a paywall your best articles on racial injustice, racism, diversity and inclusion or featuring black talent.

13 #BuyBlack

Support black businesses. Find them on WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street. Another great list is here.

14 Invest

 If you’re an investor, follow in the footsteps of these funds (and these) and individuals by being intentional and public about your investments:

15 Sponsor

Our mission is to tell stories that matter, and work on behalf of many of the world’s fastest moving brands. Let’s be honest: it can be hard to separate the signal from the noise in this environment. So here’s the collection of articles that provide actionable insights and rich resources to start with making these three key strategic investments to tap into the pool of Black talent: 

16 Protest
  • See CNN’s guide to how you can protest safely and know your rights.
  • Reach out to your leaders —both political and business leaders. Call your representatives. It’s surprising how those actions matter. 
  • Sign petitions. Go on Change.org to create, sign, and share petitions to press for positive change.
  • And vote with your wallet: scrutinize the brands you buy from, and their hiring practices and supply chains. Each of us has power, and making your voice heard –in small and large ways– is important.
17 Dialog

There are different approaches as to how to set up a dialog on race that’s right for your organization.

18 Commit

Whatever you do for Juneteenth can’t be a short-term campaign, but to have impact it needs to be a commitment to continuing diversity, equality, and inclusion. Improving your hiring policies is one change leaders can make to ensure recruiting procedures are reducing biases.

19 Listen

We are ending here so it stays with all of us...as this is where we all need to start. Having open conversations about racism – starting with true listening – and setting aside time to create a safe space is key. One ProTip is to prepare and ensure that these conversations – which can be tough, and even create a backlash – are led by a professional.

 

Finally: What are you doing as a leader to celebrate Juneteenth? We’d love to hear from you! 

We have a long way to go. Our focus at Magnet is continuously improving,  taking a stand, and committing to our own anti-racist journey. This is a lifelong effort, but forming an actionable plan to facilitate diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments within our teams and communities is essential. 

Let’s go..!

Finally: What are you doing as a leader to celebrate Juneteenth? We’d love to hear from you!

We have a long way to go. Our focus at Magnet is continuously improving, taking a stand, and committing to our own anti-racist journey. This is a lifelong effort, but forming an actionable plan to facilitate diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments within our teams and communities is essential.

Let’s go..!

Finally: What are you doing as a leader to celebrate Juneteenth? We’d love to hear from you!

We have a long way to go. Our focus at Magnet is continuously improving, taking a stand, and committing to our own anti-racist journey. This is a lifelong effort, but forming an actionable plan to facilitate diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments within our teams and communities is essential.

Let’s go..!

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