George Floyd brought to the surface an underlying issue of hate that has plagued the United States & beyond since the Civil War.
Every employee at Nicki’s Diapers was reminded of the struggle and strife that all African-Americans go through every day and inspired to take action to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
After 156 years, Juneteenth is finally acknowledged as a federal holiday making it the first holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
Nicki’s Diapers would like to commemorate Juneteenth and look back on the last year, the changes we have made, and steps we’ve taken to understand African-Americans’ struggles everywhere better.
We are committed to listening and learning every day.
How You Can Commemorate Juneteenth
1. Educate Yourself and Reflect
Even though slavery ended in 1865, racism persists in numerous institutions and daily life. Use Juneteenth as a day to reflect on the discrimination against African-Americans and the issues that continue to perpetuate it in America and throughout the world.
Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day.
Take the day to read about the history of Juneteenth in-depth and try to understand how families felt after being emancipated. Spend two hours and watch the documentary 13th on Netflix to help you understand the struggles of today’s African-Americans.
Resources For Education About Juneteenth:
- What Is Juneteenth - PBS
- What Is Juneteenth - The New York Times
- The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth - National Museum of African American History & Culture
2. Donate Time or Money to Reputable Causes
If you have the ability, think about donating to a non-profit organization. This can be a great way to support the movement.
Take it one step further, and donate your time to helping with a local cause or non-profit.
While a small gesture, this can mean more than you may think.
3. Place a Sign in Your Front Yard
Help raise awareness and show support for Juneteenth by decorating a sign for your front yard or door.
This is an excellent way to help educate younger kids in your family and neighborhood who may not know about the holiday.
4. Celebrate By Watching Online Juneteenth Events
Instead of just celebrating with a cookout or family meal, watch one of the many Juneteenth events on television, online, or elsewhere.
Make an effort for your entire family to watch an event to help them understand the significance of this date and the ongoing fight against racism.
A Few Juneteenth Online Celebrations In 2021:
- Juneteenth Music Festival
- 30th Annual Juneteenth Celebration
- Subsume Summit - Creative Juneteenth 2021
Looking Back on 2020 and Looking to The Future
While it’s essential to understand the history of Juneteenth and to observe this monumental holiday, it’s even more important to look at where we are today and the changes happening today.
May 25, 2020, is a day that will live in infamy and has changed every single employee at Nicki’s and every American.
On this disgraceful day, Minneapolis resident George Floyd died in the custody of white police officer Derek Chauvin after he knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and thirty seconds.
George Floyd died handcuffed, face down in the street.
Like the rest of the country, the office was hit hard by this.
Everyone in the office was appalled at what happened to George Floyd.
As we gathered in the conference room watching protests from Minneapolis and around the globe, we knew we needed to take action.
In the 21st century, racism and discrimination should not be running rampant.
But what could we do?
As we began seeing protests breaking out internationally, we knew that inaction was unacceptable.
First, we sought out national and local causes to donate to because we knew a Facebook post or blog post would not be enough.
We chose to donate to Campaign Zero to assist in their work of ending police violence in America and the YWCA of Greater Cleveland to help in their work of eliminating racism and empowering women.
We also donated 100% of proceeds from our Hearts United launch in 2020 to the Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Program of Greater Akron, Ohio, to benefit our local community.
We knew that this still wasn’t enough and encouraged all of our employees to volunteer, demonstrate, and protest the injustices happening in the country.
We offered paid time off when doing so during work hours. We also reinforced our no-tolerance policy on racism in the workplace.
These policies are constantly updated to ensure protection and to take a strong stance to make life inside and outside of the office better for all.
Despite justice being served to Derek Chauvin, we know there is still tons and tons of work to be done.
Nicki’s Diapers is committed to the fight against systematic racism, police violence, and discrimination by being an equal opportunity employer, continuing the conversation, and giving our staff the tools and support to fight racist behavior in and outside of the workplace.
We know we do not have all of the answers but, we are committed to listening, learning, and understanding the best we can in the never-ending fight against systemic racism in our country today.
The Nicki's Diapers Team