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The significance of Juneteenth and what it means from a global perspective

  • Posted on June 17, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Juneteenth takes place on June 19, and as part of our new Inclusion & Diversity podcast series, we brought together four people from INSPIRE, our Black Employee Network to ask them what Juneteenth means to them.

The conversation was hosted by Mina Rabideaux, Global Employee Network Program Lead. The panel included: Chanelle Schneider, a content specialist and creative lead for INSPIRE; Eunice Kyereme, global communications lead for INSPIRE and an infrastructure consultant based in the northeast of the U.S.; Frederick Douglas Williams, global PR lead for INSPIRE and a UX designer in New York; and Jasmine Blackmon, a senior consultant within the delivery management talent community and INSPIRE member.

In one word, they were each asked what Juneteenth means to them? Jasmine said to her it means freedom.  For Frederick, it was connection. Chanelle said for her it means history, and for Eunice it means power.

For the group, the Juneteenth holiday is about remembering and commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S.. The holiday was first celebrated in Galveston, Texas, where on June 19, 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, enslaved people were informed they were free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. They also hold it as an important reminder of the possibility of changing the future of the U.S..

Collectively, they all feel proud to see that not only can our INSPIRE Employee Network host a celebration for Juneteenth, but that our Avanade community supports it. People join in the activities that are planned and want to help. In the words of one of our panel: “It's beautiful to see the convergence of so many different backgrounds and cultures come together to celebrate Juneteenth.” We are all #AvanadeProud.  

Listen to the whole conversation on our podcast.

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