The importance of Juneteenth has come to the forefront this year. Marking the end of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth dates back to 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Texas with the news that the enslaved Black Americans were now free.
155 years later, the United States is still slowly moving towards racial equity. For us, it is a reminder, especially amid current events, that there’s more we can do.
Awareness is an important step. Action is the next.
We stand with our Black employees, our Black clients we work with, the Black partners in our community, and the Black users for whom we design. Internally, we’re taking time to reflect and plan for how we can help build a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse workplace. For 1904labs, we feel that training and understanding are the foundation of meaningful action, so we plan to start there.
I strongly believe that each of us need to embrace and provide equality in our hearts and minds to all others. Until this happens, as a nation we will not be where we need to be. While laws are obviously a necessary first step, equality of all cannot be mandated merely by law. It is something each of us have to decide to embrace and accept on our own. I encourage each person reading this to embrace and accept equality for all today.
We applaud our clients like MasterCard and Bayer that are providing this holiday for their employees to celebrate, reflect, and take action.
In your own recognition of Juneteenth, please consider supporting local programs like Mission St. Louis, Lift for Life Academy, Tabernacle Community Development Corporation, St. Patrick Center, and North Side Community School. These organizations are doing incredible work to provide critical educational and career support in underserved St. Louis communities.
We started Lifting the Lou as a way to support these groups doing the hard transformative work in our communities. If you’re interested in furthering that work, please reach out and join us in helping bring prosperity and opportunity to all in St. Louis.