(WCCO) — Target is giving hourly employees either a paid day off or will pay them time-and-a-half to work on June 19th, historically the date that marks the effective end of slavery in the United States.
“We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” says Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target. “Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment.”
Juneteenth is the day that commemorates when the federal orders were read to slaves in Galveston, Texas that proclaimed them free.
Target joins the ranks of corporations who will be observing Juneteenth as a holiday. Other corporations are Nike, the NFL, Twitter, Square,
In a letter to employees, Nike announced the decision, which also included a plan to combat racial injustice as the nation still protests against police brutality.
“At Nike, Inc., we aspire to be a leader in building a diverse, inclusive team and culture. We want to be better than society as a whole,” CEO John Donahoe said.
Donahoe added that observing the holiday is an opportunity “to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.”
The CEO wrote that the company’s African American employees feel “a disconnect between our external brand and your internal experience.”
“You have told me that we have not consistently supported, recognized, and celebrated our own Black teammates in a manner they deserve,” he said. “This needs to change.”
Donahoe said that Nike’s board and the executive team would hire more black, female, and Latinx employees all across the company.