Huffington Post article about Juneteenth includes insights from Prudence Layne

The article about how to meaningfully celebrate the new national holiday included comments from Layne about how organizations and companies can avoid having their observances ring hollow.

A recent article in the Huffington Post about how to meaningfully celebrate Juneteenth, the country’s newest federal holiday, includes insights from Professor of English Prudence Layne.

Associate Professor of English Prudence Layne

The article by Brittany Wong titled “Don’t Treat Juneteenth As Another Day Off. Do This Instead.” offers a look at how to make Juneteenth a day of learning and celebration. Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when the Union Army belatedly informed the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, that slavery had been outlawed when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years before. This year, President Joe Biden signed into law legislation passed by Congress making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The population as well as organizations and companies have begun paying more attention to Juneteenth, with some giving employees the day off, the article notes.

However, Layne notes, those actions should also be coupled with more work to ensure that Black employees are being paid, hired and promoted at comparable rates to their White counterparts.

“If companies are simply checking boxes on some real or imagined DEI checklist, or looking to appease and convince client bases of their ‘wokeness,’ then this push rings hollow,” said Layne, who hosts of The CoRE: Conversations on Race and Equity.

That said, Layne joked that “if companies are willing to move beyond well-timed statements from their CEOs to advancing for long-term, impactful, structural adjustments to their policies and practices, I’m ready to party!”

Read the entire article here.