Juneteenth: Celebrating Liberty, Equity and Equality

An article by Kevin Robinson, General Manager and LEAD Chair

June 15, 2022

Colleagues, friends and peers –

Although a new federal holiday, Juneteenth has a long and richly storied history that holds profound significance for many of us.

The acknowledgement and celebration of Juneteenth is uplifting to our Black African Ancestry families! Many are being introduced to the beauty of the African culture, rich history, and yes, our lineage! The celebration creates an environment for those in the black community to find wholeness, peace, and a connection to a beautiful history of hero’s that precedes the days of the horrors of the Atlantic Slave Trade. 

As a leader at Lineage, I encourage other US leaders to use this opportunity to learn more of our history and create space for our teams to commemorate the holiday.

More About Juneteenth

On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth — often commemorated as the official end of slavery — became a US federal holiday.

The roots of Juneteenth date back to June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally learned that they had been freed. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had taken affect as of January 1, 1863, it was more than two years later that the news reached Texas. Nowadays, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day — marking the day when all enslaved people in the south were finally liberated. Slavery was officially outlawed nationwide with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution on December 18, 1865.

This is a deeply important holiday for many of our team members, including myself — and I think it is potentially a great way to engage with your teams and get involved with your local community.

Ways to get involved:

• Organize a local lunch/barbecue at your site

• Acknowledge it in your startup meetings and/or townhalls 

• Ask your team members if it’s something they celebrate and how

• Find local community celebrations in your area for your team to attend/join

• Celebrate with strawberry soda and red velvet cake

I plan to educate our team members concerning the significance of Juneteenth in the African American community. From a place of compassion and servant leadership, we’ll capitalize on this great opportunity to drive engagement, psychological safety and meaningfulness to our team members.

I would like to thank my follow LEAD (Leadership & Education for African Ancestry Development) members for helping coordinate this initiative. As a recently established ERG, LEAD has a goal to foster networking, professional development, mentoring and leadership opportunities with an emphasis on recruitment, retention, learning and advancement among team members of Black or African Ancestry within Lineage. It’s an honor to serve as chair of the LEAD ERG.

Please, join me and our board in partnering with others across the Lineage network to make our company an awesome place to work!

Thank you,

Kevin D. Robinson

LEAD Chair: Lineage