Vincent R. Bennett, Our President and CEO, Shares His Thoughts on Juneteenth
Today Juneteenth became a federal holiday, signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. In honor of the holiday, McCormack Baron offices and sites will be closed tomorrow Friday, June 18, 2021, for a day of reflection and remembrance.
On June 19th we observe African American Emancipation Day, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery. This day honors resilience and freedom and serves to remind us of the importance of recommitting to the hard, ongoing work toward justice and equity in the United States.
This day commemorates not the first day that enslaved people were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, but the day that freedom reached the last enslaved people, in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two and a half years later.
The fight for racial equity continues. The work is often slow, dispiriting, and at times dangerous; however, through hope, faith and hard work progress continues to be made. A national reckoning on race is happening in America as our society moves towards acknowledging the history of racial injustice. Instances such as the long-hidden massacre in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood have been brought to the forefront this year for its 100th anniversary. President Biden signed a new bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Businesses, governments, religious organizations, private clubs, and educational institutions are exploring their own culpability in unjust actions and are digging deep(er) to right wrongs.
For nearly five decades, our company and people have performed incredibly hard work to achieve remarkable successes throughout this country. That said, we continue to confront harsh realities. I have faith that, together, we can change the system that holds some people back. We can make a difference and we can fulfil our vision that all people are able to live in sustainable, equitable, and opportunity rich communities.
Company leadership realizes that none of this work can be done without every one of our staff members. As we reflect on the importance of Juneteenth, the importance of Civil Rights, the importance of Black Lives Matter, let’s take a moment to consider what we can do collectively and individually in our respective communities to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. In his trademark eloquence, former President Barack Obama marked Juneteenth 2016 saying, “[this] is a time to recommit ourselves to the work that remains undone. We remember that even in the darkest hours, there is cause to hope for tomorrow’s light.”
In honor of Emancipation and the declaration of Juneteenth as a national holiday, MB Companies will be closed tomorrow.
Please attempt to reschedule any meetings/work commitments already scheduled for tomorrow, June 18th. If rescheduling is not possible, we ask that you honor those existing commitments and take time off another day/partial day in the near future (coordinating with your direct supervisor).
- McCormack Baron Companies will be adding Juneteenth to our observed Company holidays going forward.
- The payroll team will be adding the Juneteenth Holiday in UKG for our hourly team members sometime next week. No action is required for salary employees.
- If you previously scheduled PTO for tomorrow, June 17, please cancel the request in UKG. Please contact the Payroll team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance with correcting time off.