Companies share messages, take days off to honor Juneteenth holiday

Across Missouri and around the country on Friday, people celebrated Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.

Coming after weeks of protests decrying racism and police brutality, the day garnered more widespread attention this year, including from businesses.

More than 460 companies nationally gave employees paid time off, the Associated Press reports. Here’s a look at how some businesses, governments, organizations and individuals in Missouri honored the occasion.

Business

Ruby Jean’s Juicery, a Kansas City cafe specializing in health juices, was one of many black-owned businesses across the state to celebrate the holiday.

Omnicom, the parent company of St. Louis-based advertising and public relations firm FleishmanHillard, honored the occasion and gave all employees the day off.

Digital strategy agency Social Driver, which was co-founded by Kansas City native Anthony Shop and has one of its offices in the city, declared a company holiday.

Credit card company Mastercard, which has an operations center in the St. Louis area, took the day off and encouraged employees to volunteer, Bloomberg reports.

Arts and culture

Civic institutions were at the forefront of efforts to commemorate Juneteenth.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City planned special events for the occasion. According to director Julian Zugazagoitia, plans began years ago.

“I think a centerpoint of many of these conversations has been how to bring people together and reflect,” he said in a press release. “I think it’s more vital today and more relevant today than it was ever.”

The Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia celebrated by highlighting books on race.


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