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.
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.
— Omnicom Group (@Omnicom) June 19, 2020
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.
In the spirit of this momentous period we are living in and in celebration of an important time in our nation’s history, Social Driver has made #Juneteenth a company holiday to reflect on the messages of freedom, justice, and personal responsibility to do what is right. pic.twitter.com/HppECTMY9l
— Social Driver (@SocialDriver) June 19, 2020
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.
— DanielBooneRgLibrary (@dbrl) June 19, 2020