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Hoosier businesses celebrate Juneteenth; some give employees paid time off

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Inside the Missing Brick pizza in Indianapolis, there’s love, creativity and a recognition of the past.

“For me, it’s being able to create freedom, which is also going to create generational wealth for my family,” said Que Wimberly, owner of The Missing Brick.

That’s why Que Wimberly made sure to teach her children about Juneteenth.

“For me as a black business owner, it’s everything that entrepreneurship has to do with. It goes hand-in-hand with Juneteenth: just ownership over being owned,” Wimberly said.

Juneteenth celebrates June 19th, 1865: the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were told by the Union Army that they were free, and the Civil War was over. That was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all enslaved people.

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“We should use this moment as an opportunity to learn more. To engage with communities that may have different lived experiences here in this nation to better understand the challenges we’ve had around race and racism. What it’s done, what it’s undone, and what it’s still doing in 2020,” Darryl Lockett, the executive director of the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative in Indianapolis, said.

For the first time in 2020, several national companies with central Indiana locations, gave their employees paid time off for Juneteenth. Some examples are J.C. Penney, Target, Uber and Lyft.

That stance is prominent closer to home. Locally, banks including Chase, Fifth Third, PNC, US Bank and Stockyards closed their branches early Friday, in observance of Juneteenth.

“A showing of true empathy and understanding that the liberties and justice that we fight for are important to all citizens and all residents of this country,” Lockett said.

Ask Courtney Roby, the owner of Sparx Athletic Refinery in Fishers, what Juneteenth means to him, and he’ll give you an honest answer: “Do what we can to pass down the legacy to the younger generations. Setting an example for those who look to own a business, entrepreneurship, whatever the case may be. Just showing that you can do it. If you put in the hard work, and you have the drive to do so.”

Lockety encourages you to have bold conversations. Go to a library, or Google to research the long road to freedom endured by so many enslaved people.

Statements

Out of deep respect for the suffering that the Black community has endured over hundreds of years and in recognition of the high esteem in which we hold our Black community at JPMorgan Chase, we are closing all Chase branches at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 19 — known as Juneteenth. 

Juneteenth celebrates African American emancipation and freedom. Closing the branches enables many of our colleagues to join in the celebration and reflect on not only America’s achievements, but also its enduring effort to acknowledge its flaws and become a better nation.

2020 has become a very unique moment in our history. While we must continue many core operations during this period, this early closure allows our branch employees — many of whom have been working on the front lines to support our customers and communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis — time to reflect, learn and participate in peaceful events in their communities. Outside of the Chase branches, we will provide opportunities for U.S. employees, if their role permits, to end their workday at 1 p.m. if they want time for reflection and self-development through some of the helpful resources below or to participate in these local events and peaceful gatherings. Click here for how this may impact your work day.

On behalf of all of my partners on the Operating Committee, I want to reiterate that JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to the principle that all people deserve fair and equal treatment and respect, both morally and under the law. We want all people, including the LGBT+ community, people with disabilities, veterans, the Hispanic, Muslim and Asian communities and anyone else disrespected by discriminatory policies and behavior — whether blatant or veiled, deliberate or unconscious — to have a chance to flourish in this great country.

Now is the time for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equality, recognizing that all people are created equal, that no one anywhere should be denied their unalienable rights, and that everyone should be afforded the full protection of equal and fair justice under the law.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

At Salesforce, we’ve added Juneteenth to our list of floating holidays that employees can take off. And for those who choose to work, we’re asking them to limit meetings to make the space for much needed rest during this time and to engage in continued learning. Every year, BOLDforce, our Black employee resource group, honors this day with educational programming. This year, we will be joined by a special guest author and activist (we’ll be able to share the name very shortly – will follow up) along with Robin Washington, EVP, Gilead Sciences and Salesforce Board Member, and more. Our day of programming focuses on three areas: Education: History of Juneteenth, understanding racial equality and how to be antiracist ; Empowerment: Economic Empowerment and topical areas ; Uplifting: Music to support healing

Salesforce spokesperson

On this day, Juneteenth, and every day, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana stands with Black Americans and people of color who continue to demand racial equality in the United States. We celebrate June 19, 1865, as the day that the last enslaved African Americans secured their freedom, but we also recognize that there is still much work to be done before racial equity is achieved. In honor of this day, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana commits to taking a number of actions to advance our knowledge as an organization around racial inequity, including: Supporting any proposed legislation around the declaration of Juneteenth as a nationally-recognized holiday in the United States; Hosting ongoing Town Hall Meetings for our employees to collaborate and discuss racial injustice and to problem solve how to best serve our communities ; Providing racial equity trainings to all Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana employees who interact with participants, students and clients. Most importantly, we recognize the work is just beginning. Goodwill will play an active role in joining the global conversation to ensure equity for Black Americans and people of color. Together, we will invoke change to enhance the lives of everyone in our communities.

Ivan P. Cropper, Vice President, Marketing Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana

Indiana University Health will observe Juneteenth. We will share a message of support with our employees.

Indiana University Health spokesperson

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