Below is a message that Rubicon’s Chief Administrative and People Officer, Michael Heller, sent to all employees on June 17, 2021.

Juneteenth, a 156-year-old holiday celebrating the freeing of African-Americans from slavery in the United States, is commemorated on June 19 because on that date in 1865, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas and informed the still-captive slaves that the Civil War was over and their forced servitude was at an end.

While this was, and still is, an incredibly important moment in American history, June 19, 1865 was just one of the first steps on a journey that continues today.

Ultimately, Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, and to remember that the ideals that underlie the very origin of our country require nurturing every day to ensure that we remain faithful to the founding vision of America. To achieve what we now call the American Dream, we must remember where we have come from, what has already been achieved, and what remains to be accomplished. We have to stay focused on building a country in which opportunity, liberty, and security are available to all.

With the help of Rubicon’s African American Affinity Group, I look forward to continuing our work in fostering equality of opportunity for all, and to celebrating Black History on this special holiday. Last year, Rubicon established Juneteenth as a permanent paid holiday, but we know that there is still much more to be done.

One of Rubicon’s greatest strengths is that our business model supports the growth and health of businesses all across the country. Whether it’s helping our customers streamline their waste management and recycling practices, or contributing to the growth of our hauler partners, many of which are small, independent businesses themselves. Our work touches communities everywhere, not just the large, coastal cities, but crucially in the heartland of our country, too.

I strongly encourage every member of our team to take time on Friday to reflect on our responsibility to help everyone access the American Dream, and to think about how each of us can play an active role in driving solutions to this most pressing of priorities.



Michael Heller is Chief Administrative and People Officer Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.