Below is a message that Rubicon’s Founder and CEO sent to all employees on June 17, 2020.
Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Traditionally, businesses and the general public have not given this historic day the attention it deserves. On Friday at Rubicon, we will be observing this historic event.
In 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, thereby declaring free all people held as slaves in the ten states still in rebellion. The courage required of President Lincoln – a fellow Kentuckian – to do what was right despite significant reticence from his own advisors has always filled me with a sense of pride.
However, the Proclamation had limitations. It was not until June 19, 1865, two months after Appomattox, and 2 ½ years after Lincoln’s signature, that his declaration reached Texas, when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived with news that the war was over and those enslaved men and women were free.
Among Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3, which began most significantly with:
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
In honor of this momentous day, June 19th will be a paid holiday for all Rubicon team members going forward. It is our responsibility to continue to lead the way on this issue, and this is another small step that we can take to help move the country forward. I look forward to leading the charge and continuing Rubicon’s legacy of celebrating Black History with the help of our African American Affinity Group.
Given all that has happened around the country in recent days and weeks, 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 think about how each of us can help become part of the solution to this urgent and important priority.
I also encourage you to read and learn more about Juneteenth so you have a greater understanding of how important this day is, and a better understanding of the fight for freedom African Americans have waged for centuries.
Nate Morris is Founder and CEO of 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.