President Abraham Lincoln officially outlawed slavery in 1862 when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. However, it wasn’t until Union Army General Gordon Granger announced General Order No. 3 in Texas, that Lincoln’s proclamation was able to be enforced across the United States.
Last year, Whitespace pledged our active #allyship.
Our first action was to honor Juneteenth as a company-wide holiday. Our hope was that our employees would take time to explore, learn, introspect, and participate in activism for themselves and the communities affected by institutional racism and social injustice.
One of our Whitespace alumnus, Jared Campbell, took the Juneteenth holiday to explore race in law enforcement involved fatalities. His project was so insightful that he was asked to speak at a virtual conference on re-imagining public safety.
We are pleased to see how far the United States has come in recognizing the need for change. North Dakota passed a bipartisan bill in April and the U.S. Senate approved a bill just this week to formally recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. But, we still have a long way to go. Black, People of Color (POC), and other minority groups and communities are still fighting for equal rights in labor, health care, housing, education, and more.
Whitespace pledged to be an #ally not just in the moment, but in perpetuity. This year we are reaffirming that pledge. We will continue to read, watch, listen, and act. We will continue to improve. We will continue to do better. We will continue to encourage our teammates and partners to do the same. And we will continue to support our employees and our communities to the best of our ability.