(FOX 9) - Minnesota-based companies Target, U.S. Bank, and Best Buy are both officially recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday.
Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and celebrates the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy back in 1865.
Target officials wrote in a statement that the company is "standing with Black families, communities and team members and creating lasting change around racial justice and equity. We’re building on a strong foundation of diversity and inclusion and taking action to do more—from forming an internal action committee to guide Target’s path forward to committing $10 million to advance social justice and support rebuilding and recovery efforts in local communities."
“We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment. Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.”
While all stores and distribution centers will remain open, hourly team members who work on June 19 will be paid time and a half. All eligible Target team members have the option to take the day off with full pay. Headquarters offices will be closed in observance.
U.S. Bank also announced it will close its offices and branches at 1 p.m. local time on Friday, June 19 in recognition of Juneteenth.
“The events of the past few weeks have changed the conversation and added a sense of urgency that has motivated more people across the globe to act to address social injustice. That begins with acknowledging our rich and diverse history,” U.S. Bank CEO Andy Cecere said in a release. “We are encouraging our employees to use this time to serve in our communities, commit to inclusion and advocacy, or simply educate themselves on this very important topic.”
Best Buy announced Tuesday the company will shorten its hours on Election Day - November 3, 2020 - and will celebrate Juneteenth by giving all employees a paid volunteer day. Starting next year, Juneteenth will become a formal, paid company holiday.