On June 19, 1865 – more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation – Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, freeing more than 250,000 enslaved African Americans and bringing slavery to an end. Today, we remember that day as Juneteenth, and recognize it as a key turning point in American history for the achievements made towards justice for Black Americans and when we began to take the first steps toward equality for all Americans. We honor this important milestone.
To recognize and celebrate this day, the AspenTech Black Leadership Forum, one the company’s expanding community of employee resource groups, is hosting a celebration to share about the history of Juneteenth through information sharing, a trivia contest, reflections from individuals and sharing ways to support Black owned businesses in our communities and ways to get involved.
As a company, we know that our strength derives from the unique talents, experiences and authentic voices of our diverse team members and our values are grounded in treating everyone with dignity and respect. Below we share a few quotes from our AspenTech colleagues on the importance of recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth:
“Recognizing Juneteenth in society, but more importantly in workplaces, is incredibly important to me for several reasons. In the present day when a lot of organizations are focused on DEI, the “I” (inclusion) piece is often forgotten, especially when it comes to holidays that are recognized. Before the social justice movement sparked by George Floyd’s murder, I can remember just one time that Juneteenth was acknowledged by a former manager of mine (for context, a white woman). At the end of a meeting, she took the time to explain the significance of June 19th to the team and made space for Black employees to share how they felt. I’d never felt so seen, heard, and included—and this inspired me to get involved in creating similar spaces at subsequent workplaces.”
– Jason Warren, Senior Payroll Analyst
“Recognizing Juneteenth provides an opportunity to educate ourselves and future generations about the history of slavery, the ongoing fight for civil rights, and the need for social justice. By acknowledging this historical occasion, we promote a better awareness of difficulties endured by African Americans and work to create a society that is more inclusive. We also commemorate our ancestors' struggles. Juneteenth marks the liberation of enslaved Africans in the United States, thus it is a time to remember and reflect on how people have fought and continue to fight in the USA for their freedom and rights.”
– Rosa Andeme Nguema, Technical Account Manager, Customer Support
“Juneteenth is important in relation to the evolution of the word freedom and how people view freedom and equality across all forms of race and color in America. It’s a time of celebration for family and friends and a time of reflection of the sacrifices and achievements made by our ancestors. Juneteenth is a reminder that as a culture we are resilient and full of strength and love for all mankind.”
– Natasha Lockett, Marketing Programs Manager
“Juneteenth—a symphony of unwavering perseverance, indomitable strength, and unyielding courage—stands resolute as a luminous benchmark in our relentless pursuit of the sacred truth that every man and woman is forged equal. It proclaims, with unequivocal conviction, that the essence of a people cannot be constrained by their condition, their situation, or their circumstances, but instead lies in the depths of their resolute determination to ascend the grand pedestal of truth, justice, and the eternal pursuit of unbridled happiness. It resounds as an emphatic reminder, reverberating through the corridors of time, that no system or entity should trample upon the spirit of another, but rather that we, as a unified collective, shall rise as architects of a resplendent emblem, illuminating the path towards a future where greatness thrives within us all”.
- Nathan F. Lee, Senior Principal Enterprise Solution Consultant