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Twitter, Spotify, Lyft, TikTok and others make Juneteenth an official company holiday

June 19 commemorates the day many African American slaves in the US finally learned they were free.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced on June 9 that Juneteeth will be a holiday for both companies "forevermore."

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Twitter and Square  last week set aside Juneteenth as an official company holiday in the US "forevermore." They've now been joined by several other major tech companies -- including TikTok, Spotify, Lyft, AdobeIndiegogo and Postmates -- in recognizing the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery in the US.

"A day for celebration, education, and connection," Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and Square, wrote in a Twitter thread on June 9. "Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present."

Observed every June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when federal orders were read in Texas declaring all enslaved African Americans in the US to be free, despite passage months earlier of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, which outlawed slavery in the US.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the ride-sharing company would also be honoring Juneteenth with a paid day off for employees. "We encourage employees to spend it in a way that allows them to stand up against racism, whether that's by learning, participating in a community action, or reflecting on how to make change," he tweeted June 17.

Spotify is making Juneteenth a company holiday for US employees in order to "support the Black community and give this day the recognition it deserves," a company representative said Tuesday. Adobe said in a blog post on June 10 that employees will have the day off to "focus on reflection and advocacy." (You can see a list of companies observing the Juneteenth holiday here.)

Google Calendar has reportedly also added Juneteenth as an official US holiday. 

The announcements comes as tens of thousands of people around the US (and around the world) continue to protest to condemn acts of racial discrimination and senseless violence by the police, following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

A number of tech companies, including Apple and Google, have since pledged millions of dollars to help social justice and civil rights groups as well as black communities. Earlier this month, Dorsey pledged $3 million in Start Small business grants to former NFL player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp, which works to educate, empower and mobilize "the next generation of change leaders."

Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatter.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.