Tomorrow is Juneteenth, which commemorates the day that Union General Gordon Granger read the federal orders at Galveston, Texas, to free the remaining slaves on June 19th, 1865. While the Emancipation Proclamation had passed more than two years prior, the news of ending slavery in the United States had not yet reached the entire country. The first Juneteenth celebrations occurred a year later when formerly enslaved people gathered to recognize this day and organize rallies to continue working towards equality.
One hundred and fifty-five years later, the U.S. is still dealing with pervasive and systemic racism that continues to disadvantage and harm our black communities. As a nation, we are reeling from the recent tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, but these names are only a few in the long history of violence against and oppression of black people in the U.S. We must take action and change as individuals, corporations, and communities.
As a company, EnterSolar is formally observing Juneteenth for the first time this year, and our offices will be closed for a time of reflection. We have also been taking the time to examine the ways in which we have been complicit in perpetuating the oppression of black communities and working towards immediate actions and long-term plans to address these issues.
Our immediate actions include:
- Facilitating company-wide discussions on race, identity and social justice
- Donating to several organizations including, Human Rights Watch, Advancement Project and Color of Change
- Committing to provide dollar-for-dollar matching for employee contributions to charitable organizations, with an emphasis on charities advancing the goals of racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement
Our long-term commitments include:
- Establishing specific targets to improve the diversity of our team and our subcontractors–reporting regularly on our progress
- Including unconscious-bias training for all EnterSolar employees and board members
We understand that there is ongoing, continual work to be done. EnterSolar is committed to diversity of race, gender, and sexual orientation, and on the Juneteenth, we would like to voice our specific support towards our black community. Black Lives Matter.