Quicken Loans gives employees paid day off to honor end of slavery
Mortgage giant Quicken Loans gives its 30,000 employees a paid day off to commemorate the day slavery ended in America – a corporate decision made amid a large Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis police.
Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner took to Twitter on Friday to announce the new paid holiday for Juneteenth, which has been celebrated annually on June 19 since 1865 – the day Union soldiers told slaves to Galveston, Texas that they were free.
“As we continue to share how we believe the communities we call home can improve opportunities for people of color, it is even more essential that we identify how we can do better as an organization,” tweeted Farner, adding:
“#JuneteenthDay will be a paid holiday for team members who choose to commemorate this day. We encourage those team members to use it to have a voice, contribute to the community, celebrate their identity or the use to learn more about tackling racial inequity. “
Quicken Loans is headquartered in Detroit, where protests against police brutality extend into the third week after the death of Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died last month after a police officer buried his knee in the neck human for more than 8 minutes.
Floyd’s death, which was declared a homicide, came almost exactly one month before June 19, 1865 – the day Union soldiers entered Galveston, heralding the end of the Civil War. It was two years after the emancipation proclamation.
Currently, 47 states and the District of Columbia mark June 19 as a public holiday or commemoration, although June 15 is still not a federal holiday.
But now it’s paid time off for Detroit-headquartered Quicken Loans, which is one of America’s largest black city employers and investors.
The city of Detroit also has big plans for Juneteenth this year.
The city is planning a week-long celebration and is calling on artists to craft an inspiring message on Woodward Avenue. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Monday and end Friday with a rally for freedom and the unveiling of an uplifting message painted along a long span of Woodward Avenue leading to Spirit Plaza.
“Juneteenth is more than a celebration of the day many African Americans first learned of the end of slavery; this is an opportunity to initiate a dialogue necessary to increase understanding and bring about real change, ”said Mayor Mike Duggan.
“Throughout our country’s history, discriminatory laws and policies have been put in place that have caused untold damage to people of color over generations. The celebration of June 19 of this year comes at the right time for all of us to reflect and remember the change that is yet to take place.
Contact Tresa Baldas: [email protected]