Statement on Juneteenth as a Firm Holiday

October 29, 2020

Bond, guided by the efforts of the Diversity Committee and our Diversity Officer, seeks avenues to act on issues of equity, diversity and inclusion both within the firm and within our communities. These efforts are taken with the firm’s diversity statement in mind and with the goal of creating meaningful action in support of the principles articulated in that statement. 

In promoting equity and inclusion, we must take a hard look at the historical context of institutionalized racism and the forgotten history of Black Americans. It is our goal to educate ourselves and to create opportunities that acknowledge the long and difficult struggle for freedom and racial justice. 

Under this context, after careful consideration and review, the Management Committee has approved the firm recognizing Juneteenth as an annual firm holiday beginning in 2021.

Juneteenth celebrates our nation’s second independence day. Dating back 155 years, Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States – June 19, 1865 when the last remaining enslaved African Americans were emancipated in Texas.

Juneteenth is a major event in U.S. history that many of us did not learn about in school. As one of the firm’s clients, the Brentwood Union Free School District, stated in its resolution declaring Juneteenth a holiday “the observance of Juneteenth honors the history, perseverance, and achievements of African Americans, and celebrates America’s progress and continuing commitment to realizing the principles of liberty and equality upon which our nation was founded. … [T]his observance is a reminder of the hardships and losses suffered by African Americans in their struggle to attain freedom, and we pay tribute to the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in that quest.”

While recognizing the Juneteenth Holiday is an important step, we want to encourage further action in support of the goals of eliminating racial injustice and promoting diversity and inclusion. Therefore, the firm will provide several opportunities in the months leading up to Juneteenth for education, reflection and service. Following this email is a list of several of the educational opportunities that will be presented over the next several months as well as resources to learn more about Juneteenth and how it is commemorated in many of our communities.