Honoring Juneteenth

We commemorate the historic moment when the last slaves were freed in Texas, ending slavery in the United States. As we honor the Black community's centuries-long fight for equality, our associates share their hopes and dreams of a future where diversity and inclusion are universal and essential values.

Meet our associates.

Alisia Henry

“Juneteenth is special because it reminds us of where we’ve been and to never go back there. It also encourages us to put our best foot forward so we are setting ourselves up to be in a better position in the future. African Americans have contributed a lot to this country, so I think it’s important that we celebrate those accomplishments and encourage our community to continue pushing forward.

I have a three-year-old son, and I want to instill in him the importance of being an encouragement to his community, being someone the community can look up to. I want him to contribute to society in the best way he knows how. And that can be in any forum that he feels he is best in. I want him to put his best foot forward and be that positive influence for the community.” 

Dolmecia Fleming

“Juneteenth is not just a day in history, but it’s also a timeless reminder of the enduring quest for freedom and the importance of never giving up hope, no matter what it looks like. I feel like the weight that was on our shoulders that we carried from our ancestors has now been lifted.

I am a mother of three, and I try to make sure my kids understand that they have equal rights and they can do anything. It’s important that we honor the past because a lot took place in the past that paved the way for where we are today.”

Danielle Walker

“I have three sons, and one of them is big into history. So he always likes to put a big spin on every Juneteenth. On that day, we’re always cooking and celebrating and talking about the things we’re grateful for. We reminisce on the past, but then we look at all the progress we’ve made, and we’re thankful for the fact that we have a different opportunity in this space of life. It’s so much more than just a national holiday. It’s a change in our culture.

And every time I walk outside as a professional, as a woman of color, I am also echoing that change. I try to always salute my ancestors and acknowledge what they’ve gone through and the struggle they’ve overcome.”

Bruce McCants

“On Juneteenth, I would like to see the youth acknowledge the history, educate themselves, and remember that they have a reason to celebrate. They can find their own way, create their own path in life, not be limited or directed. If they want to pursue anything, they can, and that’s freedom and independence.

We need that educational aspect of Juneteenth. Of course, there’s going to be food and music and the fun side of things, but I’d like to see it be educational as well. To hear the full story. And this acknowledgement of history allows the country and our communities to grow and move forward.”

Johnny Hankerson

“To me, Juneteenth is a pivotal point in our history. We’ve come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go.

It’s also significant because we have a lot of family members who went through that time, when they weren’t able to be free, when they weren’t able to do the things that we probably take for granted each and every day. So when I think about Juneteenth, I think about family. I think about togetherness.

Our Uncle Jim—who lived about 20 miles away from Perry, Florida, where we stayed—would walk those 20 miles to come and celebrate with our grandfather, Granddaddy Frank. It was his way of passing down that history to a younger generation, as we have to continue to pass that down to our younger generations. He would come celebrate every Juneteenth of every year and make that trip until he became too ill to be able to do it. And now, we’re creating some new traditions for our family to keep that top of mind and on the front burner of our history.”

Kimberley Hankerson

“When I hear ‘Juneteenth,’ I hear not only the part about the history, but I hear ‘family’ as well. And I love our family, because we do believe in the traditions and celebrating Juneteenth by all coming together to remember ‘why’ and educating young kids about the importance of it. It will help them understand that the life that they live now was not the life that our great-great-grandparents lived. And that they can carry on that legacy and tradition.

I believe that the next generation of children who are growing up now, in these times, who are seeing what’s going on, will be the change. No matter what their race is, I am very hopeful for this generation. Because they are coming together and standing against what is wrong.”

Danita Washington

“Juneteenth has so much meaning, especially having a child, for her to know that she can do anything that she wants to do in this world, and to show her where we have come from and where we’re going. It just has so much significance and so much history that we can instill in our children because they’re our future.

I feel like what we are experiencing and showing Delicia as a child is going to carry her through her life. To her children, to her children’s children. For her to carry on that tradition, to let them know we have so much work left to be done in this world. I would like, in our future, to continue celebrating Juneteenth by enjoying each other, celebrating freedom, celebrating life.”

Danita and her daughter Delicia

“Juneteenth is important because it made me realize that I have the rights and freedom to do whatever I want. When I mean important, I mean really important, because this is not just something for African Americans, it’s everybody’s history. So I think it’s important to know what it means and how you can celebrate it. I’m really excited to bond over a special day and enjoy family.”