What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, it was more than two years later that all enslaved people were emancipated. Juneteenth commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in Texas were notified of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Americans and global citizens alike, can recognize and celebrate this holiday. Juneteenth provides an opportunity to acknowledge the progress we have made, reflect on the journey Black and African-Americans transverse, and to celebrate freedom together.

Take a look at what Juneteenth means to some Black Employee Network Inclusion Group (BEN-IG) Members:

“For me, Juneteenth is a day to reflect on our nation’s history, a day to celebrate, and a day to acknowledge, remember, learn, and take action – just as we have a responsibility to do every day.” – Brianna Crawford, Account Manager, Northwest, GA

“I did not become aware of Juneteenth until I joined the Distribution and Logistics Center (DLC) team in 2020. For our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) journey, we posted information about the meaning of this anniversary. What resonated most with me is that our National Independence Day of July 4, which my family always celebrated with pride, was not independence for many Americans. I have come to think of Independence Day as both Juneteenth and July 4th and that Juneteenth has been rightfully added as a federal holiday.” – Lisa Bazzell, Plant Manager Princeton, IL and Barrie, ON

“It is a time of honoring my ancestors, celebrating my heritage and remembering I am here because of their hopes, dreams & sacrifice.” – Pamela Wilson, Finance, Controllership

At Ingersoll Rand, we are committed to building equity in how we treat people and the opportunities that are available to them. We are celebrating Juneteenth by being stewards in the community and connecting to causes that will help build equity for underrepresented and disadvantaged people. To celebrate Juneteenth, committee members of the Black Employee Network Inclusion Group (BEN-IG) have put together a list of virtual and in-person events around the world in celebration of Juneteenth and a list of delicious recipes. We invite you to

celebrate Juneteenth by doing one or more of the following: support your local Black-owned shop or restaurant, read a book by a Black author, explain the meaning of Juneteenth to a friend or family member that may not be familiar, or participate in one of the local Juneteenth events in your community.

The Black Employee Network members are passionate about facilitating a truly progressive, diverse, and inclusive work environment by advancing Ingersoll Rand’s purpose and values. BEN-IG provide employees with resources through strategic initiatives including hosting speakers in career development, mentoring, expanding knowledge about DE&I topics, engaging employees in discussions to drive inclusiveness at Ingersoll Rand and other topics relevant to the BEN network. Learn more about inclusion groups at Ingersoll Rand.