Entertainment luminaries, from musical maestro Pharrell Williams to talk show host/comedian Ellen DeGeneres, launched The Juneteenth Pledge, per The Hollywood Reporter, on a June 26 virtual call. This movement advocates for Juneteenth to be a "paid holiday for our employees in the United States."
The pledge also called for employers to set aside "a relevant day in our international offices to recognize the emancipation of enslaved people." The THR article noted:
To be sure that progress continues, a global campaign to educate and engage companies will kick into high gear over the coming weeks and months. While the focus will remain primarily on the private sector, the initiative will also include a social media campaign and work to support the bi-partisan effort in Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
In addition to Williams and DeGeneres, other celebs who have expressed support for the pledge include Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and CNN analyst Van Jones. Joining them were leaders from various non-profit and for-profit organizations, including Global Citizen, Adidas, airbnb, Starbucks, Under Armour, and more.
Williams said in a statement:
I love America for its progression, but I’m really in love with the untapped potential of this country. It was incredible to have powerful minds come together and really listen and be open to celebrating Juneteenth as a paid holiday. These companies influence which way the wind blows, they influence the economy and this was a very meaningful step in the right direction,
Slavery is the recessive scar that all of us share as Americans and we will continue to share in the effects of that scar if we don’t actively address the impact it’s had on our country and, most especially, on Black people in this country. Celebrating Juneteenth and all that it represents from an American standpoint not only acknowledges the wounds of our past but helps guide us towards healing.
Controversial boss DeGeneres said:
This is a time to be on the right side of history. As a white person, I cannot do enough. My wish is for everyone to join together in this fight.