“As many of you may know, next Friday, June 19, is Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the US. Starting this year and going forward, Nike will recognize Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday in the US,” he wrote. He also said that honoring Juneteenth is an “important opportunity is to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.”
Additionally, Nike has also launched a diversity education program. “Education can play an important role in the fight against systemic racism and bigotry,” the memo said.
“So, from June 19 to July 4, we will offer programming and learning opportunities available to all employees on topics specific to racial inequality,” he continued. “Our expectation is that each of us use this time to continue to educate ourselves and challenge our perspectives and learn. I know that is what I intend to do.”
“When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand,” Donahoe continued.
“I strongly believe that focusing on a more diverse and inclusive culture for our Black teammates does not take away from our commitment to build a more diverse and inclusive culture for all groups inside Nike. It is not zero sum. In fact, most of the actions that we must take are consistent with what is required for everyone.” the Nike CEO concluded.
Other companies such as Twitter and Square have declared Juneteenth an annual paid holiday for all of their employees as well.