This Sunday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, a day to commemorate enslaved African Americans' emancipation. This day represents a step towards a future that embraces diversity, ensures inclusivity, and establishes equality. Proofpoint will be observing Juneteenth as a national holiday and our U.S. offices will be closed on Monday, June 20th.
At Proofpoint, we support diversity not just because it is right, but because our employees must be empowered to create global experiences where every customer, partner and employee feels valued and protected.
Earlier this year, we launched nine Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs). These groups create a sense of belonging to employees, elevate the voices of the underrepresented communities and bring unique perspectives to business innovation.
To celebrate and acknowledge this holiday, Anthony Corniffe, our Black EIG Chair, shares more on Juneteenth's history and ways to give back to the black communities. Anthony is a Senior Manager on our finance team, holds a BBA from Morehouse College, an MBA from Syracuse University, and is a strong advocate for increasing the number of Blacks in cybersecurity.
“The first Juneteenth celebration was on June 19th, 1865, when enslaved African Americans were told of their freedom in Galveston, Texas. This was three years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Juneteenth celebrations have spread throughout Texas and other states, and finally, in 2021, it became an official United States federal holiday.”
“Juneteenth holds a special place for those who descend from enslaved African Americans. While this celebration highlights the end of slavery, we still have a lot of work to do. Given how Blacks are still treated from racial discrimination and police brutality, I define Blacks as being “free-ish,” meaning we are not completely free. Therefore, we must continue to push forward so future generations can be free from discrimination, inequality, and other injustices.”
“The city of Buffalo is still reeling from a racially motivated shooting that has sent shockwaves around the country. As families in Buffalo deal with the repercussions of this hate crime, we can offer the city our care, compassion, and practical help. We can support a community seeking to recover from this shocking event by helping organizations dedicated to serving the people and communities of Buffalo.”
“If you are looking for ways to celebrate Juneteenth, this is a perfect time to examine and reflect on your contribution to the Black American community. While this may be uncomfortable, slavery would have never ended through indifference and apathy. Be a driving force of the change and do your part to end racial injustice. I am thrilled Proofpoint recognizes Juneteenth as a company holiday and supports the black community with charitable donations.”