MINNEAPOLIS — Target has announced that Juneteenth will now be an official company holiday.
The June 19 holiday commemorates the ending of slavery in the U.S. Target announced that while stores will remain open, hourly team members who work that day will receive time and a half. Eligible Target employees have the option to take the day off with full pay, and the corporate headquarters will be closed in observance.
“We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different,” CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement.
Juneteenth takes its date from June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders to free slaves in Galveston, Texas.
Target emphasized in its new release that recognizing the holiday is just "one step." The company has committed $10 million to support social justice and rebuilding efforts in local communities. And it pledged to "continue to listen and learn from our team members, our guests and our community partners."
“Juneteenth takes on additional significance in this moment," Cornell said in his statement. "Moving now to recognize it on an annual basis—as a day to celebrate, further educate ourselves or connect with our communities—is one more important action Target can take as a company to help the country live up to the ideal of moving forward in a new way.”
U.S. Bank will also recognize Juneteenth by closing all locations nationwide at 1 p.m. on Friday and giving employees a half-day paid holiday.
“The struggle many of our colleagues and diverse populations across the globe have experienced is not something we can solve in a day, but we are taking steps to acknowledge and address historical injustices,” said Andy Cecere, chairman, president and CEO. “I hope you will use this time to serve in your communities, commit to inclusion and advocacy, or simply educate yourself on a topic you may not know much about. We all can do our part. Like you, I am learning every day.”