Over the last few days, much of the country has gained a greater appreciation for Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the Emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans, two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
As a Black woman, Juneteenth is a special day for me because I am reminded of the obstacles African Americans have overcome and how we’ve shaped society today. Black creators, inventors and scientists helped influence much of what we use in our day-to-day lives.
From Miriam Benjamin’s 1888 Gong and Signal Chair, which influenced the signaling system airline passengers use to request assistance to the success of Madame C.J. Walker, who developed a line of cosmetics and hair care products for Black women that continue to inspire today, the effect of Black entrepreneurs in the United States cannot be denied. The women mentioned above refused to let racial discrimination, prejudice and racist barriers keep them from achieving their goals.
We as an organization believe that the biases these women faced in the past, cannot be repeated. As our country faces a moment of self-reflection and change, W2 Communications understands how crucial it is to provide equal footing for our Black peers, colleagues and friends, not just to ensure their individual successes, but our overall success as a nation as well.
As we reflect on the historical significance of Juneteenth as well as the current national dialogue on racial inequality, we’re also evaluating how we can move forward as an organization that advocates for diversity and equality. In addition to the development of our Social Action Committee, there are additional actions we will take to give a platform to the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and business leaders. This includes:
- Developing programs that offer pro bono digital and marketing services to emerging Black owned startups
- Using our various platforms – such as our podcast, Inside the Media Minds and CYBERTACOS- to give a voice to organizations that are spearheading the move for more diversity in tech
- Finding ways to support diversity efforts in the IT industry community, such as identifying ways to work with organizations like Black Girls Do STEM and Black Girls Code, which seek to encourage, inspire, and enlighten young Black girls to pursue their dreams.
Today I recognize Juneteenth by honoring and acknowledging the first steps the freed slaves took to begin their journey as a carpenter, editor or entrepreneur. Because freedom is not given when pen is put to paper – it is given when the oppressed realize their power.
As a company and as individuals, we always have and always will condemn any type of racial discrimination, harassment, or actions of violence that are against the Black community. We stand with the Black community and acknowledge their voice, ideas and insights. We are committed to learning and listening to the Black community and will continue to do our part to create a safe environment for Black and Brown individuals. #BlackLivesMatter