Storytelling With Pride Part Two: The Impact of Juneteenth

This post was originally published to commemorate Juneteenth 2021. We are re-posting this message to continue to spread awareness of the meaning of Juneteenth and how its impact is still felt today.

PandoLogic’s mission to amplify diverse voices continued with a discussion focused on the impact and prevalence of Juneteenth. Juneteenth represents a massive historical and cultural shift in the United States. This long-celebrated holiday marks the day when, in 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and signaling the beginning of the end of slavery in the United States. Celebrations of this historic day have existed across the country ever since.

We invited our very own Darrell Bennett to lead a learning session centered around the historical impact of Juneteenth.

“We bring our spirits to work, we bring the essence of who we are…I really value these spaces where we can have conversations about things that really touch the fabric and the heart of who we are,” said Bennett. 

As part of the session, Bennett highlighted what this holiday means 156 years later, how we can push the idea of emancipation even further by addressing the generational wealth gap, and steps we can take to build true inclusion & equity far beyond the walls of the workplace. Here’s what we learned.

Navigating A New Normal

Bennett kicked things off by setting up expectations for the group in attendance.

He began, “My intention here is really to have a conversation…a dialogue about what is Juneteenth beyond the context of just race. What does it mean for our world…and where we are personally?”

Juneteenth goes beyond the scope of race and hits at something a bit closer to our present-day struggles: disruption. Disruption is a part of our history. It has pushed us forward through the years and left generation after generation wondering what was next and how could we improve?

“When we look at what Juneteenth was it was a disrupting event…it was the most radical, and disruptive event that perhaps happened in all of American history…and how do we navigate the new normal?” said Bennett.

Navigating new normals is nothing new today but Bennett touched on the importance of not changing for the sake of change but changing to improve. Adapting to current circumstances to ensure we leave a better world behind.

The Fight Continues

“A lot of what we deal with is people stuck in their perspective. It’s something we all struggle with,” said Bennett.

Unfortunately, not everyone adapts to change so easily. The fear of change is part of the human condition. We all struggle with being stuck in our perspective mindsets. But it’s important that we push beyond our own mental boundaries and stay flexible. This is the only way that new ideas and agents of change can become integrated into our societal norms.

And so as the fight for civil liberties and rights rages on, we will continue to look to Juneteenth as the catalyst for “good trouble“, celebrate its historical significance and fight our internalized fear of change to progress to new heights.

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