13 Unique Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth at Work
Working in a remote environment inspires us to find ways to celebrate significant cultural events, like Juneteenth, in ways that exceed traditional gatherings. But how can you leverage things such as virtual parties, workshops, and team building games to make your Juneteenth celebrations at work inspiring?
If a valuable and fun Juneteenth activity is exactly what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place! So keep reading and uncover the best ways to celebrate June 19th with your remote team.
- What is Juneteenth?
- How is Juneteenth celebrated?
- Juneteenth Ideas to Become a Better Ally
- 1. Juneteenth Allyship Workshop
- 2. Being Black in White Spaces
- 3. Juneteenth Fundraising Event
- 4. Juneteenth Open Mic for Black Employees
- Educational Juneteenth Activities for Work
- 5. Juneteenth Trivia
- 6. Black History Month Trivia
- 7. Juneteenth Lunch & Learn
- 8. Virtual Museum Tours for Juneteenth
- 9. Black Authors Book Club
- 10. Black Cinema Movie Night
- Juneteenth Celebration Ideas at Work
- Tips for a Fantastic Juneteenth Celebration at Work
- Final Notes
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, officially named Juneteenth National Independence Day, celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in the 19th century. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed over two years earlier, it wasn’t until federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865 to announce the end of the Civil War that all enslaved black people were finally freed.
Juneteenth recently became a federal holiday in the US, but it’s also acknowledged in other parts of the world. In fact, it’s often considered the longest running African-American holiday! This celebration honors the achievements, history and culture of Black Americans.
How is Juneteenth celebrated?
Juneteenth is often celebrated with picnics, festivals, fairs, and parades. Nowadays, it’s also focused on educational events: speeches, reading relevant works, and exhibitions showcasing the heritage of Black Americans. Additionally, there’s a tradition of preparing red food and drinks for this holiday!
If you want to recognize Juneteenth at work, you can do so in several different ways! Depending on your goals and capabilities, you can organize educational and informative activities or take a more celebratory approach. Still stuck for ideas? Keep on reading to find some great ideas for Juneteenth celebrations in the workplace!
Juneteenth Ideas to Become a Better Ally
To many individuals, allyship with the Black American communities, as well as other marginalized groups is a priority. Working towards that common goal at work will allow you to connect with your employees and turn your engagement in social issues into action!
Remember, Juneteenth is just one of the many events that present an opportunity to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion in your company! It is important for every company to focus on these issues regularly, even outside of holidays.
- Pricing: Request a quote
- Group size: 1-500
- Duration: 60 minutes
How aware are you of the everyday struggles of Black Americans? The Juneteenth Allyship Workshop not only commemorates the emancipation of enslaved individuals and their history, but also teaches you to be a good ally! This activity includes interactive exercises that boost awareness and support.
➕ Benefits: The workshop will help your colleagues counter microaggressions and unconscious biases, resulting in a safer work environment and healthier relationships.
- Pricing: $3,000
- Group size: 10-100
- Duration: 60 minutes
Inviting a guest speaker is a fantastic way to celebrate Juneteenth in a mindful way. Being Black in White Spaces is an opportunity to listen to the story of Simidele Adeagbo, the first African woman to compete in the Olympic skeleton! If you want your employees to learn from other perspectives and authentic experiences, this activity is perfect for you!
➕ Benefits: This virtual Juneteenth activity cultivates empathy in the workplace, allowing your team to create stronger bonds and unite in the fight for inclusion!
3. Juneteenth Fundraising Event
Virtual fundraising events combine a fun team building experience with showing support for marginalized communities! Talk to your employees to find charities you can donate to and organize your event to collect funds. It can be anything from a talent show to a virtual bake sale or art exhibition – just gauge your skills and abilities to find an activity your team will excel at!
➕ Benefits: Organizing a virtual fundraiser for Juneteenth at work fosters collaboration and communication. It’s also an excellent way to practice leadership skills!
4. Juneteenth Open Mic for Black Employees
Organize an open mic session and let your African-American employees speak up about their everyday struggles, achievements, and heritage! This activity is an easy way to celebrate Juneteenth with your remote team and learn from each other.
➕ Benefits: Allowing your colleagues to speak openly and share their experiences is a fantastic morale booster! Additionally, it can draw your attention to any issues within your virtual team, which are easily missed while working from home.
Educational Juneteenth Activities for Work
As Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating Black American culture and history, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more on the topic. There’s plenty of easy ways to educate yourselves, from hosted trivia games to DIY activities!
If you decide to host educational Juneteenth events for your team by yourself, remember to do thorough research and use proven sources.
- Pricing: £12/$15 per person
- Group size: 6-300
- Duration: 30-60 minutes
Check your knowledge on this unique holiday with our Juneteenth Trivia! Filled to the brim with informative and entertaining content, this virtual activity is all about learning, healthy competition, and team-focused entertainment! Tell your team to read up on the major events in the history and culture of Africa, as well as Black Americans, and see who’s best prepared!
➕ Benefits: Our virtual trivia combines educational activities with a fun team building experience, which will allow your employees learn more about each other and strengthen bonds.
- Pricing: from £16/$22 per person
- Group size: 8-500
- Duration: 60 minutes
It might not be Black History Month, but this virtual trivia is a great choice for anyone who wishes to dig deeper into the history of the Black community! A professional host will keep your team entertained and guide you through a variety of minigames. How much does your team know about Black History Month and each other? Let’s see!
➕ Benefits: Black History Month Virtual Trivia is an opportunity to build trust between your colleagues, broaden their cultural horizons, and work towards your DE&I objectives.
7. Juneteenth Lunch & Learn
Host a lunch and learn (or barbecue and learn!) session to encourage conversation within your remote team. Here are a few topics to get the discussion started:
- What are the long-lasting effects of slavery and how can we understand and counter them?
- African-American history recap
- The history of Juneteenth celebrations
- How is Juneteenth celebrated in your community?
➕ Benefits: Lunch and learn sessions are an opportunity for your remote team to bond over shared experiences and find out more about each other . They also encourage cultural and political awareness.
8. Virtual Museum Tours for Juneteenth
You can take your remote team on a museum or art gallery tour without leaving their home office! No matter how far apart you live, there are many ways to visit a museum together. Check out the virtual exhibitions at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Wright, and many more.
➕ Benefits: If you’re looking for an immersive way to improve your teams’ cultural knowledge, virtual tours are an ideal solution! Furthermore, your employees can make fun shared memories.
9. Black Authors Book Club
If you already have a book club at your company, great! If you don’t, what are you waiting for? For your Juneteenth session, ask the participants to take a look through some book recommendations that can help them understand the history of Emancipation Day, as well as the Black community. Here’s our own suggested reading list to celebrate the experiences of Black Americans:
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – an extraordinary deep dive into the experience of being Black in the US
- On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed – a work focusing on the history of slavery in America and the role of African-Americans in shaping Texas
- African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song – an anthology of Black American poetry, from the colonial times until the present day
➕ Benefits: Promoting reading is one of the best things you can do for your team: it encourages continuous growth and helps avoid stagnation! Other than that, connecting over African-American literature for Juneteenth is an opportunity to build stronger bonds!
10. Black Cinema Movie Night
Hosting a themed movie night is a brilliant Juneteenth celebration idea for small teams! You can watch something from this list of the best movies to stream on June 19th virtually and then discuss and share your opinions afterwards. You can choose between documentaries, historical films, and fictional movies that touch upon the Black American community or the issue of slavery.
➕ Benefits: A movie night is an opportunity for your team to wind down after a long day of work – it’s kind of like productive resting! Additionally, they’ll be able to share insights and learn from each other’s perspectives.
Juneteenth Celebration Ideas at Work
After all, Juneteenth is also a day to celebrate! Aside from taking part in educational activities, your team deserves a bit of laid-back entertainment. We know how to combine team building elements with fun activities, so keep on reading to get inspired!
11. Juneteenth-Inspired Art Session
Art sessions are like a nutrient shot for remote teams – they allow them to grow and connect better than ever before! You can easily organize a virtual Juneteenth crafting event by yourself or book a Virtual Paint and Sip or Bunting Making Workshop. Let your team’s creative juices flow and encourage them to make art in the Pan-African colors or help them get inspired by their favorite Black artists! This activity is a fantastic way to commemorate Juneteenth in a remote workplace.
➕ Benefits: Creating art together is like a shared language – it will allow your team to form new connections and understand and appreciate each other in ways they’ve never experienced before! On top of that, boosting creativity can improve workplace performance, too!
12. Black Music Session
No Juneteenth virtual party is complete without a proper playlist! Dive into the world of your team’s favorite Black music artists and explore the many genres that got their start in African American communities. From blues and jazz to gospel, there’s so much to explore!
➕ Benefits: Listening to music, whether during work hours or a remote work party, can bring everyone’s spirits up and help them relax. And don’t forget about the main advantage – all the new bops you’ll be adding to your playlists!
13. Virtual Juneteenth Feast
Cookouts, barbecues, and picnics are a traditional way to celebrate Juneteenth all across the US. While you might not be able to gather together around a table and enjoy the time in person, the hope isn’t lost! Simply set up a video call and sit back with traditional Juneteenth dishes and a red drink. To pack this experience with even more team building elements, host a cooking class beforehand!
➕ Benefits: A virtual feast is the ultimate Juneteenth celebration! Your team will be able to wind down and socialize, building new connections within the company. Additionally, hosting parties for your remote team boosts engagement.
Tips for a Fantastic Juneteenth Celebration at Work
To ensure your Juneteenth activities at work are respectful, effective, and enjoyable, we’ve prepared a few simple tips and tricks. You’re on the right track to host an amazing event, so keep going!
➤ Support Black-owned businesses. If you’re planning to order any supplies, services, or gift hampers for your Juneteenth event, consider looking into Black-owned companies to show your support!
➤ Research and ask questions. Properly celebrating culturally-loaded holidays always requires a good amount of research and open communication. If you’re not a part of the community, it might be a good idea to chat with your Black employees to get an authentic perspective on Juneteenth.
➤ Make it color-coordinated. An easy way to emphasize what holiday you’re celebrating is adding some relevant colors, for example setting up a dress code, preparing custom backgrounds for video calls, etc. You can use the colors of Juneteenth (red, white, and blue) or the Pan-African color scheme (red, black, and green).
➤ Share quotes for inspiration. You can create a separate channel on your messaging platform where you’ll send quotes throughout the day. It can be the words of famous Black activists, important historical figures, and anything else you find fitting!
➤ Send out educational materials. Even if your main activities are light-hearted, you can add an informative element to your Juneteenth celebration at work. Some useful resources include podcast recommendations, fact sheets, and educational videos.
With all the tips and ideas, you’re ready to start planning the Juneteenth celebration at your workplace! Remember that this holiday is all about commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans and celebrating their culture. Include both educational and entertaining elements to benefit your team and ensure everyone has a great time!
If you want to find out more about virtual activities to celebrate Black culture, check out our blog post about Black History Month Ideas.
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, and America’s second Independence Day, is a holiday dedicated to the African-American community. It’s celebrated annually on June 19th (hence the name), and commemorates the abolition of slavery in the US. Juneteenth has been once again growing in popularity over the past years and is sometimes viewed as a multicultural celebration.
Why is it important to celebrate Juneteenth at work?
Celebrating Juneteenth at work can be treated as a way to achieve your DE&I goals. We encourage you to acknowledge the holiday with educational activities, which can build company culture, broaden horizons, and foster inclusivity and empathy. Additionally, it provides a break from the workday routine, which can boost morale and improve performance in the long run. If you want to find out more about recognizing Juneteenth at work, check out Harvard Business Review’s insights!
What are the best virtual Juneteenth activities for work?
Some of the best remote activities for Juneteenth are allyship workshops. They offer insights into the experiences of the Black community, which encourages your employees to be more aware of their own privilege and understand their African-American colleagues. Another popular virtual event is Juneteenth Trivia, an activity that combines a knowledge check with team building elements. Finally, many companies decide on DIY activities, such as remote parties, movie sessions, and discussions.
How much does it cost to celebrate Juneteenth with your remote team?
The price of a Juneteenth celebration at work depends on the type of activity:
- Hosted activities can start from as little as £12/$15 per person and go up to $3,000 per event and more. Additionally, there are some virtual events you need to request a quote for. The final cost will depend on multiple factors, including the size of your company and the exact agenda.
- DIY activities can even be hosted for free, especially if you’re willing to spend some time to prepare any materials by yourself. It’s difficult to calculate the average cost of a DIY Juneteenth celebration, as it will largely depend on the type of activities you organize.