June 19 marks Juneteenth, a national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States and celebrating African American freedom and achievement.
At PSEG, we believe Juneteenth is as relevant today as it was when it was first celebrated in 1865, the day that Union Army Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation.
We are proud to mark Juneteenth by providing paid time off (on June 20) for all PSEG employees to reflect, participate in community events and gather with family. We also are raising awareness among our employees about the origins and traditions of the holiday through enterprise-wide events and learning opportunities.
PSEG’s Pan-African Leadership Forum (ProLiFic EBRG) is working with our local Black professional employee business resource chapters, senior leaders and community stakeholders to create events and opportunities for dialogue, capacity-building and advocacy designed to highlight the stories of the community and keep the memory of why Juneteenth began alive.
“As companies and individuals continue to operate in the new normal following the pandemic, it is important to ensure that the racial equity of our words isn’t voided out by our actions,” said Janeen Johnson, PSEG Enterprise DEI manager. “The stories from the community – both past and present – need to be highlighted. And I am proud that PSEG does this so well and is part of the narrative.”
PSEG Chief Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer Sheila Rostiac agrees and believes the most important resource companies have to address racial inequity within their workforce are employees themselves.
“So much of the progress we are making culturally at PSEG has come from taking painful lessons of the past to make a better future,” Rostiac said. “A great deal of those lessons are coming from the voices and experiences of our own employees. Through their engagement and candor, they are informing who we are, the type of workplace we want and need to be, and the role we play in the communities we serve.”
Did You Know:
• It took 100 years after the Civil War to pass civil rights legislation in the U.S. affording American citizens of African descent equal rights.
• Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2019, nearly 156 years after it was first celebrated.
• On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill securing June 19 as an official federal holiday.
• Red food and beverages such as strawberry soda-pop have become synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations as a symbol of the blood that was shed by the enslaved people in their journey toward freedom.
Championing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at PSEG and Beyond
At PSEG, we recognize that embracing diversity and inclusion and promoting equitable and ethical behavior is critical to achieving our vision of Powering Progress.
To unleash innovation, collaborate effectively and make PSEG a place where people can and want to work, we are committed to increasing and harnessing the diversity of our workforce and partner base; creating an inclusive workplace where employees are engaged and feel psychologically safe; and ensuring everyone has equitable access to the resources they need to grow and thrive, professionally.
We also are committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within our communities by investing in and developing diverse suppliers and partnering with community leaders and nonprofits to address deeply rooted barriers to economic prosperity, equity and social justice.
Learn more here.