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On this Juneteenth, many Americans celebrate for the first time



Like many of you, Fortune staffers have a new paid holiday today, so we’re sending along your Haikus bright and early and taking the rest of the day off. Aric Jenkins, whom you formally met in the last newsletter, worked with Fortune video producer Devin Hance to expand upon his debut Juneteenth essay. Check out the video here. Also in the news: Google has a plan, Kaep’s got a new platform, DACA’s can keep dreaming, and Aunt Jemima is out of a gig.

But first, here’s your emancipation-inspired week in review, in Haiku.

If I had known that
everyone was fixin’ to 
celebrate Juneteenth

this year, I would have
booked a bigger room! I’m low
on red velvet cake,

strawberry soda;
I’ll save the watermelon
just for the children.

There’s plenty of good
spirit to go around — for
those with air to breathe,

there’s a righteous song
for ev’ry voice to sing, ‘til
earth and heaven ring.

Many companies have made splashy announcements about Juneteenth company holidays, but the way they treat their Black employees when they return on Monday matters just as much, if not more. Fortune has compiled stories from Black employees across industries that reveal what their experiences in corporate America are like. It’s clear: No matter what companies are doing to take a stand against racial inequality right now, there is much more work to be done. We’re not done compiling stories, either. Let us know your experience as a Black employee in the workplace here.

One more thing before we get into the news: If you were to assemble the people who could help you truly understand health care and how it’s affected businesses today, who would you pick? Here’s a few on Fortune’s list: 

  • The CEOs and presidents of healthcare giants Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novartis, Aetna
  • Co-discoverer of CRISPR-Cas9 Dr. Jennifer Doudna
  • Dean of Stanford Medicine Dr. Lloyd Minor
  • Chief medical officers from IBM, Verily, Google Health
  • Healthcare Venture Capitalists like Sue Siegel
  • Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington
  • CEO of REFORM Alliance Van Jones
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Hear from them and more at FORTUNE Brainstorm Health, our virtual health care conference on July 7-8. As a newsletter subscriber, you’re invited to use this code—BSH20HALF—and get half off.

Wishing you a spirited and heavenly long weekend.

Ellen McGirt

Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

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