Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

June 18, 2024

June 19 is a federal holiday to commemorate Juneteenth. At Konica Minolta, we adopted Juneteenth as an annual paid holiday in direct response to employee feedback, and as a powerful gesture to align our values with our business decisions. While Juneteenth may not be universally known, it is a significant date in American history and a poignant moment for the Black experience. Also known as Jubilee Day, Juneteenth marks the moment when the remaining 250,000 slaves in Confederate states were legally declared free. Juneteenth, a combination of June and 19, represents a joyous celebration of freedom and independence.

Juneteenth is important to me because it allows me to reaffirm my personal commitments to making a difference in my community. As a second-generation graduate of Tuskegee University, a historically black university, I learned firsthand the motto “each one, teach one.” Each one, teach one is more than just a catchy slogan. Its roots trace back to slavery, when slaves were denied the right to an education. When a slave learned how to read, it became that slave’s responsibility to teach others to read. Just as my parents, grandparents, teachers and mentors have supported me throughout my life, it’s my responsibility to do the same for others.

As a company, commemorating Juneteenth allows us to take time with our employees to reflect on the importance of advocating for Black employees. Juneteenth and the many other days we support are part of our overall commitment to ensure:

  • Fair and equitable hiring practices for our candidates
  • An inclusive culture and continuous development that enables our employees to flourish
  • Our customers are properly supported via the innovation, creativity and thought leadership that comes from a diverse employee base that is empowered

Below are just three of the ways we are supporting our employees with resources to expand their knowledge and understanding of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion at Konica Minolta.

Emphasizing DEI Learning

We partner with LinkedIn to offer LinkedIn Learning licenses to all of our employees. Integrating opportunities to learn and grow into day-to-day work is foundational to our success as an organization.

Enhancing the Employee Experience

Employees stay with companies because of how they are treated each day while at work. We aim to evolve and improve our workplace culture with ongoing feedback from our employees.

  • Lunch-and-Listen Sessions with Executive Leaders
  • Mentorship for Underrepresented Talents
  • Company Paid Holiday for Juneteenth

Recognizing We Don’t Have All the Answers

Knowing we don’t have all the answers to address inequality, we frequently look to industry thought leaders to help guide our practices. The Conference Board, for instance, showcased three leaders leveraging DEI practices to enhance recruitment and retention and create a culture that fosters engagement and inclusion for all:

  • Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO of TIAA. Listen or watch the conversation.
  • Lisa Su, Chair and CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). Listen or watch the conversation.
  • Tamara Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Listen or watch the conversation.

At Konica Minolta, inclusion and innovation go hand in hand. We value the unique perspectives and experiences of every employee, and are working hard to ensure Konica Minolta is a welcoming and rewarding place to work for people of all identities and backgrounds. Learn more about our efforts here.

Nikki Jones (she/her)
Director, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

As the Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Konica Minolta, Nikki evangelizes the power of diversity and inclusion to drive change and innovation at work. She is responsible for the diversity and inclusion strategy including the policies and processes that engage employees, elevate awareness and action about equity, and foster a sense of belonging and community at work. Guided by a deep desire to level the playing field, Nikki is a frequent speaker on topics related to education, technology, the future of work, inclusion and belonging.