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Aug 3, 2021

Juneteenth is a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of African slaves in the United States. Companies attempt to express their unity with the African-American community by participating in this holiday through various special services and items. However, it is imperative for companies to be mindful in their actions, as their efforts may be construed as insensitive to various cultures.

Today, we describe what Juneteenth is, its significance in American culture, and how companies should show their support without risking racial insensitivity. We share the story of an Ikea store that wanted to show support but ended up having their special event backfire. We discuss how large companies can avoid backlash when participating in culture-related holidays and events. We also explain how celebrating a cultural holiday the right way can lead to more profits.

"Corporations have to realize the reputational risk inside cultures is huge, and you can't misrepresent it." - Adam Moore

This week on Breaking Barriers:

  • The importance of Juneteenth and its significance in American culture
  • Why proper celebration of Juneteenth matters
  • Ikea's mistake in celebrating Juneteenth and what corporations can learn from it
  • How to understand your brand’s role in society
  • How corporations can be self-aware and avoid a "miss"
  • Why it is important to be aware of the cultural significance of clothing
  • How cultural awareness can translate to a more lucrative bottomline
  • Celebrating culturally-relevant holidays in the future

Resources Mentioned:

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