Today we are honoring the holiday of Juneteenth. June 19th, 1865 is the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the state of Texas (nearly two years after it had been initially issued – which is a whole other issue in and of itself.)
This is when news of the abolishment of slavery in the U.S. was FINALLY heard and recognized by the confederate states, specifically Texas, thus establishing the first and now annual celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S. for African Americans and any other people of color that were enslaved. (Britannica, 2021). Not only is Juneteenth or "Jubilee Day" something to celebrate as a huge step forward for the U.S. in the cause for human equality, but it's a necessary reality check that Juneteenth unfortunately did not end the plague of racism.
Juneteenth is about the abolition of slavery specifically for African Americans in the United States. (Ansari ; Park, 2021). At Mikoleon, our mission is to give proper recognition and assistance to not only those that we have a history with, such as our artisans in Guatemala, but to support people in all walks of life. We stand up for ethical fashion standards, equal opportunity and love for all!
What We Believe
It's important to acknowledge the wounds that racial injustice has caused – and still does, for so many BIPOC people not only in the United States, but everywhere! An ugly past and a lingering racist presence in our country has aided discrimination to tamper with and even control the civil rights, opportunities, education, environments, financial security and emotional and physical safety of those in the BIPOC community.
An integral part of our mission at Mikoleon is to stand up for equality and break down barriers. Though we are a small brand and team, we make daily efforts to check ourselves and any ignorance that we may have to ensure that we are 100% inclusive in all company efforts. Diversity is vital to our brand, we believe that the contributions from BIPOC voices and platforms of influence are a necessity to any space, company and community. We need their voices, perspectives and endless talents. The world that we at Mikoleon want to live in is one where our societies, businesses and everyday lives are enriched and flourished by the culture, insights and talents of BIPOC leaders.
What We Are Doing
We have strict guidelines that we use to moderate online platforms such as our Mikoleon VIP Facebook group page to make sure it is a safe place for all of our customers. We don’t tolerate any hate, discrimination, distasteful humor or offensive comments in any form to take place on any of our online platforms. This is a value of our brand that we stand for within our in-house offices in the U.S. and Guatemala as well. We believe that some of the biggest contributions that one can make to support the fight against human and racial inequality, especially as a small business like us, is to make sure that one’s company is treating its employees and customers ethically and even more so – kindly!
For many of us, one of the largest positive impacts that we can make is how we support those around us and the example we give off to the world. All online and in-person platforms should be a safe and fair place for everyone to be heard and to succeed. We work from the inside out and are always looking for ways to improve internally and give back externally.
Check out our Instagram to see our Juneteenth giveaway! We’ll be giving away some fun prizes this weekend and we don’t want you to miss out! Some amazing resources we love are these cute children’s books such as Juneteenth by: Anece Rochell, Juneteenth for Mazie by: Floyd Cooper and All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by: Angela Johnson. These are all great reads and are easy ways to educate ourselves and our loved ones.
We are always looking for more amazing employees and brand ambassadors – shout out to some of our current brand ambassadors and accounts on Instagram @lovewithchance, @hattie.estime, @miss_byanka_anastasia and @samarbinks – to join our Mikoleon team by helping our platform continue to be a welcoming space for BIPOC influences and leaders. Inclusivity, diversity and generosity are the cornerstones of our business. If this is a message that you can get behind, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re interested, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Mikoleon Team
For more resources about where the holiday, Juneteenth, came from in the United States, check out this article (History.com Editors, 2021)