Fortune CEO Alan Murray sent out the following announcement to the staff on Tuesday:
These have been tough times for many of us. There are a lot of people suffering. There is a lot of tragedy in the world. And we should care about all of it.
But it’s important for us all to understand and remember that for black Americans, we are talking about literally centuries of injustice. We need to embrace the fact we have so far failed as a society to address many of the ramifications of that history.
So the management team has decided to join those making this Friday, June 19 – a day that marks the emancipation from slavery in the state of Texas – a company holiday this year. We are doing this to underscore the importance of making progress in correcting a history of injustice, and to remind us to do the hard work of rooting out the stubborn and intolerable remnants of that injustice. We hope you’ll all use the time to revive, reflect, and celebrate the better angels of our nature.
If you have to work on Friday from some reason, you can choose another Friday this summer to celebrate instead.