On June 19, Bechtel locations worldwide will celebrate Juneteenth. The holiday marks the date in 1865, three months after the end of the Civil War, that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and freed the last remaining slaves. Also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth was a turning point in U.S. history.
In honor of this historic day, just signed into law as a Federal Holiday in the U.S., our Black Employee Opportunity and Leadership Development (B-BOLD) group is hosting Juneteenth: A Learning Experience with Justene Hill Edwards, assistant professor in the University of Virginia’s Corcoran Department of History. Dr. Hill Edwards is a scholar of African-American history and specializes in the history of slavery in the United States.
B-BOLD brings together Bechtel’s employees of Black and African descent with allies from around the company. The group promotes networking, cultural awareness, and career development. B-BOLD is one of six Business Resource Groups (BRGs) in the company.
At Bechtel, we consider diversity our superpower. As part of our strategic D&I Action Plan, we observe numerous affinity and heritage celebrations as a way of recognizing our diversity and fostering a more inclusive culture.
“We understand there is power in our diversity,” said Steven P. Wood, global chair for B-BOLD as well as defense and space marketing and business development lead for the company’s nuclear, security, and environmental business. “Our colleagues are located around the world and represent people from all walks of life. B-BOLD is focused on highlighting key aspects of our diversity and promoting change, in this case celebrating Juneteenth brings visibility to the history of our employees of Black and African descent, in order to educate ourselves, bring awareness and understanding to our collective histories, and, as a result, learn new ideas or information about topics most of our colleagues may have previously been unaware.”
“These types of programs are important,” said Professor Hill Edwards. “They help open the door to conversations about why our history and experiences matter, how they may impact certain groups, and how we can use what we learn to move forward together.”
Learn more about B-BOLD, other BRGs, and Diversity and Inclusion at Bechtel.