Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tells employees to cancel all meetings on Juneteenth: 'Slavery ended a long time ago, but racism didn't' (AMZN)

jeff bezos

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a companywide email on Tuesday that he’s canceling all of his meetings on Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the US.
  • Bezos encouraged Amazon employees to do the same to take some time to “reflect, learn, and support each other,” according to the email.
  • Amazon is the latest high-profile company to instruct employees to take time off on Juneteenth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants employees to use June 19, the day known as Juneteenth commemorating the end of slavery in the US, as a day to “reflect, learn, and support each other,” according to an internal email reviewed by Business Insider.

In the email, Bezos said that he’s canceling all of his meetings that day, after having spent a lot of time thinking about the recent events that sparked the current Black Lives Matter movement. Although he didn’t call it an official day off for the company, he encouraged all employees to cancel their meetings on Friday too, adding the company is offering online learning opportunities about Juneteenth throughout the day.

Amazon’s representative wasn’t immediately available for comment. Recode’s Jason Del Rey first tweeted about the email.

Amazon is the latest company to instruct employees to cancel all meetings on Juneteenth. Other high-profile companies like Microsoft, Google, and Nike have made similar arrangements for their employees.

The move follows growing calls for support of the Black Lives Movement internally at Amazon. An internal climate activist group encouraged employees to join the protests last week, while a group of employees are also taking steps to add “inclusion” to Amazon’s famous leadership principles. Several Amazon executives addressed the issue in internal emails as well.

Here’s the full email Bezos sent to employees:

Over the past few weeks, the Steam and I have spent a lot of time listening to customers and employees and thinking about how recent events in our country have laid bare the systemic racism and injustices that oppress Black individuals and communities.

This Friday, June 19, is Juneteenth, the oldest-known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. I’m cancelling all of my meetings on Friday, and I encourage all of you to do the same if you can. We’re providing a range of online learning opportunities for employees throughout the day.

Please take some time to reflect, learn, and support each other. Slavery ended a long time ago, but racism didn’t.

Jeff

SEE ALSO: In a leaked document, Amazon employees shared stories of racism and gender discrimination while calling for a new leadership principle on ‘inclusion’

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