1 of 5 Things you Must Know This Month
Juneteenth is a celebration that dates back to 1865 in the state of Texas commemorating the freeing of the last slaves of the Confederacy. What a day that must have been... to be one of those individuals and hear for the first time that they were free. June 19th should be a day we all still celebrate. When a group of humans succeeds or sees a victory, the rest of mankind should stand up and celebrate with them, because folks, we are all in this together. While Juneteenth started as, and remains a celebration, it is also a sobering reminder. It is a reminder of the terrible things that humans do to one another because of the color of their skin, their beliefs, and in today’s environment, even their political leanings. I am so thankful for the people of color I have had the honor of serving in my role of CEO across three Chambers of Commerce. I think about Chamber Directors of color who are carrying the flag for equality and justice in business across this nation, and I think about my dear departed friend Sheila who was an African American Chamber Executive, and one of the reasons I am still in this profession.
Sheila would say, “It's not the mark you leave on your business, or on groups of people that is important, it is the mark that you leave on individuals that really makes a difference.” Good advice for all of us!
Your Chamber of Commerce believes in making sure that business is at the table for discussions that are important to the future of this nation. One of these discussions is happening now, and it is important for us to be a part of it. Regardless of how you feel about the riots or the peaceful protests, it is always important to examine equality and justice in our country. Every human, of every race, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. As a country, there is always room for us to improve, and that’s why we are working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Chambers across this nation to make sure that if there are ways for us to do better, that we get them done. Not sure where this discussion will end up, but we will keep you updated.
-- Dale Steenbergen, President & CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce