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As part of our ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity, Cloud9 will be observing Juneteenth as an official company holiday for the first time in our history. This observance is but one step in our ongoing journey toward racial equality within our company and beyond.

During this holiday, we will be taking time to reflect, educate, and acknowledge the work that is still to be done to address racial inequity and celebrate Black history and culture at Cloud9. The goal of creating a better esports space and a better future is an undertaking we must all take together. This better future cannot be built on words alone, therefore we have begun to assess hiring practices, company culture, training, and education resources for staff and players as we continue to build the accessible, inclusive, and diverse spaces that we hope to see.

A year ago, we joined the many voices across the nation and the world decrying the fear and the pain that has continued to be a part of Black lives. In the year since, we have had many opportunities to practice a deeper empathy and compassion, we have joined forces with other esports organizations in making meaningful contributions, and we have learned more about the incredible culture and contributions of the Black community, one of which is the robust and powerful celebration of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, most traditionally celebrated on June 19th, marks the emancipation of those who were enslaved in the United States. The day commemorates the announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army Major Gordon Granger, which decreed, in part, “all slaves are free.” Although the work then was still far from over, and the fight for equality continues even today, June 19, 1865 stands out as a moment in which an unfathomable injustice was recognized and addressed.

The journey to a better tomorrow is a shared one, so we would like to invite you to join us in our observance of Juneteenth and our pursuit of becoming better. Here are some resources that we have found valuable:

  • What is Juneteenth? 
  • Calls to make Juneteenth a federal holiday
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer
  • All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
  • Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson
  • Let’s Celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth by Barbara deRubertis

We hope you’ll join us. Finally, as we are still participating in competitive games and covering our teams across social media over the Juneteenth holiday, we are working closely with department leads at Cloud9 to ensure time off is arranged to observe this holiday if they are unable to on Friday or Saturday.

We are proud to recognize the amazing power, history, and hope behind the Juneteenth holiday and we want to once again unequivocally reiterate that Black Lives Matter.

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