Navan is among the companies that will give employees paid time off to celebrate and acknowledge Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the emancipation of slaves in the United States. The holiday falls on the anniversary of the day when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out that they were free—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
During the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the Navan community came together on Juneteenth to discuss the importance of language and inclusion. In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared in 1986.
“To me, Juneteenth represents inclusivity,” said Alexis Goodman, a recruiter on the Travel Experience team. “It includes Black Americans into the fabric of America and began the journey for us to receive all rights and privileges as American citizens.”
Goodman is an active member of Twende, one of Navan's many Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that support and unite diverse communities to cultivate a greater sense of awareness and belonging throughout the company.
Twende global co-lead Kenny Williams, travel experience lead, agreed it’s important that companies make their best efforts to recognize Juneteenth to show that the holiday is valued in the same way other paid holidays are.
“By coming together around the holiday, we can help change perceptions people may have and find common ground,” he said.
Twende hosted a Soul Food lunch in the Dallas office on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, and the group is sourcing additional opportunities to highlight the holiday to Navan employees globally this year and in the future.
Twende takes its name from a Swahili word meaning “Let’s go.” The group’s mission is to celebrate African ancestry and promote engagement among employees who identify themselves as part of the Black community and its allies. The group aims to provide a space to learn, share, and support one another while contributing to the diverse culture at Navan.
As one of the group’s leaders, Williams helps organize the ERG’s activities, keeps conversations going, and reports to the Belong: DEI Council, which helps further the company’s DEI strategy by fostering collaboration and supporting company-wide efforts to build awareness and increase visibility.
Over the past few months, Twende has been busy. In April, the ERG partnered with the Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas to collect summer supplies such as chalk, towels, sunscreen, beach toys, flip flops, and Play-Doh for children. The group also worked with Outbound and the DFW Culture Committee to represent Navan in Dallas’ Allan Rose Pride Parade earlier this month.
“We took the opportunity to show Navan as a community partner and also glean from our community,” Williams said.
Internally, weekly syncs in the Twende Slack channel help to gauge how employees are feeling and provide support and the sharing of resources, especially as Navan employees adjust to life back in the office.
“I feel that Navan employees are in a fortunate position to be able to voice our concerns and engage in real feedback,” Williams shared.
Additional details and resources about Juneteenth will be circulated with Navan employees. Join us in our vision to create a truly diverse community that prioritizes equality above all else!
Diversity, equality, and inclusion permeate every part of the mission at Navan, and the workplace is built to be a foundation for personal and professional growth—regardless of an employee’s gender, nationality, or background. Interested in a career at Navan? See what roles are available today.