Embracing Juneteenth: A Journey Towards Inclusion

by Roshan Kindred June 20, 2023 | 3 min read

As the Chief Diversity Officer of PagerDuty, I have the privilege of leading our organization’s efforts to cultivate a culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity. On Monday, June 19th, PagerDuty continued its tradition as an early trailblazer to observe Juneteenth as a company holiday.

For those who may not be familiar with the significance of Juneteenth, it is an American holiday to remember the triumphs and struggles that were fought to end slavery in Texas in 1865. Juneteenth is significant because it symbolizes the re-founding of a nation, not on the backs of a free labor source brutalized and enslaved, but rather with the written and holistic notion of a place where everybody is born equal, with an inalienable right to happiness, to freedom, to life.

Juneteenth represents the reimagining of a nation that was founded far away from the principles of an egalitarian nation. It is a reenactment of an ideal: a united nation where all are free to live in freedom and prosperity.

PagerDuty’s vision is to create a more equitable world, thus we pause to thank those Dutonians that identify as Black and/or African American for their contributions to PagerDuty, our customers, and the communities we serve. We recognize the significance of Juneteenth as a symbol of liberation and the ongoing struggle for racial equality and remain committed to creating meaningful and inclusive experiences for all employees.

We continue to drive an equitable workforce through fair and equal pay practices, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and race, in the U.S. and globally. For Dutonians doing similar work with a similar scope of responsibility, employees of underrepresented minority race/ethnicity in the US earn, on average, ninety-nine cents ($0.99) for every one dollar ($1.00) that employees of a represented majority race/ethnicity earn. While we still have work to do and prioritize pay equity, we see the value in creating spaces of belonging for our workforce.

On June 14 and 15, I had the pleasure to kick-off the keynote welcome for an inaugural ground-breaking grassroot event, ArrayChella. The event, which was the vision specifically designed by two of our Black Employee Resource Group (R.i.S.E.) leads – Mya King and Hadijah Creary, to honor and celebrate our Black and Latine employees. The event featured various activities and opportunities for networking, community building and personal growth, all tailored to showcase the rich history, achievements, and cultural contributions of the black and brown communities. Through this event, we aimed to demonstrate our unwavering support for our black employees and their collective journey toward empowerment and progress.

Today, we continue PagerDuty’s tradition of providing educational resources, and employee sentiments to bring the historical significance and modern-day relevance of Juneteenth to life by asking Dutonians to share their personal perspective of Juneteenth. Dutonians across the country commemorated Juneteenth in several ways – local parades, family barbecues, or giving back.

As an African American woman, Juneteenth is a day that I recognize the resilience, bravery, and ingenuity of my ancestors, whose shoulders I proudly stand upon. As the Chief Diversity Officer at PagerDuty, Juneteenth is an opportunity to invite Dutonians, and others, to remember the contributions made by African Americans, and other underrepresented communities, towards the success of our country. By embracing Juneteenth, we continue to build a tech industry that reflects the diversity of our society and contributes to a more equitable future for all.

Take a moment to learn more about the history of Juneteenth by visiting the National Museum of African American History & Culture.