Understanding the Significance and Relevance of Juneteenth in the United States
The following materials have been carefully curated by Mayer Brown’s Diversity & Inclusion team to provide context for the firm’s recognition of June 19, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday in our US offices.
We offer these materials as a core set of essential resources that you should consider to be a starting point in your education about the impact of race in America. Approximate time commitments for each resource are noted in parentheses.
The New York Times' critically acclaimed podcast “1619” examines how slavery continues to shape modern-day America. It’s long-form journalism, delivered as a story told in five parts:
Trailer: Introducing “1619”(5 mins)
Episode 1: The Fight for a True Democracy (44 mins)
Episode 2: The Economy That Slavery Built (33 mins)
Episode 3: The Birth of American Music (35 mins)
Episode 4: How the Bad Blood Started (40 mins)
Episode 5: The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1 (30 mins), Part 2 (37 mins)
Code Switch is a weekly podcast featuring fearless conversations on race and culture from American public radio network NPR.
- Race in America: the Legacy of Juneteenth, a discussion between the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lonnie G. Bunch III and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart (9 am ET)
- 11th Annual Juneteenth 2020 Curated Virtual Experience, a day of family fun including a talent show, a parade, multiple exhibitors and more (10 am - 6 pm EST, RSVP encouraged)
- SummerStage Anywhere 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth Celebration, tribute performances including poetry, ballet and a panel discussion (noon - 8 pm EST)
Juneteenth Jamboree explores stories of Black culture and history and includes highlights from a decade of Juneteenth celebrations (27 mins)
Why Juneteenth is Important for America, a very brief history lesson (4 mins)
The 2016 documentary “13th,” (a reference to the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution) examines racial prejudices within the US prison system through interviews with politicians, historians, academics and convicts. It draws powerful similarities between the profit-driven slave trade and the profit-driven mass incarceration industry that continues today. (1 hr 40 mins)
NYU Law JD Convocation Keynote Address by NYU law professor and criminal justice expert Bryan Stevenson (32 mins)
Reconstruction: America After the Civil War is a four-part documentary that explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, destruction, and social change.
Explore this timeline to learn how history unfolded during the Reconstruction era, 1863-1877
Claire Cain Miller
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- The American Nightmare
- Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?
- Fighting Racism Even, and Especially, Where We Don’t Realize It Exists: How to Be an Antiracist
Penn GSE News
On The Shoulder of Giants (40 mins)
Talking About Race (webpage by the National Museum of African American History & Culture)
Diversity & Inclusion Contact
Jeremiah A. DeBerry
Partner, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, US
Diversity Initiatives Manager
Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion