15 Juneteenth Celebration Ideas for Work in 2022

Home » Holidays » Juneteenth IdeasUpdated: August 27, 2022

Here is our list of the best Juneteenth ideas for work.

Juneteenth is a special day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth ideas for work are events and activities that employees can engage in to celebrate the holiday. For example, office barbecues, trivia, and lunch and learns. The purpose of these activities is to commemorate Juneteenth and make employees culturally aware of the holiday.

Like Black History Month, this holiday celebrates Black heritage. Celebrating cultural holidays like Juneteenth can be virtual DEI-boosting activities.

This list includes:

  • virtual Juneteenth celebration ideas
  • Juneteenth activities for the office
  • ways to celebrate Juneteenth at work
  • Juneteenth games for teams

Here we go!

List of Juneteenth Ideas for Work

From virtual campfires to Juneteenth trivia, here is a list of Juneteenth activities and events that employees can engage in to celebrate the special day.

1. Decorate the Workplace

Decorations are excellent for setting a celebratory atmosphere. To commemorate Juneteenth at work, you can decorate your workplace. One of the best decoration ideas is to display holiday colors.

The Juneteenth colors are Red, Green, and Black. Here is the significance of each color:

  1. Red- stands for the blood of millions of enslaved people and Africans shed.
  2. Black- stands for the rich Black culture. This color also represents melanin and African Diaspora unification.
  3. Green- represents fertility, hope, new life, productivity, independence, and prosperity.

To make the activity interactive, you can have your team members make decorations. Crafting decorations is an excellent way for the team to bond. Project suggestions include banners, paper flowers, and balloon arches.

You can also use the Juneteenth flag colors as part of the decoration colors. The flag colors are Blue, Red, and White.

2. Juneteenth Trivia

Juneteenth trivia is an exciting game for teams to play leading up to the occasion. To play this game, give your team members a few days to study Black history and culture. Then divide your team into several groups to compete. During the game, ask Juneteenth and Black history-related questions like:

  1. What year did New Jersey abolish slavery?- 1865
  2. How many states commemorate Juneteenth?- 49
  3. Who was the first Black woman to go to space?- Mae Jemison

Groups that answer a question correctly win points. At the end of the game, the group with the highest score wins. To make the game even more fun, you can award prizes or medals to the winners. The trivia game will entertain your team members, and they get to expand their knowledge of Black history and Black culture.

Check out more team trivia night ideas.

3. Juneteenth Lunch And Learn

One of the most enlightening Juneteenth ideas for work is to host a lunch and learn. Lunch and learns combine a social event with a learning session. This interactive lecture takes place during the attendees’ lunch break.

To organize a Juneteenth Lunch and Learn:

  1. First, inform the attendees about the event.
  2. Then prepare the space to use for lunch and learn. You can decide to use a quiet conference room. You can also host the lecture on a video conference platform.
  3. Next, decide how long the event will last. Many lunch and learns usually last for 30 minutes to one hour, but you can decide to reduce or extend the time.
  4. Find a presenter from your team who will lead other team members on Juneteenth-related discussions, or recruit an outside speaker.
  5. At the end of the presentation, open the floor for discussion among attendees. The discussion part of the lunch and learn is essential because attendees get to ask questions and share their opinions on relevant matters.

Although the objective of this lunch and learn is to learn more about Juneteenth, an essential aspect of this event also involves food. Providing lunch for the team is standard practice for these events. You can provide Juneteenth celebration-related food, fruit, and beverages like soda, red velvet cake, red velvet cookies, strawberries, and watermelon.

Here is a guide to doing lunch and learns virtually.

4. Donate To Charity Organizations

Donating to charity organizations is another way teams can celebrate this occasion. You do not necessarily have to ask each team member to donate an amount of money from their pockets. Instead, you can organize a fundraising event to commemorate Juneteenth and raise funds.

For instance:

  1. Juneteenth fitness week- You can organize a fitness program on Juneteenth week. Find anyone from your team who is good in any fitness activity like yoga or weight lifting to lead the fitness session. Then get a space to use and call for people to register by paying a registration fee.
  2. Juneteenth sports festival- You and your team can also raise funds by organizing a sports festival. The event can offer different sporting activities like football tournaments, basketball tournaments, or relay races. Ask the participants to pay an entry fee for the event.
  3. Talent show- Talent shows are good fundraising event ideas for Juneteenth. You can have a local theatre host the event. Have the attendees pay an entry fee to watch. Also, you can have attendees purchase affordable tickets with their favorite contestant’s name on them as a way to vote. The contestant with the most-purchased contestant tickets can be the winner or proceed to the final round with other qualified contestants based on the contest rules.

After successfully raising funds from the event, you can donate the money to a charity organization fighting for equity and racial justice. For instance, Black Lives Matter, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). You could also offer to make an employer contribution to an organization of choice.

5. Host A Virtual Juneteenth Party And Invite A Special Guest

Virtual parties are one of the most engaging ways to celebrate Juneteenth at work. To host a fun virtual Juneteenth party for employees,

  1. Decide the video conference platform to use. Take into account the number of guests attending the event. You should be sure that the selected platform can contain all the guests.
  2. Next, consider finding an African American guest to honor at the event. The guest can be an African American author, an artist, or a famous African American influencer.
  3. Plan the activities, including the time and duration of the event.
  4. Create a link for guests to join the event on the selected virtual platform. Then share the link with all the guests to participate on Juneteenth.
  5. Incorporate food. Ask the attendees to prepare either the same food or varying Juneteenth food and beverages like strawberry soda, red velvet layer cake, green salad, and hibiscus punch.
  6. Include other fun activities like icebreakers, Juneteenth trivia, or a dance session to African American music.

Organizing Virtual Juneteenth parties is a good way to bring a remote team together. The group can learn more about Juneteenth, have fun, and bond together.

Check out more online team celebration ideas.

6. Tour A Black Culture Museum Or Exhibit

Taking a tour of a Black culture museum is another way for teams to celebrate Juneteenth. This tour is an opportunity to learn about the Black experience and culture. Some of the Black culture museums you can visit with your team include:

  • Whitney Plantation

Whitney Plantation is a museum located in Edward, Louisiana. During the tour, your team will learn the history and legacies of slavery in Louisiana in the 18th century.

Whitney Plantation focuses on exhibiting the lives of Africans enslaved by the Haydel family. The museum also displays the original slave cabin and the place where enslaved people labored hard to grow rice in the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • California African American Museum

This Black culture museum is in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California. The museums hold different historical artifacts, collages, drawings, and sculptures made by African Americans. Visitors will see a wide range of artwork carefully crafted by African American artists.

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture

This museum depicts various artworks on slavery and freedom, Black photography, sports, literature, and music. In the National Museum of African American History and Culture located in Washington, D.C., visitors will explore the African American culture through interactive inhibitions.

  • The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration

The Legacy Museum, located in Montgomery, Alabama, shows the history of slavery in America, including racial lynching and segregation. The museum also displays a collection of soil from lynching sites across the United States.

The Black culture museum tour can be a real-life tour. However, if you have a remote team with team members in different locations, then you can organize a virtual tour instead. Find a local tour guide to host the tour for you and your team via Zoom or other selected virtual platform.

Here is a list of remote tours for teams.

7. Juneteenth Movie Night

Movie nights are one of the best Juneteenth celebration ideas. The team can commemorate the day by watching Black-led movies or shows together.

Some good Juneteenth movies and shows to watch are:

  • Miss Juneteenth
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Black-ish
  • Atlanta
  • Homecoming
  • Sherman’s Showcase
  • Watchmen
  • Harriet
  • 13th
  • Malcolm X
  • I Am Not Your Negro

You can host a movie-night in-office or take the event online.

To organize a movie night, prepare a projector, snacks, and beverages. Then set up a comfy space where employees will watch the films. After the movie, create a talk time for discussions and questions. Also, you can add other fun Juneteenth games to make the evening more interactive.

If you plan to host a virtual movie night for your team, decide on the video conferencing platform. Then start a meeting on the platform and wait for other team members to join. Finally, share the movie on your screen to be visible to other attendees.

Showing a Juneteenth movie at work is an easy celebration idea and a good morale booster.

8. Employees Paid Day Off

You can give employees a day off on Juneteenth to celebrate at local events with families and friends. The employees will still get their full compensation regardless of the one-day break since the holiday is PTO.

Giving employees a paid day off is one of the best Juneteenth ideas for work because employees get to leave their workspace and choose to celebrate in a way that makes them happy. Besides, a paid day off can also help in boosting employees’ morale and increasing their productivity in the following working days.

Get a glimpse of more employee benefits and perks.

9. Host An Office Barbecue Party

Barbecue is a staple and special item on many menus for Juneteenth celebrations. Smoke barbecue covered in a sauce is “red” food, portraying the shed blood of countless enslaved people.

If you want to host an office barbecue party,

  1. You should first pick a good location. The event can be in an open space outside the office or a local park.
  2. Prepare the menu. You should have an idea of the preferred diet of the guests, including if any guests have food allergies.
  3. Decorate the venue with Juneteenth-themed decorations like Juneteenth balloons, banners, and table cloths.
  4. Add other fun activities for the office to enjoy. For instance, games, dance sessions to African American music, and a general discussion on Juneteenth.

Having a barbecue party is one of the best Juneteenth activities for the office. You can invite the families of employees to the party. However, if your company’s budget for the party is tight, then it will be better to restrict the party to employees alone or make the party a potluck. Make sure you notify the employees weeks before the party so that they can set their plans accordingly and attend the event.

10. Support Black-Owned Business

An excellent way to commemorate Juneteenth is to support Black-owned businesses. You can support the community by using Blacked-owned businesses for any service that your company requires to celebrate Juneteenth.

For example, you can purchase the Juneteenth decorations for your office from a Black-owned store. You can also employ the service of a Black-owned catering company to take care of the menu for your company’s Juneteenth party.

Also, you can support a Black-owned business during a fundraising event by your company. Ask a Black-owned business to sponsor your Juneteenth fundraising event. In return, promote the business by including their logo in the event’s banner and flyers. You can also make up staff care packages using products from Black entrepreneurs.

11. Office Cook-Off

Office cook-offs bring employees together to celebrate with an abundance of Juneteenth food. In an office cook-off, employees compete by making delicious meals and showing off their cooking skills.

There are two ways to organize a cook-off at work.

  1. You can ask employees to bake or cook the food in their homes. Then they will present the cooked food at work to determine if they win.
  2. Have employees do the cooking or the baking from scratch in a designated space at work.

Either way you choose to organize the office cook-off, you will have a table filled with food for further celebration. To make the event more interactive, you can allow workers to vote on their favorite dishes. After declaring the winner of the competition, your team can proceed to have a mini Juneteenth party with the food and beverages.

12. Juneteenth Sport Day

Participating in a sports day is one of the most high-energy ways to celebrate Juneteenth at work. This event is particularly awesome if your workplace has ample outdoor open space. However, if you do not have a large enough space for simple sporting activities, then you can rent an outdoor field or use a local park. Here are some tips for organizing a sports day dedicated to commemorating Juneteenth:

  1. Prepare the venue for the sports.
  2. Determine the games and activities to undertake. For example, short football tournaments, tug of war, egg and spoon races, or competitive jump rope.
  3. Provide all the necessary sports materials you will need, including refreshments for participants.
  4. Divide the employees into teams. It is good to name each team after a popular African American in history, and each team member can wear identical colors.
  5. After the sports activities, award the winning team with a prize.

One advantage of having a sports event is that it doubles as a Juneteenth celebration and team-building event for employees.

For similar activities, consider Office Olympics.

13. Juneteenth Two Truths One Lie

As part of the celebration, you can also play Juneteenth games for teams in your office, like a Juneteenth-themed Two Truths and One Lie. The rules of the game are simple.

First, an employee gives two facts and one untrue fact about the Black history and culture. Then other employees try to guess which of the facts is a lie. The first employee to guess correctly wins a point.

You can also divide the employees into groups so that group members first pool up facts together before stating the facts and waiting for a correct guess.

At the end of the game, the group that wins the highest point wins. You can award the winning group’ members with a Juneteenth prize like a Juneteenth medal, Juneteenth mugs, or even plates of red velvet cake.

Check out more question games.

14. Go Virtual With Red Wine

Since red is a significant color on Juneteenth, representing the shed blood of enslaved people, you can also celebrate with your team online over a glass of red wine.

One of the coolest virtual Juneteenth celebration ideas involving red wine is an online experience such as Virtual group wine tasting led by Cha, a certified Black sommelier. The wine tasting lasts for 60 minutes.
As for the ingredients for the wine tasting session, two options are available:

  1. The tasting can be a BYOB experience where you get to taste two wines within one hour
  2. For the second option, the host will organize a wine list for you and your team. Also, you get to taste three wine varieties within one hour. The host will discuss a specific region, style of wine, or grape variety for this wine tasting.

Although the organizer of this wine tasting experience does not specify the type of wine to bring, we recommend bringing red wine to honor Juneteenth. Your discussion by the host on a specific region can be Black-based.

Here are more online wine-tasting experiences.

15. Juneteenth Virtual Campfire

One relaxing way to commemorate Juneteenth is telling Black history stories around a campfire. However, if you have a remote team or prefer to meet with your team virtually, then a virtual campfire is an excellent idea for the celebration. Here are tips on hosting a Juneteenth virtual campfire.

  1. Select the video conferencing platform to use.
  2. Create and send a link to team members to join.
  3. Let your team members put on flashlights or a scented candle to set the mood right during the campfire.
  4. Then let willing team members take turns to share historical African American stories while others listen and learn.
  5. Include other Juneteenth activities and games like Juneteenth facts sharing, Two Truths and One Lie, and Juneteenth trivia.

Virtual campfires are great for remote teams to celebrate Juneteenth and share a fun and relaxing experience.

Here is a how-to for doing remote campfires with teams.

Conclusion

Juneteenth is an important day to remember historical African American heroes and celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. Employees can engage in many activities and events like Juneteenth virtual campfire and office barbecue party to commemorate this day. The best part of these festivities is that they also function as excellent team building activities for your team.

For more ways to celebrate Black culture in the office, check out this list of quotes for BHM. Since June is also Pride Month, here is a list of ways to virtually celebrate Pride at work.

FAQ: Juneteenth ideas for work

Here are answers to questions about Juneteenth ideas for work.

What Is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday observed on June 19th in the United States to celebrate the freedom of enslaved African Americans. Texas is the first state to commemorate this holiday following the freedom of enslaved people after the civil war. Juneteenth derives its name from “June” and “nineteen.”

Why is Juneteenth important?

Juneteenth is important because it marks the freedom of enslaved people in June 1865 by the provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation. The primary reason for celebrating this day is because it indicates the day enslaved people in Texas learned about their freedom when Union Gen. Gordon Granger issued an order to free enslaved African Americans in Texas.

What are some good Juneteenth celebration ideas for the office?

Some good Juneteenth celebration ideas for office include having a Movie Night, Touring a Black Culture Museum, or having an Office Cook-Off.

How do you celebrate Juneteenth at work?

To celebrate Juneteenth at work, determine the activities or events you want to engage with other employees. Then make plans for the event or activities ahead of Juneteenth. Remember to inform the employees about the event weeks before so that they can adjust their plans accordingly. Keep the attendees engaged with fun Juneteenth games and activities during the event. Plan the event so that workers get to learn more about Juneteenth while having fun.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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