Brands engaging the community in conversation

As the nation observes Juneteenth today, commemorating the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19th, 1865, which marked the official abolition of slavery in the United States, brands seemingly appear divided on whether they want to recognize the holiday.

However, for Gen Z, 66% strongly expect brands to take a stance on issues impacting the Black community, and 67% are more likely to purchase from a brand based on its stand on issues impacting the Black community, proving that they want brands and companies to honor alongside them.

Today we’re checking in on organizations and brands and how they've acknowledged the occasion by showing up for their customers, employees, and the entire community.

Image of the Still Rising Corp and True Religion logo over a light purple background.


As a brand focused on community, jeans company True Religion has joined forces with Still Rising Corp, a leading Black-owned-and-led creative cultural agency that serves as the intersection between community, corporations, and commerce, for its annual Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival taking place in Los Angeles today.

True Religion’s programming for the festival, the largest and most attended Juneteenth celebration in the country, will include a live Q&A panel with the Leimert Park team and co-branded products, hosted basketball teams, and will round out its involvement with a performance from The National Pan-Hellenic Council of USC Step Team and hip-hop duo AG Club.

Text quote, “I think it's a very important date in American history to remember, and I'm glad it's finally being honored after so long.”

— Reynalis, 16, PA (Cassandra Collective)

Text quote, “Brands should use that day as an opportunity to showcase the contributions of Black Americans (not just Rosa Parks and MLK) and donate scholarship money to students in need as well as books.”

— Grace, 15, NY (Cassandra Collective)

    Image of the Warner Bros' Discover logo


    Back in May, Warner Bros. Discovery officially debuted its dedicated Client Partnerships and Inclusive Solutions Team as a destination for building custom solutions that resonate with multicultural audiences, including Black, Hispanic, AAPI, and LGBTQ+ people, pairing marketers with impactful opportunities across their portfolio of diverse voices, faces, creators and stories to reach multicultural consumers, with tentpole events, brands and talent including CNN’s Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom which will be simulcast on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network tonight showcasing a crop of new artists to commemorate the national holiday and celebrate Black culture and music.

    Text quote, “I don't really know how a brand would celebrate this holiday anyway, unless it was a Black-owned small business.”

    — Melissa, 23, FL (Cassandra Collective)

      Image of a black woman crossing her arms and standing in the street


      On the other side of the spectrum, since Black History Month in February, many creators have come forward, noting that talk of diversity, equity, and inclusion has started to lose momentum, and so too have the brand opportunities offered to them. This is especially surprising considering that more than half of Gen Z said they support a brand that supports issues impacting the Black community.

      In fact, reports go as far as suggesting that for creators of color, this all points to a faltering relationship between them and the brands that made promises three years ago in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and that, as creator NickSayGo suggests, “It’s not as ‘cool’ to focus on it anymore from a brand side, or even in the eyes of society in general.”

      For more insights on Juneteenth, check out the full details of our survey HERE.