ATLANTA – The Atlanta Dream have announced ‘Juneteenth’ will be designated an official paid company holiday. The organization will join a growing list of companies across Atlanta and the country recognizing and honoring the African American experience.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery on January 1, 1863.
“This universal acknowledgement of ‘Juneteenth’ is long overdue, especially here in Atlanta,” Dream President & General Manager Chris Sienko said. “As a first mover in the WNBA, it is our obligation to recognize the sanctity and significance of this day for our diverse community.”
The Dream, which was named after Dr. Martin Luther King’s preeminent message on freedom and equality, is a franchise built on diversity & inclusion and helping end social injustices. Throughout the 2020 WNBA season, Atlanta will join all 12 teams amplifying a platform, led by players, aimed to support and strengthen both the league and teams’ reach and impact on social justice matters.
The league announced the 2020 WNBA season will tip-off this July with a competitive schedule of 22 regular-season games followed by a traditional playoff format at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.