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What is Juneteenth 2020, the holiday marking the end of US slavery?

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On June 19, Americans around the country will celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

This year, the annual celebration of freedom comes as the country grapples with its longstanding tradition of systemic racism, as well as the fate of its Confederate monuments, flags and symbols amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd.

Although the holiday centers on the freedom of African Americans from slavery, “the message of Juneteenth is a positive unifying one” for all Americans, said Steve Williams, president of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. 

“Juneteenth is a unifying holiday,” Williams said. “It is the completion of the celebration of freedom in America.”

In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Civil War re-enactors Lt. James Hayes, from left, Samuel Stephenson and Marvin-Alonzo Greer participate in a Juneteenth celebration at the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum in Atlanta. Juneteenth celebration started with the freed slaves of Galveston, Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the South in 1863, it could not be enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Juneteenth is often celebrated with joyful community and family gatherings, but many of these events will likely go virtual this year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Here is what you should know about Juneteenth: 

What is Juneteenth? 

On June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed a reluctant community in Galveston, Texas, that President Abraham Lincoln two and a half years earlier had freed enslaved Americans. He pressed locals to comply with the directive. 

Although Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of slaves, effective on January 1, 1863, slave owners were responsible for telling their slaves that they were now free and some ignored the order until Union troops arrived to enforce it, according to Cliff Robinson, founder of Juneteenth.com. This took time, and Texas was the last Confederate state to have the proclamation announced.

While the story of Texas’ emancipation is the most widely known, Williams noted that other significant events in the history of emancipation took place on and around that date, as well. He said the first known Juneteenth celebrations began in 1866 and spread across the country as African Americans migrated to new cities.

Today, 47 states and Washington, D.C. have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday. And Juneteenth celebrations have been seen in episodes of television shows like “Black-ish” and “Atlanta”.

Activists are still pushing for wider recognition, including a designation as a national holiday and an acknowledgement by Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.

“Federal recognition is really what our job is,” Williams said.

Juneteenth and reparations:Ta-Nehisi Coates, Danny Glover to testify in Juneteenth House hearing on slavery reparations

Where does the name ‘Juneteenth’ come from?

Juneteenth is a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” in honor of the day that Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas. The holiday is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

How do people celebrate Juneteenth? 

Juneteenth is typically celebrated with educational activities for children, parades, concerts, beauty pageants and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, Williams said.

At cookouts, he said red food and drink like strawberry soda and red velvet cake are traditional. Red, white and blue are on the Juneteenth flag. The color red symbolizes that “from the middle passage to George Floyd our blood has been spilled across America,” Williams said.

Juneteenth:Twitter and Square will observe Juneteenth as company holiday, CEO Dorsey says

Participants sing the National Anthem during a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate Juneteenth at the Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on Friday, June 15th, 2012.

How will Juneteenth be different this year?

Williams said many local events will be livestreamed online and in lieu of traditional parades, some organizers have planned caravans.

With more states lifting coronavirus-related restrictions, Robinson said it’s possible people will still gather together physically this year and urged people to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks if they do. Robinson said he believes the nationwide protests following Floyd’s death will draw more people to Juneteenth celebrations.

“That certainly will allow and inspire more people participate in Juneteenth celebrations,” Robinson said. “They just have to be made aware that the celebration exists.”

He noted that more companies have started to recognize Juneteenth amid the ongoing protests against racism. Jack Dorsey, who is CEO of Twitter and digital payment platform Square, said both companies will make Juneteenth a company holiday this year at all of its offices across the world.

Hulu is shifting the premiere dates for two original shows “Love, Victor” and “Taste the Nation,” so as not to detract from Juneteenth. The company announced it is also taking action to “fight against the injustice” and support the Black Lives Matter movement by donating $5 million to nonprofit organizations, including the NAACP.

“The date represents and important turning point for our nation and for human rights, and we believe that now, more than ever, it deserves to have its own day in the spotlight,” the tweet read. 

President Donald Trump had planned to hold a campaign rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of a 1921 massacre that saw white men attack and kill Black residents in a Black business district. Facing a backlash over the date, Trump announced Friday night he would move the Tulsa rally one day later.

“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th — a big deal,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests.”

In the media:Netflix curates new collection of ‘Black Lives Matter’ titles, Hulu honors Juneteenth

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627356854/0/usatoday-newstopstories~What-is-Juneteenth-the-holiday-marking-the-end-of-US-slavery/

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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