Erica Johnson has worked in HR for over ten years and is the Vice President of People at Nitro. Nitro believes people are its greatest assets, so ensuring every single employee is happy and healthy is a key responsibility for Erica. It is her core job to make sure Nitro is a great place to work in every one of our global offices.
Today is Juneteenth, a holiday that many of you may not have ever heard of before this year. As a child, I was fortunate enough to learn about Juneteenth from my grandmother, who spoke to me and my sisters at length about celebrating Black liberation and fighting for equality for Black people in this country. Unfortunately, that was the only real source of information on Juneteenth I had at that time. It was not talked about in school, and I don’t remember even being able to find something in the encyclopedia, my go-to source for information back then before you know…the internet. Fast forward to today, and I can honestly share how surreal it is to celebrate this year knowing that this holiday is being celebrated by so many around the world. While this has certainly been a very challenging year, Juneteenth has now gained an amazing level of awareness and visibility and I see this as an incredible opportunity to help our Nitro community learn more and get greater meaning of what Juneteenth represents for each Nitronaut.
One of our core values is to “Be Good” – and I’m so proud of our Nitro community for living up to this value each and every day. But sometimes we need a special day like Juneteenth to remind us of the everyday freedom and equality that can so easily be taken for granted by so many, and that we must fight for to ensure that all have it. It’s also a way for us to celebrate the progress we make as individuals and as a community despite the challenges. To that end, I’m proud to share that moving forward Nitro will be recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday globally. And, of course, we’ll be celebrating this holiday in our unique, Nitro way—but it’s important that we start with education and empathy for a greater understanding of Juneteenth and what it means.