On June 19th, we commemorate Juneteenth, a day that holds immense significance in American history and in the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice. As we mark this occasion, I want to take a moment to reflect on its meaning, to celebrate the progress we’ve made, and to renew our commitment to building a more just and equitable world.

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned that they were free, a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. This date represents a turning point in our nation’s history—a moment when the promise of freedom enshrined in our Constitution finally began to be realized for all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin.

But as we celebrate this momentous occasion, we must also acknowledge the painful truth that the struggle for true equality and justice did not end on that day in June 1865. For far too long, systemic racism, discrimination, and inequality have persisted in our society, denying far too many the full measure of freedom, opportunity, and dignity they deserve.

At Cisco, we believe we have a responsibility to confront these injustices head-on, to use our platform and our resources to drive meaningful change, and to create a culture where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive. This commitment is not only a moral imperative but also a business necessity. We know that diversity, inclusion, and collaboration are essential to our success, and that when we create an environment where everyone can bring their full selves to work, we unlock the full potential of our people and our organization.

That’s why we’ve made diversity and inclusion a core part of our company’s purpose and strategy. Through our Conscious Culture initiative, we’re fostering an environment of dignity, respect, fairness, and equity, where everyone can contribute their unique perspectives and experiences. And with our Social Justice actions, we’re taking concrete steps to address systemic racism and drive lasting change, from increasing representation and advancement of Black employees to investing in the economic empowerment of Black communities.

Last week, we were proud to host the 2nd annual Cisco Radiate event, a platform for our Black employees and allies to come together, share their experiences, and empower each other to shine. With the theme “You Are Meant to Shine,” we recognized that every individual has unique talents, perspectives, and experiences that contribute to our collective success. Over 600 people attended the event over three days, radiating and illuminating the path for others, because when we shine together, we light up the world.

Cisco is also the official sponsor of the Atlanta Juneteenth Parade & Festival at Piedmont Park from June 21-23. This vibrant celebration is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and spirit of the African American community. I invite you to join us and our #CiscoAACPC partners for a weekend of unity, joy, and reflection. Walk alongside us in the parade and stop by the Cisco booth to connect with our team and learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

But we also know that this work is not the responsibility of any one company or individual. It requires all of us—leaders, employees, partners, and communities—to come together in a spirit of empathy, understanding, and shared commitment. It requires us to have difficult conversations, to challenge our assumptions and biases, and to take action in ways large and small to create a world where every person has an equal chance to succeed and thrive.

As we celebrate Juneteenth, let’s draw strength and inspiration from the courage and resilience of those who have come before us, from the countless individuals who have fought and sacrificed to bend the arc of history towards justice. Let us honor their legacy by rededicating ourselves to the unfinished work of equality and by reaffirming our commitment to creating a future where every person, in every community, has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

At Cisco, we’re proud to be part of this ongoing journey, and we’re deeply grateful to our employees, our partners, and our communities for joining us in this work. Together, let’s continue to strive for a world where the promise of freedom and equality is truly realized for all.

Happy Juneteenth!


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Rodney Clark

Senior Vice President

Partnerships and Small & Medium Business