In addition to holding virtual and in-person events, department retailer JCPenney is launching its new collection of Juneteenth apparel from its private brand Hope & Wonder to celebrate the holiday.
The retailer launched the purpose-driven Hope & Wonder brand earlier this year, with the first collection celebrating Black History Month. The line will now feature an array of t-shirts, hoodies and more to celebrate Juneteenth, a now Federal holiday which celebrates the freeing of African-American slaves following the Emancipation Proclamation.
On June 19, 1865, Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy to keep slavery legal.
The new designs are only one way JCPenney is celebrating the holiday. On May 17, JCPenney held a virtual event featuring teacher and activist Dr. Opal Lee, known as the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth,’ called “Walking for Freedom: A Juneteenth Discussion with Dr. Opal Lee.” The conversation reflected on the significance of Juneteenth and its designation as a federal holiday, Dr. Lee’s ongoing advocacy and community work, and the “freedom journey that continues to this day."
On Saturday, June 18, JCPenney will join Dr. Lee in Fort Worth, TX for her Walk of Freedom event, a tradition she began in 2016 with 2.5-mile walks representing the 2.5 years it took Emancipation Proclamation enforcement to reach Texas.
JCPenney will donate 100% of net profits from the four cultural moment collections to non-profit partners; the Juneteenth collection supports Opal's Walk for Freedom, presented by Unity Unlimited.
“JCPenney’s Juneteenth Hope & Wonder Collection and national sponsorship of Opal’s Walk for Freedom speaks volumes about their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Dione Sims, executive director of Unity Unlimited, Inc. the producers of the Walk and granddaughter of Dr. Lee. “Their generous donation will go a long way in supporting our mission to educate the country about the significance of Juneteenth as a national holiday that can bring people together and start the healing of America.”
Founded in 1922, JCPenney has more than 650 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, with 50,000 associates serving the retailer.