Skip to main content

MCF Leads: Aligning Our Values With Our Holiday Policy

On June 19, for the second year, the Minnesota Council on Foundations will be closed to recognize Juneteenth. This day commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. In recent years, Juneteenth has become an official state and federal holiday and a holiday at MCF.

In 2021, MCF underwent a complete overhaul of our employee policies with a DEI and anti-racism focus. As a part of that process, we updated our holiday policy to de-emphasize holidays that are religious in nature and emphasize days that have important, broad, historical and cultural significance in the United States. Recognizing Juneteenth is a way for MCF to elevate the history of Black Americans and what has become known as “America’s Second Independence Day”. This change reflects our commitment to anti-racism in our own policies and practices. In addition to adding Juneteenth as an organizational holiday, we added Indigenous People’s Day to commemorate the history and culture of Native people and de-emphasize the history of colonization of Native lands.

While we added these two important historic and cultural holidays, MCF also no longer officially recognizes any religious holidays. In prioritizing diversity and inclusion, we know that making space for celebrations of all religions, and elevating none, is important for MCF as an employer. Whether our staff celebrates Eid, Christmas, Yom Kippur, or other religious holidays, they won’t experience the culture of some being deemed more official than others in their workplace. We removed Christmas and Christmas Eve as formal organization holidays; moving forward we have established “no meeting” days for religious holidays that are likely to be observed by our staff, board, and members. Along with this change, we added two floating holidays for employees to use at their discretion. 

When an employer decides on its official holidays, it is making a statement of values that has significant implications—both for the culture of the organization, and for people’s lives. While we know this continues to be a work in progress, we believe that these changes in holidays move MCF closer to supporting the organizational diversity we seek, and reflecting the inclusion and anti-racism to which we are committed.

Have you considered how your holiday policies align with your own organizational values? I encourage you to do so. If you would like to chat about this, please feel free to reach out to learn more about our process.

Headshot of Susie Brown

Reach Out

If you have questions or input about our holiday policy, I would love to hear from you!

Share This