This June marks the 54th year since the Stonewall riots in NYC when the LGBTQ+ community rallied against the discrimination, violence and inequality they faced as a community. These riots are often considered to be the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, and every June the community and its allies celebrate its diversity and culture and raise awareness of the ongoing fight for equal rights and protection.
In many ways our minority communities are experiencing more hate and divisiveness today than ever, LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a reminder of our societal obligation to honor and respect one another as fellow human beings, which is an ongoing effort that we must own individually and collectively.
As employers, we have a special obligation to create a safe space that allows our employees to show up as their authentic selves within their work environment. Doing this means challenging ourselves and our teams to observe and understand the sources of our own inherent biases. We must strive to consider on a regular basis if and how we are honoring each person as an individual, whether our language is inclusive, our workforce diverse, our environment open and welcoming and supportive of all our team members, our patients, our partners, and our customers.
As leaders, we must set an example – in what we say and do, in how we react and how we respond. What we believe and what we value must be reflected in the organizations we build, lead and grow. Our actions and deeds need to support what we value – human rights for all, equality, diversity, and inclusivity. By fostering a sense of community, belonging and support within our organizations for those at greatest risk of prejudice and exclusion we honor the humanity in each of us. This effort requires much more than a piece of colorful swag or a temporary logo update to honor Pride Month - it is the daily work of building a respectful, diverse and inclusive culture.
Please join us in honoring those who pioneered the LGBTQ+ movement, who stood up to prejudice and hate, and to those who continue the work, who show us every day how to be better humans to one another.