The Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee of ActiveCampaign strives to enhance the company culture through celebrating the diverse members of the team. Last month, the D&I Committee showcased LGBTQIA+ Pride at ActiveCampaign through the Humans of AC Pride-themed video, AC Pride panel, happy hour, and the Proud to Run 5k/10k race.
From Protests to Progress
Each year during the month of June, Pride Month is celebrated to commemorate the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn. After a police raid on the gay bar on June 28, 1969, a series of demonstrations by gay community members ended in violence. However, the rebellion is often considered to be the pivotal moment in establishing a need to protect the civil rights of LGBTQIA+ people.
To show support for the continued progress towards equality, the D&I Committee distributed the most comfortably soft shirts featuring a colorful ActiveCampaign Pride logo designed by Austin Baird of the Design team. The D&I Committee hosted AC Pride, a panel of LGBTQIA+ staff members and sponsored runners during the Proud to Run race.
Pride Means Glitter Abs
The AC Pride Panel and happy hour served as a recognition and celebration of history. The panel of LGBTQIA+ community members Michael Benjamin, Alexis Jennings, Rhea Ghosh, and Carmen Barnes, as well as Val Lopez, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at Chicago-based SaaS company, Cision, was moderated by Niki Madison.
Champagne bottles popped and glasses clinked as panel members brought humor to tense subject areas while sharing their personal and professional stories. When asked what pride means to them, panelist Carmen Barnes exclaimed “Glitter abs! Pride means glitter abs”! Another panel member, Alexis Jennings, says “I felt incredibly proud and honored to participate in the Pride panel at ActiveCampaign. The event reminded me of the support and love our AC community shows for one another and the ways in which we champion individuals and identities”.
Rainbow-colored appetizers and desserts along with the colorful balloons livened the office with a spirit of acceptance. Diversity & Inclusion Committee member, Marion Huebner said, “For me, the Pride panel was an example of humanity at its best. The panel participants were vulnerable, candid, and disarmingly funny – and I’m grateful to them for having shared so much of themselves with the room of attendees. The panel left me hopeful, and excited to help facilitate more inclusive conversations and activities for our team members at AC.”
Running the Path to Progress
Proud to Run is an annual 5k or 10k race through Chicago’s Montrose Harbor held during Pride Week. The 2018 event marked the 37th year of the event. The 2017 race featured over 2000 walkers, 200 volunteers, and raised and donated $65,000 to local LGBTQIA+ community beneficiaries. AC staffer Jamie Madison says “I’ve participated in Proud To Run several times, and it is always a wonderful experience — so many happy people, enjoying our amazing city, and supporting each other. It was so special to be sponsored for the run by ActiveCampaign; participating alongside so many wonderful friends was so much fun. We truly support each other here. I loved all of our Pride events”.
While there are still many strides to be made towards LGBTQIA+ equality, visibility is a huge step in the road to acceptance. ActiveCampaign is showing their support through the events surrounding Pride Month. Through AC Pride and cultural learning opportunities to come, ActiveCampaign continues to champion progression in diversity.