NPT Celebrates Pride Month 2019

Author NPT Diversity & Inclusion Committee

June 12, 2019

As leadership liaison for National Philanthropic Trust’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, I am proud to see how my colleagues are working to engage our entire staff in recognition and celebration of Pride Month. It is my pleasure to give you a glimpse at an educational communication from the committee, which was shared internally last week with all of NPT’s workforce.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did, and I encourage you to share these great resources with your loved ones this Pride Month.

Bill Webster

Chief Marketing Officer

 

 

Hello everyone,

As you are likely aware, June is Pride Month, a month chosen to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots and to celebrate LGBTQ pride. This upcoming weekend is also the LGBTQ Philly Pride Festival in Philadelphia, as well as the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Did you know that Philadelphia was making history through activism before those historic events? As the Diversity & Inclusion committee works to honor the diversity of our entire workforce, we also want to draw attention to and celebrate the important role that Philadelphia played in furthering equal rights for members of the LBGTQ community.

For example, Philadelphia was the site of Annual Reminder Day, an annual demonstration in the 1960s at a time when “visibly exposing oneself as homosexual risked disastrous consequences, both personal and professional.” These demonstrators took an intentionally conservative approach, indicative of the lack of acceptance that members of the LGBTQ community faced. This approach included strict conservative dress codes (even more conservative than our business casual dress policy—with ties and jackets for men and dresses for women!), pre-approved sign messages, and picketers marching in single file with minimal or no conversation between participants or onlookers.

Why? Because their primary objective was to give the impression that the demonstrators were employable.

It took incredible bravery to demonstrate in this way in 1965, when “coming out” in such a public way could jeopardize every single aspect of their lives and all that they held dear, including their relationships and their professional careers. Today, it may be hard to imagine the need for a yearly demonstration simply to prove that members of the LGBTQ community are as employable as others; this simply goes to show the remarkable level of bias and prejudice that members of the LGBTQ community faced at the time.

The fear and restriction surrounding these early demonstrations stand in stark contrast to the celebration of diversity and inclusion that will embody the parades around the country this month.

Yet we still have a long way to go in order to ensure equality on all fronts. Four years ago on June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage in all fifty states. But did you know that there is no federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity? That means that in many states, including PA, an employer is able to terminate employment or refuse to hire on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation and gender identity. (PLEASE NOTE: NPT has an anti-discrimination policy, as well as a diversity and inclusion policy, and stands firmly against any form of discrimination.)

We encourage you to take a few moments to educate yourself about how far this equal rights movement has come, as well as how far it has to go.

Here are some additional resources you might want to check out:

Events around Philadelphia during Pride Month

8 LGBTQ Documentaries to Watch During Pride Month

Information about Annual Reminder Day

Before Stonewall and Pride, Philly staged protests

What were the Stonewall riots?

Stay tuned for more information from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee about upcoming activities in which you can participate.

Thanks,

Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee