Author: Ayesha Masud
With Pride well underway and nearing an end, it is important to focus on sustaining and maintaining 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy work. In our article at the beginning of the month we highlight how Pride is intended to commemorate the incredible contributions of Black trans women (does the name Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson sound familiar?). These women were leaders among a community of marginalized folks who spoke out against the systemic oppression of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Their actions came to a head during what is now called the Stonewall Riots, when they openly rioted against the police that sought to keep them oppressed.
The following year, the first Pride parade was started to honor their work and celebrate 2SLGBTQ+ lives, an act of resistance against a state that works hard to eradicate the diversity of sexual, romantic, and gender identities. Since then, Pride has served multiple functions of celebration for those within the community, and acknowledgements of the continued systemic oppression from allies.
To sustain the momentum of Pride Month, Lunaria wanted to offer a few tips. As a leading DEI company, we recognize the difficulty in achieving equity for 2SLGBTQ+ populations. We have the resources to meet you where you are at, and work with you to come up with unique, adapted commitments to advance your DEI journey. So if any of the tips below spark your interest, reach out to us and get the conversation started.
Education plays a key part in working towards eradicating the systemic oppression against 2SLGBTQ+ communities. While Pride month offers a dearth of invaluable resources, as we transition to July, consider implementing long-term educational units that helps build your employees’ knowledge capital and expertise. One example is Lunaria Learns, where we have created unique resources to help provide educational support on important DEI topics. We recently partnered with OK2BME to create a resource dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ which are available to you on our website. We can work with your organization to make education units that fit where you are in your DEI journey.
The significant amount of the harm perpetrated against the 2SLGBTQ+ community is a direct result of systemic violence. For this community, the overlapping oppression from the cisgendered heteropatriarchal system of power results in a higher risk of assault, abuse, and other forms of violence. In addition to direct physical violence, the harm can also be perpetrated through systemic bias which can manifest in all levels and aspects of an organization’s recruitment strategy, including job ads, hiring processes, and employee retention. While featuring 2SLGBTQ+ efforts during Pride month is commendable, consider looking inwards at your system processes to identify any sources of bias. Consider an audit of your organization to understand your current employee demographics, which communities feel safe within your organization, and how to improve initiatives to reflect your equity commitments.
As we continue to work remotely during this pandemic, the importance of online company presence has never been more important. Your online presence (including social media, blogs, websites etc.) provides clients with their first impression of who you are in this virtual world. For marginalized individuals, your marketing can provide important clues about safety, inclusion, and support. To ensure access to your services by a diverse range of populations, you should evaluate your present marketing. Who is featured on your ad campaigns? What identity markets do they occupy? Are they representative of the diversity of your client base? Who is missing? What does your marketing language demonstrate? Does it appear to empower and uplift marginalized communities, or does it exclude them from the conversation? Featuring 2SLGBTQ+ marketing during Pride is an important start, but remember that this community is far more than a single month. To ensure visibility and long-term support for this community, invest in inclusive marketing every month.
During Pride month, there is often a surge in financial and other forms of support for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations. This is incredible to see but those organizations provide important resources for this marginalized community before and after the month of June. So another great way to sustain 2SLGBTQ+ equity work is through setting up recurring funding support to these amazing, and often not-for-profit, organizations. If not funding, you can provide support through volunteering (company volunteer event as a team culture boost), cross-marketing on your platform, and the inclusion of these organizations in various projects. Remember, the sustainability of equity work lies in an equity lens applied to every part of your company plans – there is always an opportunity to increase inclusion, provide meaningful engagement, and strive for a better world.
We outlined just a few strategies you can implement to ensure longevity for 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy. The beauty of these strategies is that they will also support inclusion for a range of other marginalized communities. Because inequity is often the result of interlinked systemic oppressions, addressing the root causes of one will allow you to address multiple oppressions. As a result, you and your work will be accessible for a larger audience, and you ensure that a diversity of individuals will feel welcome in your business.
Lunaria is here to walk with you on this difficult DEI journey and we are excited for you to continue the strides of Pride Month. If you have any questions about the work you are doing and how we can be an asset, reach out to us today and book a meeting. We look forward to helping you thrive and grow!