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PRIDE Month and BakerPRIDE

Diversity Matters Newsletter
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For many, PRIDE month is celebrated with parades, receptions and other community gatherings, most all of which have been cancelled because of a public health pandemic that is spread through these sorts of events. I know our community and allies are disappointed in the loss of this annual marker as we grieve with our friends, family and community members impacted by COVID-19. We know that our HIV+ brothers and sisters can be particularly vulnerable to the impact of this disease and they remain in our thoughts as well.

This year's PRIDE begins not just amid COVID concerns, but in an environment where a spotlight is shining especially brightly on racial injustice in our society. Those more eloquent than I have expressed where we are and how we got here, but in the context of PRIDE, I want to share two thoughts. First, the lineage of gay marriage and other legal strides made by the LGBTQ community rely heavily and directly on the brave work of those who struggled for civil rights and racial equality. We owe them an astounding debt of gratitude and our support. Second, members of our community who are persons of color, especially our trans brothers and sisters, have been particularly hard hit by senseless violence. We grieve for the loss of life we've seen over the past several weeks but also for having to bear witness to these reminders that it is not just a virus that continues to tear at the fabric of our society.

Many PRIDE events held this month are benefits for charitable institutions serving our community; I hope you will join us in acknowledging that in your giving if you are able.

This month we introduce BakerPride, which is replacing Affinitas as Baker Donelson’s affinity group for LGBTQ employees and allies.

We are always interested in feedback on our programs, so please feel free to reach out to me at nkressler@bakerdonelson.com if you are interested in sharing or learning more.

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