By Adam Ifshin, Co-Founder and CEO of DLC Management Corp
Every year during the month of June, we celebrate people in our lives and communities who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, including those who are not able to celebrate as freely or as openly as we can here in the United States. It is a global celebration of diversity and a call to continue to increase acceptance of all people regardless of their sexuality. Why was June chosen? Because it is when the Stonewall Riots happened. In June 1969, the members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back against the harassment from the police in Greenwich Village. This year honors the 50th anniversary of such a historic social movement.
I have had the opportunity to attend Pride events, including my very first one three years ago in London, England. The Pride Parade in London was my first and came about when I took our family to London to celebrate the 80th birthday of my father, Steve, whom regrettably passed away later in the same year. Shortly before we were to leave for London, our middle son, Alec, formally came out to us. He told us that he wanted to attend the Pride in London Parade during our trip and we all expressed our support and the desire to go with him. At that moment, Alec had not yet told his grandfather that he was gay. He wasn’t sure what to do. With our counsel, Alec ultimately called his grandfather, went to dinner with him and told him. Steve was of course, incredibly supportive, and was the first person to tell Alec that no matter what he was going to Pride Parade in London with him. Here’s a picture of them that day in London at the Parade.
At DLC, we personally take great satisfaction in our inclusive culture which embraces people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, places, religions, genders, and sexual orientation. As it was so many times in our development, it was Steve leading by example that helped show us the way. Our commitment is to make everyone on the team feel equally comfortable as a team member and ensure that they are all treated the same no matter how different we may be from each other. Our Great Place to Work Survey results support what I’ve long felt to be true; people from diverse backgrounds at DLC strongly believe that it is a welcoming, safe, and equal place for people from all walks of life.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen America make great strides in equality. In the 60s, Dr. Martin Luther King shepherded the civil rights movement across the country. In the 80s, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. As we all know, however, there is much left to do in America to create a truly equal society for all. To encourage and support America continuing to improve in how all people are treated, DLC supports specific charities designed to fight the remaining inequities in our country: The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, and The Human Rights Campaign. We will continue to support all three charities and look for ways to grow our involvement further.
While Pride Weekends in Buffalo, Dallas and Washington DC have already occurred, there are more Pride events scheduled in the remaining DLC hometowns. Chicago will celebrate the Pride Weekend on June 22nd -23rd while New York will hold its Pride March on June 30th. Atlanta celebrates Pride in October from the 12th to the 14th. I hope people can take the opportunity to attend and become part of creating more equal #SUCCESS.