“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.” – George Takei
As part of the DEI learning journey at United Way, this month’s focus was on the Pride community, its history, and lifting up voices often marginalized. Internally, staff were led through a “Gender and Sexuality 101” lunch and learn opportunity, which focused on understanding identities, pivotal moments in the history for LGBTQIA+ rights, and strategies for making the organization more inclusive and welcoming to all residents. On June 9th, United Way also hosted a webinar that featured Tammi Wortham, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Sun Life, Cheryl Katon, Vice President of Resource Development and Donor Engagement for Fenway Health, James Vamboi, Jr, Chief of Staff, Community & Culture at the Boston Ujima Project, Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, and Marty Martinez, Chief of the Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services for the City of Boston.
“All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” – Harvey Milk
We wanted to pair our webinar and the focus on LGBTQIA+ leaders with a conversation with David Sirrico, who is a 16 year-old involved with NAGLY. David joined United Way staff member, Amanda Shabowich, in a conversation about navigating identity, sharing that identity with others, and what challenges young people in the Pride community are facing. He speaks openly about his coming out story that quickly spread across the school, the support he’s received from his family, finding community at NAGLY with other LGBTQIA+ young people, and what his trans* classmates are dealing with comparatively. Learn more about the work of NAGLY by visiting https://www.nagly.org/ and watch out for David in the future – he’s going to be a famous baker one day!
After listening to the webinar and this incredible interview, please feel free to browse the resources below to deepen your own learning – in the way that works best for you!
Do you learn best by reading?
- Learn more about Baynard Rustin, a civil rights icon
- A complete history of PRIDE
- Remembering the Pulse Massacre
- Books by LGBTQIA+ Authors
Do you learn best by watching videos or listening to podcasts?
- Listen to episodes of Making Gay History
- Watch “The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson” or “Disclosure” on Netflix
- Why do pronouns matter?
- “The Tyranny of Either/Or” music video, by local artist Evan Greer
Do you learn best through the arts or experiences?
- Queer poetry spotlight on Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich
- Excerpt from James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room”
- Check out LGBTQIA+ landmarks on Boston’s Equality Trail