Progress Plus co-leaders, Mariyan Vasev and Todor Totev and Inclusion and Diversity Program Manager Courtney Gagné share their thoughts on how Progressers empowered the LGTBQIA+ community, including our first Pride Walk around our Burlington HQ, resulting in over $4,000 raised for The Trevor Project, not only at the company but across the world.
On June 29, more than two dozen Progressers, from all different departments and their guests were decked out in colorful, rainbow-themed shirts and press-on tattoos. A few carried flags and signs representing the LGBTQIA+ community. It was our inaugural Pride Walk, hosted by our LGTBQIA+ Employee Resource Group (ERG), Plus.
The overall goal of the event, organized by Inclusion & Diversity Program Manager Courtney Gagné, was to raise $1,000 for The Trevor Project, a non-profit focusing on suicide prevention with LGBTQIA+ teens.
“With all that is going on in the world, this Pride Walk was the reminder we needed of what we are fighting for—each other,” said Gagné. “We weren’t sure an in-person event was going to happen, but once we decided on it, folks from across the company stepped up to help in whatever way they could to make it happen, coming together to support each other, and that is what this community is all about.”
By the end of the event, $4,500 was raised by those walking at the event including CEO & President Yogesh Gupta and EVP Corporate Development, Jeremy Segal. The starting fundraising target was more than doubled and Plus made an additional $1,000 donation to match the initial fundraising goal.
Earlier this year, Plus co-leaders, Mariyan Vasev, Talent Development Manager, and Todor Totev, Information Developer, Principal, along with our Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Shirley Knowles, were invited to the British Ambassador’s Residence in Sofia to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (#IDAHOBIT). Despite it not being Pride Month yet, Plus’ representation at this event was a great start to what was to come in the next few weeks.
On June 8, Pride Month started off with a virtual keynote titled Pride & Inclusion. Vasev and Totev joined the Teams would-be stage with Rabbi Max Chaiken, an openly gay, married rabbi. Chaiken spoke about his experience as a person of faith, their own marriage and how important inclusion is to them in both of those areas.
A light-hearted, and at times challenging, trivia contest also took place on June 22. The game was open to all Progressers. Questions ranged from facts surrounding prominent LGBTQ figures in history (Q: “What does the P in Marsha P Johnson stand for?” A: “Pay it no mind!”) to pop culture-related ones (“Which famous Bulgarian movie star is also an avid supporter of LGBTQ rights?” A: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s Maria Bakalova). However, there were a ton of questions leaving most participants scratching their heads. Here are a few answers that we found the most interesting.
In fact... did you know?
And last, but certainly not least, the final Pride event was a panel discussion on June 30. Hosted by Ashley T. Brundage, Founder and President of Empowering Differences, a personal training and coaching organization. The event, co-hosted with Progress for Her, was an open discussion led by Brundage. She shared her experiences as a transgender woman in the corporate sector and how we can promote awareness around gender identity and expression.
While Pride Month is closing, Progress is always working toward a more diverse and inclusive world. To learn more about Plus and the other ERGs at Progress, click here.
If you would like to donate to the Trevor Project, do not hesitate. They are always accepting donations.
Copywriter Colin Barry has spent the majority of his career in the tech sector of Boston as a journalist and content marketer, writing about early-stage startups and consumer electronics. However, it is the combination of marketing and creative writing that draws him to the world of copywriting. Colin lives in Massachusetts and is self-described film geek, rock music nerd, and video game enthusiast.
Subscribe to get all the news, info and tutorials you need to build better business apps and sites
You have the right to request deletion of your Personal Information at any time.
You can also ask us not to pass your Personal Information to third parties here: Do Not Sell My Info
We see that you have already chosen to receive marketing materials from us. If you wish to change this at any time you may do so by clicking here.
Thank you for your continued interest in Progress. Based on either your previous activity on our websites or our ongoing relationship, we will keep you updated on our products, solutions, services, company news and events. If you decide that you want to be removed from our mailing lists at any time, you can change your contact preferences by clicking here.
Let our experts teach you how to use Sitefinity's best-in-class features to deliver compelling digital experiences.Learn More