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Diversity Task Force - Diversity Dispatch - June 2021 - Pride Month

By: Tim Barrett, CMP | Jun 8, 2021

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Pride Month was initially inspired by the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and works to achieve equal justice and opportunity for LGBTQ+ Americans. The purpose of the month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on society locally, nationally and internationally.

What is the Stonewall Uprising?

The Stonewall Uprising occurred June 28, 1969, and was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the 1960s, the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village was a gay club and refuge for many in the LGBTQ community. On June 28, 1969, the New York City police raided the inn, sparking a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents with the police. The riot involved hundreds of people and led to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park.

A year later on June 28, thousands of people marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park in what was then called “Christopher Street Liberation Day” — marking what is now recognized as the nation’s first gay pride parade.  Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people and allies have continued to gather together in June to march with pride and demonstrate for equal rights.

MPI Georgia’s Diversity Task Force was developed in part to help our industry better serve our LGBTQ+ attendees in a safe, inviting, and comfortable manner. Here are some helpful hints to consider when planning:

  • Words matter. A lot has been written and discussed this year as it relates to pronouns. Consider rewriting your scripts to avoid “Ladies and Gentlemen,” as well as asking for preferred pronouns of your speakers for introductions from the stage.

  • Speaking of speakers, continue to make sure that you are pulling from a diverse background. Some speaker bureaus even include LGBTQ+ in their search fields.

  • Although many venues and properties already include gender neutral restrooms, look for spaces that will allow flexibility in assigning some restrooms as needed.

  • Location. Location. Location. Is the destination of your meeting in a state or city that has shown a commitment to LGBTQ+ rights and diversity?

  • Include language in your contracts that will allow flexibility in cancellation if legislation is enacted that would be considered anti-LGBTQ+.

  • State in your codes of conduct the organization’s stance and zero-tolerance for any biased language or actions at your events.

 

Author

Tim Barrett
Tim Barrett, CMP
President, MPI Georgia 2018-2019 at Destination South Meetings + Events

 
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