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The Importance of Pride: Hear from Our People

June 23rd, 2023

June is Pride Month! Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which was a major tipping point in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. What started as “Gay Pride Day,” quickly grew into a month-long celebration including pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, concerts, and more to celebrate the entire LGBTQ+ population. Today, Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world.

In honor of this year’s Pride Month, The Bonadio Group (TBG) has participated in and attended 2023 Pride parades across our firm’s footprint.

“I believe that these Pride parades were the first step to creating more consistent community engagement throughout our footprint. This is an opportunity to shift our thinking away from a purely geographic view of ‘community,’ and instead find ways to engage with historically underrepresented communities,” shared Andrew Stephens, Manager of DE&I at TBG.

To get a better idea of what Pride Month means to our employees, we interviewed three of our People who attended one of this year’s Pride parades: Susan Petrosillo, Chris Amico, and Alex Hart. Check out what they have to say about their experiences and the importance of Pride Month!

Embracing Diversity and Celebrating Our Differences

Alex Hart, Administrative Manager of Assurance in our Albany office, organized TBG’s involvement with the Albany Pride parade. For Alex, Pride Month represents joy and celebration of LGBTQ+ identities, achievements, and cultural contributions. “The parades and events are a way to embrace diversity and promote a positive atmosphere of love, acceptance and inclusivity,” she shared.

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Susan, Executive Director of Project Management, attended the Syracuse Pride parade and shared a similar perspective. “Pride Month is the celebration of authenticity. Celebrating Pride opens up communication, which helps everyone understand one another better.”

“I really enjoyed taking part in the Pride celebration this year and representing Bonadio together in a fun and colorful way!” she added.

While this time of year is full of celebration, positivity, and exciting events, it is also a reminder to focus on those who may not be able to participate in the celebration at this time.

“Not all members of the LGBTQ+ community even have the opportunity to participate in or celebrate Pride Month because of the country, community, or circumstances they live in. We must recognize this, advocate for these people, and work to bring awareness during this time,” shared this year’s Buffalo Pride parade coordinator, Chris Amico.

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Pride Month is, above all else, an opportunity for many to show their support for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

“Pride Month is a crucial time for celebration, reflection, advocacy and allyship for the LGBTQ+ community. I love that it promotes acceptance, raises awareness, and fosters a sense of community while acknowledging the ongoing challenges faces by the LGBTQ+ community,” added Alex. “Attending the Pride parade is a way for me to show my support to not only my family members within the community, but for everyone.”

Looking Ahead: DE&I Strategy at TBG

As we continue on our DE&I journey here at TBG, we plan to roll out several new initiatives that will allow our People to get involved, learn, and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging.

“I’m looking forward to more education for the firm related to DE&I. Often, people don’t feel comfortable talking about DE&I issues, when it should be the opposite. It’s really about building a culture where people feel comfortable to ask questions and learn more,” shared Chris.

If you are interested in learning more about TBG’s involvement with the 2023 Pride parades, feel free to reach out to our Manager of DE&I, Andrew Stephens at astephens@bonadio.com. And if you would like to learn more about our other DE&I initiatives at the firm, check out this page!

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