As we step into LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2020, we do so in an environment unlike any we have ever seen.
The death of George Floyd and the national response that resulted have caused all of us to grieve, reflect and, ultimately, take action against racism and social injustice.
The fight for equality spans race, culture, religion and gender. That’s why this month, it is crucial to further elevate diverse voices within the LGBTQ community and highlight inclusion on all fronts. We stand with those who are willing to spark global change, like the brave individuals who ignited the Pride movement at Stonewall in 1969.
In addition, our nation is still grappling with a global pandemic that has uprooted our sense of safety, our wellbeing, and our economies on a massive scale. Around the world, political division and aggression seem to be at an all-time high. We struggle to manage a changing ecological environment, a technology revolution that evolves faster than any other advances in history, and an international community with diverse and conflicting needs and priorities.
And yet within these challenges and important conversations, we find moments and advances to celebrate. As the leaders of the Tyson Foods Pride Network Business Resource Group (BRG), we want to take a moment to celebrate our Tyson pride in honor of Pride Month.
At Tyson Foods, our Pride BRG’s mission is to raise expectations for how much good diversity and inclusion can do through advocacy, outreach and allyship that fosters a welcoming and authentic culture for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and more (LGBTQ+). Our aim is to ensure team members can bring their best, most authentic selves to work each day, creating the inclusion and diversity that drives company culture, business outcomes and success. And the Pride BRG – 340+ members strong – is proud to be part of a company that shows up for our mission across the board:
- Team members who openly identify as LGBTQ+ can be found at all levels of our company including our executive suite.
- In the last two years, Tyson Foods has expanded adoption and surrogacy leave to all parents, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
- We score 85% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index – and we strive to evolve in ways that will reflect in a higher score in the future.
- Our chefs and food scientists donate dozens of hours every year teaching a food preparation course at the Center on Halsted’s Silver Fork program. The Center on Halsted is the largest LGBTQ+ center in the Midwest. The Silver Fork program is designed to help train participants to enter or reenter the foodservice industry.
- Tyson Foods also collectively donated more than $75,000 to the Silver Fork program.
- Tyson Foods is a core partner with and donor to The Cultivating Change Foundation, a non-profit founded to advance LGBTQ+ rights and equality specifically within the agriculture industry. Tyson Foods has participated in every annual conference since the foundation’s founding four years ago.
- In 2020, the Pride BRG plans to donate more than $10,000 to programs focused on advancing LGBTQ+ equality in Northwest Arkansas, Dakota Dunes and Chicago. These donations are in lieu of participating in parades that have been canceled due to the pandemic.
- In 2019, Tyson Foods team members marched in the Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade for the first time, with more than 50 participants. We were one of the largest corporate sponsors in attendance.
Yes, Pride celebrations will look different on a variety of fronts this month. Yet in many ways, we believe what is stirring will result in real, lasting change for our society. Because until all of us win, none of us will.