Each June, Tyson Foods celebrates Pride Month throughout our corporate and field locations. We’re proud of the partnerships our Pride Network Business Resource Group has established with multiple organizations and nonprofits that deserve year-round attention.

Two of them are Northwest Arkansas Equality in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Center on Halsted in Chicago, Illinois. Over the last few years, these partnerships have been an incredible resource for Tyson team member education on how to be an ally, volunteer in the community, and of course celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride.

Northwest Arkansas Equality

As Pride celebrations grow each year in Northwest Arkansas, Tyson has continued to be an active and visible voice in our community. Arkansas’ largest LGBTQ Pride celebration is organized by Northwest Arkansas Equality. NAE serves as an education, advocacy, resource, and service organization to the LGBTQ citizens of Benton and Washington counties.

In addition to being recognized as the regional voice for equality and inclusion, they provide free HIV testing services, a variety of support groups, and social and community outreach events.

For the past three years, Tyson has participated in, volunteered for, and sponsored events with Northwest Arkansas Equality including Pride Weekend. Just last year, Tyson inaugurally marched in the Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade – more than 70 team members, family and friends strong!

Center on Halsted

Tyson Foods has also had the opportunity to volunteer at the Center on Halsted in recent years, as part of their Silver Fork Culinary Arts and Job Readiness Program. The Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people in greater Chicago.

Silver Fork is a nine-week culinary arts and job readiness program, ideal for adults who want to enter or re-enter the hospitality industry and experience a fresh outlook on their career potential. Members and allies of the LGBTQ community are welcome. 

Our partnership with Center on Halsted began in 2017 when it was awarded a $25,000 Open At Large grant from Tyson. Since then, current and past Tyson team members Barbara Coty, Danika Miller and Chef Kang Kuan have volunteered by creating curriculum for the Silver Fork Program.

They have developed a Tyson Pig Day where time is spent talking about Tyson, the scope of our organization, and what individual roles as chefs and food scientists look like. Then, they educate attendees on various cuts of pork and how to make the most of ingredients.

Each class is different, and students have learned how to make products like smoked brats, hotdogs, breakfast patties and links, and even bacon! Students leave with an understanding of where their protein-based food comes from and the fundamentals of making sausage in a kitchen setting.

Center on Halsted and the Silver Fork program have received a total of $100,000 in grants from Tyson. Additionally, the Pride Network Business Resource Group has sponsored a lunch and learn for team members featuring a speaker from Center on Halsted on the topic of “Enhancing Our Culture Through Transgender Inclusion.”

This year in lieu of Pride parade and event registrations, the Pride Network BRG is donating more than $8,000 to our partner organizations including Northwest Arkansas Equality and Center on Halsted. And the Pride Network will be hosting a Virtual Pride event Thursday, July 9 at 4:30 PM CST with Northwest Arkansas Equality and Center on Halsted to celebrate Pride!

Pride Month – All Year Long

As Pride Month 2020 comes to an end, we’d also like to take the opportunity to remind you of the various resources and media available to continue educating yourself and supporting LGBTQ+ equality all year long.  

Movies like Call Me by Your Name (2017) and Moonlight (2016), TV shows like Pose and Gentleman Jack, and books like Boy Erased and Tomorrow Will Be Different will keep your interest in Pride going strong long after June 30th. 

Tyson Foods Pride Network BRG members Barbara Coty, Scott Cahall and Daniel Goodell-Rains contributed to this content.