We run on inclusion: On Pride, allyship, and Black Lives Matter

This year has unfolded in ways that nobody could have predicted, testing us in all sorts of unprecedented ways. But it’s how we react in the face of adversity that matters – this is how we’re going to mark Pride 2020 at Intercom.

At InterProud, our employee group for our LGBTI+ employees and allies, we were hoping to build on the success of last year’s celebrations and events , where we partnered with BeLonG To Youth Services , a charity that does incredible work to support LGBTI+ youth in Ireland.

However, COVID-19 mandated a change to our normal in-office Pride gatherings, so we set about organizing a series of remote events for all our colleagues focused on the theme of inclusion. These plans were all about creating an opportunity to come together (virtually) at a time when we are all forced apart – and in the process, emphasizing that inclusion isn’t defined by the spaces we’re in, but rather the values we share.

“We’d like to take a moment to recognize that while June is normally a vibrant celebration of Pride, it’s become even more essential to reflect on and commit to how we can best stand with the Black community”

With the continued rise of the incredibly important Black Lives Matter movement, we have shifted our focus once again. We’d like to take a moment to recognize that while June is normally a vibrant celebration of Pride, it’s become even more essential to reflect on and commit to how we can best stand with the Black community.

The context of Pride and the LGBTI+ movement is one of hard-earned progress – progress towards greater fairness and acceptance and justice. At this moment, when the struggle for racial equality and justice has reached a global inflection point, all of us at InterProud want to mark this moment by declaring our deep solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and express our belief that a fairer, more just future is possible.

We see

The pervasiveness of systemic racism that has led to violence against Black lives, against Black Trans and Queer people, for many centuries, and for far too long.

We say

Their names. We say the names Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Declan Flynn, and so many more.

We remember

The Stonewall riots and that first brick thrown. We remember the anger, frustration, and rage felt by Black and Brown Trans people. We recall the urgency they felt to push back against police injustice, against the systems that oppressed them, and recognize that we feel a call to act.

We feel

A moral imperative to honor the legacy of those who led the Stonewall riots, like Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, and a responsibility to acknowledge our shortcomings, as an organization, and within our company culture. And because of this, we make a commitment to being better.

We commit

To hold ally training, to uplift voices, and to do the work as an InterProud community.

We’ve partnered with the wonderful organization Belong To for another year, and we are going to host a global remote Trans 101 training. Further, we will donate €1000 to the organisation, and hope to increase this in years to come as the economy recovers.

We will uplift Black and Queer voices through our Inside Intercom podcast, and commit to honoring the voices that are seldom heard, but that need to be heard the most.

InterProud, as a community within Intercom, will continue to fight not only for inclusivity in the workspace, but in society. We will never tolerate racism in any form. We will continue to work to promote equality and inclusion through our work internally and externally.

We believe

In taking the time to learn about that which we don’t know, in doing the work of self educating. We believe that the experience of LGBTI+ people and our fight for equality intersects with that of racial justice. We believe that real inclusivity comes from a place of understanding and love.

Finally, we honor the wonderfully vibrant and determined LGTBQI+ community. We honor Black Queer lives, Black Trans lives, and all Black lives. Together, we hope we can join in this movement to spark real change.

Artwork by Cathryn Virginia