Affiliate Pride: Celebrating the LGBT+ Community Across America

| By Sarah Jester

As June winds down to a close, we’re reflecting on this year’s Pride Month and how to keep uplifting our community throughout the rest of the year. We checked in with two of our wonderful NGLCC Affiliate Chambers to see how they celebrated and honored Pride this month!

The Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce kicked off Pride with multiple Zoom virtual events, with many chamber members in attendance. Some of the collaborative events hosted by the Chamber included a session on LGBT Career Development & Self-Branding. Another was hosted in collaboration with the Pride Center and served to commemorate our community’s recent SCOTUS win, as well as including Financial Literacy programming and a celebration of the Chamber’s three-year anniversary.

When asked about her favorite moment from this Pride Month, CEO Keron Sadler cited a Chamber event in collaboration with the Pride Center.

“[We] celebrated the LGBT Chamber's 3-year-anniversary coupled with honoring Pride Month and the SCOTUS’ win; they had DJ Kelly Kel, which was an astounding networking event,” she said.

Sadler was also given the opportunity to represent her chamber and the LGBT community by serving as a keynote speaker for numerous events. These included the Rhodes Perry Belonging Community: 2020 Centering Racial Justice During Pride event, as well as an LGBT Observance event for Ft. Meade Military Base. Sadler also served as a guest panelist on the Marnese Live Talk Show Anti-Blackness Series.

The Nashville LGBT Chamber also had a series of dynamic messaging and programming this month.

“We had canceled our Pride In Business Awards luncheon that was set to kick off the month,” explained Chamber CEO Joe Woolley. “This is our largest event of the year and honors our members and the community. We instead decided we would honor all the nominees with the Pride in Business Honors, showcasing their work and achievements online.”

The Chamber has started numerous conversations with its members on the Black Lives Matter movement and the systemic racism and racial injustice that plagues the Black community. They also initiated programming on how to be a good ally throughout the fight for racial justice, which is helping guide members into a more inclusive community.

“In Member Connect, we focused on Black/LGBT Owned Business and what one of our corporate members does in Diversity and Inclusion work between the Black and LGBT ERGs,” said Woolley. “It was one of my favorite programs we have ever done.”

The Member Connect conversation can be viewed here.

The Chamber also hosted a Pride edition of their monthly networking program, as well as a dynamic Pride In Local Music event. Similarly to the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce, they celebrated the LGBT community’s recent win in the Supreme Court!

“This decision reminds us that change is possible when we pursue it from every avenue possible, advocating at the legislature, challenging discriminatory legislation through the courts, organizing and protesting in the community and voting for pro LGBT candidates in every election,” Woolley said in a statement. “We are particularly proud that even traditionally conservative justices agree that LGBT rights are human rights now enshrined in our laws.”

To learn more about NGLCC’s affiliate chambers, visit nglcc.org/affiliate-chambers. To be featured in an upcoming NGLCC Affiliate Spotlight, click here. Happy Pride!