Mike’s Monday Message Takeover: Welcome to Pride Month
Welcome to Pride month! The month of June is a recognition of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and a recognition of identity, dignity, equality, acceptance, and visibility.
It’s also a month where you’re very likely to see a whole lot of company logos turn the colors of the rainbow. On June 1 we had the privilege of presenting “Don’t Just Slap A Flag On It And Call It Inclusive” to members of AFP, and in that session, we talked a lot about performative allyship — that is, seeing companies turn their logos into the Pride flag but not living up to what it really means to be inclusive.
At ICON earlier this year Clay was approached by a new attendee, a young fundraiser who said, “You know I was really nervous about coming here. I’m so used to being places where there’s no one like me and I didn’t expect to not just be welcomed, but to really feel like I belong.”
That’s the work that we’re here to do. To help foster a culture of welcoming, belonging, and inclusion in our shared profession of fundraising.
And that is the fundamental question of inclusion. Not just how do we recognize communities during a particular month, but how do we live up to those ideals of IDEA every single day in every single thing that we do?
Your 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues are entering this month with heavy hearts and a great sense of fear and trepidation for the future. Right now, the ACLU is tracking over 400 legislative acts targeting the queer community.
In every community, in every chapter, and in hundreds of organizations across the country, our 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues are seeing the news and hearing stories and experiencing discrimination and disenfranchisement in many ways.
And that is especially true for our friends and colleagues who embody multiple identities — people of color, people living with disabilities, women — inclusivity must be intersectional and we thrive only when peoples of all backgrounds, identities, cultural traditions, and faith experiences come together to do this great work of fundraising.
So, as we embark on Pride month we champion and encourage and uplift all of you who bring your full selves to your work in the nonprofit sector.
They say that the strength of any relationship is not people looking inwards to see things the same way, but looking outwards to see what the world could be. We do see a world where every color of the rainbow has a place and feels like they can belong.
And we encourage and implore you to join us in that vision — not just for one month of the year, but every day, in everything that you do.
We are also grateful to our colleagues who presented on this topic at ICON this year in New Orleans — Renee Colombo, Leah Munnelly, and Dominic M Pepper whose session “Belonging and Exclusion: Creating Space for Growing LGBTQ Donors” brought the conversation to the forefront at the conference. We were also encouraged and inspired by this wonderful discussion on Facebook Live with Kelsey DeForest, Joshua Tobing, Penelope Poppers, and Sunil Oomen: https://fb.watch/k-jI7byAOk/. You can also find a write up of our session on Juliana's blog, 'Ops & Asks' here.
We would also encourage all members to join the conversations at AFP Connect (https://community.afpglobal.org/home), particularly the Affinity Groups where you’ll find colleagues and friends networking, learning from each other, and supporting each other in the work we share as fundraisers.