Huge strides have been made with the Supreme Court ruling this week that protects LGBTQIA+ from being fired because of their sexual orientation and gender identification. Before this decision, almost half the states lacked this legal projection.
“One big lesson from this opinion is don’t give up. You have to believe that you can change things,” said Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry. It’s inspiring to see how individuals can come together to fight against social justice and shape a more inclusive society. And now it is the time to build on this momentum and do even more.
A More Inclusive Society
As an organization, what can you do to be more inclusive? The LGBTQIA+ people are experiencing high rates of discrimination when it comes to working and looking for a job. 25% of LGBTQIA+ people say they experienced discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity in the past year, half of whom stated it had a negative impacted on their work environment. Additionally, 22% of LGBTQIA+ workers were not paid or promoted at the same rate as colleagues. According to a Glassdoor survey conducted by The Harris Poll, over half (53 percent) of LGBTQIA+ employees said that they experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQIA+ comments by co-workers.
Here some questions to think about when creating a culture of inclusivity at your organization:
- What policies can you create to shape a positive work environment for all?
- How does this tie into your recruiting processes?
- What are ways that you can build a culture that celebrates diversity?
- What steps can you take to ensure that individuals are treated equally?
- How do you tie it back to culture?
- How do your leadership teams support and reinforce your inclusivity culture?
- How do you create an environment where employees feel supported and continually give them opportunities to share their voice?
As individuals how can we take actions around inclusivity? What are ways that we can listen to others and help them feel supported? How can you learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community to ensure we are being inclusive?
Being A Person Of Color And LGBTQIA+ Is Dramatically More Challenging
As Black Lives Matter protests are continuing to increase awareness of the racial inequalities that exist in our country and with June being Pride Month, they also shed light on how this inequality greatly impacts people in the LGBTQIA+ as 39% of LGBTQIA+ adults in the U.S. identify as people of color according to the Williams Institute at UCLA. And we’re seeing that they are experiencing even greater inequities.
Earl Fowlkes, president of the Center For Black Equity said “..Black trans women are among the most vulnerable people in our society as a whole – the average life expectancy of a trans woman of color is 35 years.”
According to a report compared to 7% of children raised by married heterosexual white parents:
- 32% of children raised by gay male Black couples and 28% of children raised by female Black couples live in poverty, compared to 13% of children raised by married heterosexual Black parents.
- Almost a third of children raised by gay Latino couples and 27% of Latina gay couples live in poverty in comparison to nearly a quarter of children raised by married heterosexual Latino parents
- 16% of children raised by gay male couples who are Asian Pacific Islanders and almost a quarter of children raised by female couples who are Asian Pacific Islanders live in poverty, compared to 14% of children raised by married heterosexual black parents, who are Asian Pacific Islanders.
- 29% of children raised by gay male Native American couples and 41% of children raised by female Native American couples live in poverty, compared to 22% of children raised by married heterosexual Native American parents.
COVID-19 Hits LGBTQIA+ People Of Color Harder
With the economic impact from COVID-19, LGBTQIA+ people of color are hit even harder. According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation compared to 29% of white LGBTQIA+ people and 24% of the general population, 38% of LGBTQIA+ people of color have had their work hours reduced. While 8% of white LGBTQIA+ people and 7% of the general population have asked for delays in rent payment, 14% of LGBTQIA+ people of color have done so.
As an organization and individual, what are ways you can combat these larger challenges? How can you come together with your community, clients, customers or even competitors to drive real change? Whether it’s volunteering or donating money, how can you take the steps to combat these injustices?
Take Action Now
There are so many ways to support LGBTQIA+-related causes and organizations with over 7,500 volunteers are needed. Below are areas where you can drive change where LGBTQIA+ community is more impacted.
- Suicide Prevention: Suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ youth are higher. A study that looked at suicide rates among teens between 2009 and 2017 found young people who didn’t identify as heterosexual were more than three times as likely as those who did to attempt suicide. With the additional economic strain from COVID-19 especially for LGBTQIA+ people of color, people are feeling tremendous stress and need additional help. You can support those who are struggling. With over 580 volunteers needed around suicide prevention, you can find ways to be there for someone who needs it the most.
- Homelessness Youth: The research on the percentage of homeless youth who are LGBTQIA+ suggest that approximately 20% to 40% of these youth identify as LGBTQIA+. Additionally, African American and Native American youth are disproportionately represented among LGBTQIA+ homeless youth. How can you take action to support theLGBTQIA+ homeless youth? There are more than 400 volunteers needed to help combat this.
- Social Injustice: If you are inspired by the most recent Supreme Court and want to continue to do more to fight forLGBTQIA+ rights, there are almost 530 volunteers needed to keep this momentum going.
Inclusive Employee Volunteering Programs
A key aspect of providing an inclusive volunteering program is to give your employees choice. With a total of 3.9 volunteers needed, 679,000 virtual volunteers needed, opportunities in every zip code, and 130,000 nonprofits, VolunteerMatch gives employees the ability to connect better with the causes they love.
VolunteerMatch was built to help strengthen communities by providing a platform for organizations in our neighborhoods working towards justice, equality, dignity, and opportunity to recruit their neighbors to their causes. For over 20 years, we have worked to build those relationships, and it’s clear that this work is more important than ever before. We know that we have a long way to go toward this vision being fully realized. We need your help in continuing the work to create a society that supports and values each of its members equally, where we are motivated and empowered to take action to actively improve the world for our fellow human beings through acts of volunteer service and mutual assistance.