LGBT AWARENESS WEEK AT UCLA ANDERSON (APRIL 11-15)
At Reaching Out, we’re proud to be affiliated with some really incredible LGBTQ clubs at MBA programs around the country. Here’s a recap of UCLA Anderson’s OUT @Anderson “LGBT Awareness Week”:
Walking into the Marion Anderson Courtyard last week, it was evident to students, faculty, staff and visitors that LGBT Awareness Week is not just a formality, but it has become an established, embraced tradition at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. With columns wrapped in rainbow and banners hanging overhead, Dean Judy Olian joined members of the Anderson community in signing the Ally Pledge, and concluded a week of events and programming dedicated to increased awareness and support for LGBT members in the business and UCLA communities.
On Monday, Out@Anderson hosted the “Ask-A-Gay* (*LGBTQ+) event, attended by over 50 people, who had the opportunity to hear from members across the LGBTQ spectrum about subjects such as coming out in a professional setting, how the Anderson student body can increase acceptance of LGTBQ+ students, and other topics relating to LGBT issues in business school. In addition to the event, Out@Anderson member, Kelsey Gorman ‘16 kicked off the week with a blog post on “What It Means to Be an Ally,” featured on Anderson’s LGBT community website.
As the week continued, a moment of silence was held on Tuesday in the courtyard to raise awareness of the silencing effect of anti-LGBT harassment and discrimination. Wednesday offered an “LGBT in the Workplace” panel designed to prepare business students for navigating diversity and inclusion in their professional careers. It included Anderson alumni in the strategy, product marketing and consulting fields from companies such as Discovery Channel, AOL and Deloitte. The panelists shed light on realities of LGBT acceptance in business while answering questions about coming out in interviews or the workplace, discrimination faced, and affirming ways companies can adopt policies to promote diversity and inclusion.
The week closed with more events, including an Ally Rally at the International Food Festival, a Happy Hour in West Hollywood bringing people together to socialize in Los Angeles’ LGBT neighborhood, and participation in the National Day of Silence on April 15th.
In an open letter to the Anderson community, Out@Anderson President, Derek Bailey ‘16 reacted to the energy and events of the week: “We are immensely grateful for your active participation in the week’s events and touched by the large number of people who signed our Ally Pledge. Beyond the rich diversity and passion of our LGBT community, our strength lies in the unquestionable support from our allies across campus. Your involvement this week has reaffirmed our belief that UCLA Anderson is a safe, inclusive and empowering space for all LGBT MBA students, faculty and staff.”
Throughout the week, UCLA Anderson students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign the Ally Pledge, which reads:
I pledge to be an ally to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. As an ally, I support the Out@Anderson LGBTQ Club and their efforts to lead diversity initiatives. Beyond the Anderson campus, I will do my best to ensure that friends, family, coworkers, and colleagues feel safe and supported. I will stand up against gender discrimination and all other prejudices directed at members of the LGBTQ community. I will work to create an inclusive environment for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations recognizing that diversity is a force that enhances our shared human experience.
UCLA LGBT Awareness Week is a cross-campus collaboration, in conjunction with the UCLA LGBT Resources Center, which is celebrating over 20 years of education and advocacy for students, faculty and staff at the University of California, Los Angeles.