Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Newsletter—June 2021

Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Newsletter—June 2021

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Greyline’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

June is an eventful month at Greyline as we recognize LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Black Lives Matter Month and the commemoration of Juneteenth.

This year Juneteenth has been particularly meaningful as federal recognition of the long-celebrated holiday was finally achieved after many years of efforts by African American leaders. Greyline is pleased to announce that we will continue to recognize Juneteenth and add the celebration to our paid time off for employees.

As a vice president at Greyline and a proud gay man, I see firsthand the commitment Greyline has to celebrating diversity and the value that comes from including diverse voices in our conversations. We hope that all will join us in recognizing the important celebrations and remembrances of June as we honor the diversity of our firm, our industry and our fellow citizens.

Todd Young, Greyline Vice President

Celebrating Pride Month

On Saturday, June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn became the site of a multi-day riot between the New York City Police and LGBTQIA+ community. The Stonewall Inn was a local bar in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in Manhattan known now and at the time for its large LGBTQIA+ community. The inn was described as having over-priced drinks, a hot stuffy atmosphere and a lack of running water. It was also considered a refuge by its patrons who could face bigotry, harassment and arrest for their gender identities, romantic interests and perceived otherness.

As the public morals squad of the New York City Police attempted to raid the Stonewall Inn and arrest its patrons, the patrons resisted and fought back. Composed mainly of people of color and gender nonconforming individuals, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn forced the police from outside the bar to inside the inn, where the police barricaded themselves for their safety. News spread of the patrons’ resistance to the police raid, and more and more people from the community took to the streets. Rioting eventually ensued that lasted into Monday. This act of resistance marked the beginning of a public push by the LGBTQIA+ community for freedom from harassment and fair treatment under the law.

As a result, in June 2016, President Obama announced the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument at the site of the inn and the surrounding area, creating the first national monument tied to the LGBTQIA+ movement. In June 2019, the New York City Police Commissioner issued a formal apology for the actions of its officers at Stonewall. And on June 28, 1970, exactly one year after the events of the Stonewall Riot, the first pride parade was held in New York City to commemorate the anniversary.

Please join Greyline in celebrating the pride that comes from living and loving as your authentic self, during the month of June and all year long.

Notable Pride Dates:

  • 1924: Henry Gerber founds Society for Human Rights in Chicago, the first group to campaign for gay rights in the U.S.
  • 1952: Christine Jorgenson undergoes a series of surgeries that make her the first widely acknowledged transgender person in the U.S.
  • 1955: Daughters of Bilitis is founded in San Francisco, the first lesbian rights group in the U.S.
  • 1959: A group of LGBTQ individuals in Los Angeles protest mistreatment by police in front of Cooper Donuts.
  • 1969: The night of June 28, police raid the Stonewall Inn, a New York City bar full of LGBT people, which was a regular occurrence. The police separated the drag queens from the crowd and frisked them to determine whether they were men dressed as women. This time, the patrons resisted. The next day, people gathered in front of the Stonewall Inn to protest.
  • 1970: The first pride parades take place in Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • 1977: Harvey Milk is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay elected official in California.
  • 1980s: Trans awareness begins to grow but the word transgender is not yet commonplace.
  • 1993: A trans man named Brandon Teena was murdered in Nebraska, along with two friends, making international headlines.
  • 1996: Leslie Feinberg publishes Transgender Warriors, bringing the term transgender into common use.
  • 2004: Massachusetts is the first state to legalize same sex marriage. It is also the sixth jurisdiction in the world to do so.
  • 2008: Proposition 8 passes in California, which made same sex marriage illegal, kicking off mass protests, legal battles and inquiries into the sources of the campaign’s funding.
  • 2010s: There is an increase in state legislation on a variety of issues impacting LGBTQ individuals (e.g., use of bathrooms, gender markers on drivers’ licenses, broad-based laws to protect transgendered individuals).
  • 2013: Proposition 8 is struck down and same-sex marriages proceed in California.
  • 2015: On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court issues its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, extending 14th Amendment protections to same-sex marriage.
  • 2021: This year is predicted to become record-breaking one for anti-LGBTQ laws.

Celebrating Black Lives Matter Month & Juneteenth

“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress.” – Barack Obama, June 2020

Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved black persons in the United States, and it is the longest running African American holiday.

On June 19, 1865, a Union general in Galveston, Texas, announced an order which declared that all slaves in Texas were to be free persons. Annually thereafter, the day was commemorated.

First celebrated in Texas, the celebration spread, over time, throughout the country as residents of Texas emigrated to different parts of the U.S.

Juneteenth celebrations vary based on location, but often include parades; the reading, display, and performance of artistic works by African American artists, such as Ralph Ellison; and other African American traditions, including barbeque and group dancing.

This year, the federal government joined 47 States and the District of Columbia in recognizing Juneteenth, becoming the newest federal holiday since the 1983 creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture declares that “Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day.” Accordingly, Greyline invites everyone to join us in celebrating Juneteenth as a day to celebrate and honor the contributions of African Americans, and to continue the work of challenging racial discrimination in America.

Notable Black Lives Matter Dates:

  • 2012: George Zimmerman shoots and kills 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black high school student, in Sanford, FL. In response, a Million Hoodies for Justice is created to support the arrest of George Zimmerman. Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) is thrown off the House floor for wearing the hoodie in a protest.
  • 2013: The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement launches in response to the acquittal of charges against George Zimmerman in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
  • 2014: The BLM movement organizes its first large-scale protest in response to the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, at the hands of a Ferguson, MO police office. The BLM Freedom Ride consisted of more than 500 members participating in non-violent demonstrations.
  • 2015: BLM takes part in the March of Peace across the Ravenel Bridge as part of the demonstrations against the mass shooting of nine black people by a declared white supremacist at a historically black church in Charleston, SC.
  • 2016: San Francisco 49ers players Eric Reid, Eli Harold and Colin Kaepernick kneel during the national anthem before a game to draw attention to acts of police brutality. Dozens of players in the NFL and beyond follow suit.
  • 2017: BLM puts on its first art exhibit timed to coincide with Black History Month in Virginia. It featured 30+ Black artists and creators.
  • 2018: A study shows the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter since the first instance in 2013.
  • 2019: Rapper 21 Savage is arrested and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. BLM advocates for his release.
  • 2020: The death of Ahmaud Arbery in an apparent hate crime, and deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police, bring national attention to BLM as national protests ensue.
  • 2021: Derek Chauvin is found guilty in a unanimous verdict on three counts related to the killing of George Floyd, including second-degree murder.
Related Posts
Greyline is pleased to announce that we have made the short list for the 2021 HFM U.S. Service Awards in the Best Advisory Firm and Best Technology Firm – Newcomer categories. The award winners will be announced on September 22.