Every June, the LGBT+ community comes together to celebrate Pride month. At Silva, we champion equality and support all colleagues and customers, recognising that the needs and experiences of people will be different.
As you may already know, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a big part of the new Silva strategy 2021-25. This is because the environment our colleagues work in, the homes we provide, and the communities our existing and potential customers live in play an important part in creating a fairer and more tolerant society.
Our executive board called for the formation of an EDI working group, which meets regularly to discuss and advise on appropriate actions to create a more equitable business.
"I am so proud that as a business, we are really putting a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. June is Pride Month, and we should all be comfortable to bring our whole authentic self to work– be that our sexuality, cultural or ethnic background, gender identity, disability, or health.
"By putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do, we can create a culture where people can be themselves, which we know is when people are at their best. This helps us feel more engaged, think bolder, find common ground, and work more effectively together." – Dasos Christou, Executive Director (Customer Relations)
In honour of pride month, here are some LGBT+ activists we think you should know about:
Alice Nkom is a human rights lawyer and LGBTQ activist from Cameroon, where homosexuality is still criminalized. In a country where police officers entrap members of the LGBTQ community through text messages and beat those they perceive to be gay, Nkom bravely fights for rights on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
Though Nkom identifies as heterosexual, she has dedicated her work to fighting for Cameroon's LGBTQ community and founded the Association for the Defence of Homosexuality in 2003. Though she and her colleagues are sometimes in danger because of the work they do, Nkom remains undeterred.
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician to be elected in California. He served almost 11 months in office before being assassinated. During his time in office, he sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment-based on sexual orientation.
When he first started being active in politics, he challenged the city's gay leadership stating they were too conservative in attempting to gain political rights for homosexuals. He clashed with Jim Foster, who had been active in gay politics for ten years and refused to endorse Milk. His passion and drive to make a change in politics earned him the support of many gay bar owners who had become frustrated by the lack of support in dealing with police harassment.
Milk became an icon and martyr in the gay community and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Lisa Power MBE
Lisa Powers is a British sexual health and LGBT rights campaigner. She became Secretary-General of the International Lesbian and Gay Association in 1988 and helped set up the Pink Paper (a UK publication addressing gay and lesbian issues). She co-founded Stonewall (named after the riots in 1969) in 1989 and then became the policy director of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
In 2020 she worked with Dan Vo and the national museum Cardiff to create 'Queer Tours' which aimed to uncover hidden LGBTQ+ histories in Cardiff. She is the organiser of Pride History Month at Pride Cymru and chairperson of the HIV Justice Network.