Bank on a Bigger, Better, Safer Pride
One of America's leading financial institutions announces its busiest LGBT Pride season ever, participating in 40 festivals and parades this year and supporting LGBT youth.
In a move which mirrors its "wagons west" pioneering image, Wells Fargo, one of the leading U.S. financial services continues to pioneer banking by actively reaching out to the LGBT community. This year, in spite of the continuing economic crisis, the bank will participate in 40 LGBT Pride parades and festivals through to November, with more than 20 in June alone.
The company, which moved its headquarters to San Francisco in 1998 lives by its slogan, "Together we'll go far," leading the way when it comes to serving its LGBT customers and boosting their visibility. Wells Fargo sponsored its first LGBT Pride event in San Francisco in 1992 and ever since, has continued to broaden its participation, culminating in coast to coast Pride festivals and parades this year. Never one to overlook minorities, Wells Fargo will support some less high profile LGBT Pride events in Boise, Idaho and Birmingham, Ala., as well as Black Pride in Philadelphia. And to reflect the spirit of Pride, the iconic Wells Fargo Stagecoach will appear in 22 of these celebrations, making LGBT Pride one of the company’s busiest seasons for stagecoach appearances.
“Wells Fargo believes that building and strengthening its relationship with the LGBT community is a year-round endeavor," says Shelley Freeman, Wells Fargo's LGBT National Spokesperson. "Our Pride Month activities reflect Wells Fargo’s long-term commitment to our LGBT customers and our LGBT team members—including the thousands that participate in our 27 PRIDE team member networks across the U.S.— and the positive impact we’re able to make in their lives."
But Wells Fargo's support of LGBT team members and customers extends beyond just Pride month. For a quarter of a century, the bank has supported numerous LGBT causes and developed alliances with the HRC, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Most importantly, the urgent issue of bullying will be highlighted this Pride, with students, educators and other GLSEN supporters marching alongside Wells Fargo team members in New York's Pride Parade on June 26, and distributing information about GLSEN’s Safe Space Campaign. The Safe Space Kit (safespacekit.com)—with stickers, posters, and a 42-page guide with strategies for supporting LGBT students—provides a program of action that school staff can take to create a positive learning environment for every student.
Sporting purple T-shirts emblazoned with the message "Turning our schools into safe places for everyone," the delegation will spread the word about the campaign, designed to reach every middle and high school in the United States, and the GLSEN Safe Space Kit at its core. "Wells Fargo’s early and generous support of the Safe Space Campaign enabled us to launch our effort to ensure that every student in America, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression, is safe in school and free to learn," says Eliza Byard, GLSEN's Executive Director. "Wells Fargo is helping us reach more than 75,000 schools, serving 25 million students, during the three-year Safe Space Campaign." Wells Fargo team members will also be spreading the anti-bullying message at San Francisco Pride on June 26, where they will march alongside the iconic Wells Fargo Stagecoach in purple T-shirts, following in the footsteps of their colleagues who marched there in Wells Fargo’s first Pride event nearly 20 years ago.
“Bullying is not just an LGBT concern, it is something that impacts all students,” said Sylvia Reynolds, Wells Fargo's Chief Marketing Officer. “At Wells Fargo, we believe that when students learn the value of inclusiveness at school, they’re better prepared to help build stronger communities that embrace and accept all people for who they are.” (wellsfargo.com/lgbt)