2015 LGBT Mixer

By: Angel Arocho

NAMIC Philadelphia continues to highlight diversity and inclusion topics that impact today’s leaders.
The Chapter’s Inaugural LGBT Networking mixer kicked off with opening remarks from Angel Arocho, NAMIC Philadelphia’s Chapter President.  Angel’s welcome remarks included introductions of the Chapter Board Members, background about NAMIC’s role in the industry and announcement of NAMIC’s 35 years anniversary followed by recognition for the dedicated chapter sponsors.  Next, there was a presentation of a “YOU ROCK” award to Jessica Seitz in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the NAMIC Philadelphia Chapter board as Treasurer and her upcoming departure from the team.  Dwayne Bien-Aime will be replacing Jessica as Chapter Treasurer.
Angel provided all event attendees with some background of LGBT Pride Month currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan.  These were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.  Initially the last Sunday in June was celebrated as “Gay Pride Day” but those celebrations soon grew to a month long series of events. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
While the industry still has a lot of work ahead of it in this space Angel shared some of industry efforts and progress as seen through the Comcast 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Report (just released the prior week):
•    2015 Comcast is named among America’s Best Places to work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign
•    Comcast numerous Employee Resource Groups with by YE 2014 had more than 70 chapters across the business and more than 18,000 members including Out (LGBT and Straight allies) as well as participating within Comcast’s Joint Diversity Council.
•    Employee Self Identification LGBT Pilot launched in 2014 with 6,500 employees participating YE 2014
•    Total Diverse Programming On Demand increase including African American, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish and LGBT programming
•    Empowering young filmmakers through OutSet (Comcast NBCUniversal celebrating its 4th year of support).  OutSet is a young filmmaker’s project from the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Outfest that began in 2011 which offers a safe space for LGBT young people to tell their stories.

Special Guest Star Jim Jones from NAMIC National addressed the audience.  He congratulated the Philadelphia Chapter for being the first to establish an event celebrating LGBT Pride Month and spoke about National NAMIC initiative and progress on LGBT.
NOTE:  It is worth noting that on June 26th, 2015 just a few days after our event the US Supreme Court ruled Same-Sex Marriage a right nationwide.  A landmark ruling confirming the rights of all Americans.