United Way Launches LGBT Affinity Group

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago has launched a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender affinity group to serve as an advocacy, engagement and fundraising arm for its important work serving this community across education, income, health and basic needs. View the United Pride homepage.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group expands to include supporters from across the region

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) has expanded its LGBT employee resource group, United Pride, to serve as an engagement channel for companies and individuals across the region.

“We are excited for United Pride to serve as the philanthropic outlet for our corporate LGBT affinity groups, loyal donors, community activists, and volunteers. We strongly believe in justice and equality for everyone in our communities,” said Andrea Bazán, Senior Vice President of Resource Development at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

As part of an ongoing effort to reflect the diversity of United Way and the region, the United Pride Executive Committee will deliver on a number of key commitments to:

  • Create a voice for LGBT inclusion in the United Way brand, communications, policies and investments
  • Serve as mentors, role models, sponsors and colleagues who can provide valuable knowledge and information on LGBT issues
  • Establish relationships with local organizations and LGBT employee resource groups to embrace and address LGBT issues
  • Participate in and support LGBT community events as representatives of United Way
  • Identify and fund LGBT community needs and services

“United Pride gives us a unique opportunity to invest in a wide array of partner agencies that serve the education, income, health and other basic needs of the LGBT community,” said Jerome Harper, committee Chairman and a Vice President in the Corporate Social Responsibility practice at Northern Trust. “United Way’s commitment to provide significant support wherever it is needed is an incredible asset to Chicago and its LGBT citizens.”

In late 2014, United Pride formed the executive committee to both guide its strategic development and deployment plan for 2015. That committee, in conjunction with United Way leadership, has developed a mission statement and rollout plan for this year that will begin later this month.

Executive Committee members include: Jerome Harper, Northern Trust; Daniel Izquierdo, BMO Harris Bank; Liz Clark, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago; Andrea Densham, Childcare Network of Evanston; Joe Higgins, Comcast; Dr. Supriya Jasuja; Robert Mazzone, Exelon Corporation/ComEd; Jeremy McDole, Fifth Third Bank; Mel Parks, PwC; Peter Petros, Edelman; Jeremy Pettet, Salesforce Marketing Cloud; Rudy Rios, Ogilvy & Mather; Doug Sanborn, MillerCoors; Brett Taylor, The Executives’ Club of Chicago; Jason VanLangen, GE Capital; Edward Wagner, AIDS Foundation of Chicago; and Curtis Young, US Cellular.

More information about UWMC and United Pride can be found by visiting http://uw- mc.org/united-pride/.

Download the United Pride Press Release