BEQ Today

Publisher’s Note: Thank you for an amazing first year

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In May 2016, I found myself at a crossroads, one of those moments of reckoning where you have to decide if you’ll stare down your fears and apprehensions or be courageous and stand on who you say you are. I chose courage, reinvented myself as the Business Equality Advocate and formally launched the Business Equality Network. Melissa Lowery, our editor, had the same courage and fortitude to follow me on this journey to rethink magazine editorial around business inclusion. BEQ Pride’s unique style of creating and curating content is bold in its intent to illuminate what’s right about business inclusion today. In each issue, we have been able to engage, empower and accelerate a thoughtful approach to a broad dialogue on diversity, diversity & inclusion and the role of economic empowerment in truly enabling the promise of—the right to—the pursuit of happiness.

In each issue of BEQ Pride we’ve shared new stories, ideas, events and most importantly leadership in advancing the cause of business equality through corporate, nonprofit, government, academia and small business. In the coming years, we will expand our special brand of business equality to dedicated print magazines that are woman and minority focused, as well as more editorial focused on veteran and persons with disabilities.

In this issue of BEQ Pride, we continue our tradition of sharing what’s going right in the world of Inclusion. Our cover feature is a celebration of IBM’s Eminence. Eminence is a conferred high status or importance due to marked superiority; in this case, LGBTQ business equality. With almost 50 years of including diverse businesses in their supply chain and recognition as a global leader in LGBTQ business equality, our editorial board and Award Review Committee’s evaluation of each submission found IBM with superior qualifications, closely followed by Ameren, JPMorgan Chase and Nationwide, our finalists. Our congratulations go out to these amazing organizations for their consistent support of diverse communities.

Also in this issue, Sam Brinton, a nuclear engineer with a penchant for policy and our Millennial spotlight, shares their story of hardship and triumph as an advisor to two presidential administrations on nuclear science after surviving an attempted conversion therapy.

Hip Chick Farms, an LGBTQ certified firm, shares how they set out to live their beliefs around sustainable food systems and to grow their own food and raise their own animals— their pursuit of happiness.

Workplace Options is a global leader in workplace benefit services whose co-owner and COO, Alan Buie-King, happens to be a member of the LGBTQ community. Buie-King is an out leader living a life of passion and helping people.
Stanford’s weeklong leadership boot camp caters to high-potential leaders who identify as LGBTQ, and Beth Parker, public relations director of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, D.C., shares how the program helped her “to embrace the idea of not just being out, but being visible.”

These are just highlights of what’s in store for you in this issue and hint at what’s to come.

Robin Dillard

Business Equality Pride (BEQPride) is the first publication from the BEQ family of national print and digital magazines exclusively addressing the needs of LGBTQ small-to-medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals.