Point of Pride Summit Promotes Inclusive Work Environments for AZ LGBTQIA+ Community

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August 10, 2023 | Glendale, AZ

On Thursday, June 15th, Midwestern University partnered with the ONE Community and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce to host the annual Point of Pride Summit. More than 200 individuals, top employers, and industry leaders from across the state of Arizona convened on Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ individuals within Arizona businesses and organizations.

Throughout the day, summit guests participated in relevant educational presentations and workshops which focused on socially responsible and inclusive business policies and practices, as well as issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community.

Each workshop was uniquely designed to ensure that guests were provided with information they need to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own teams and businesses. Participants took LGBTQ+ 101 & 201 and examined the terminology needed to understand the distinction between sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.

There was also an opportunity to embark on an empathy-building exercise called The Unity Journey. This workshop walked participants through the experience of coming out as LGTBQIA+. The discussions that cropped up during this breakout session gave teams the time to process and bond together as they prepared to take the next steps toward improving inclusion within their environments.

The third workshop offered an in-depth assessment of the current state of affairs for LGBTQIA+ people in Arizona. With the use of issue analysis and economic data, the presentation served as a guide to help businesses within the state of Arizona celebrate, respect, and protect all people equally, thus making the state of Arizona more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ population.

The last workshop was devoted to cultivating inclusive workplaces. Participants learned to create a baseline of common language around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This laid the groundwork to ensure they knew how to implement DEI basics such as the dimensions of diversity and identity, bias, and microaggressions.

Attendees also attended the Socially Responsible Business Advocacy Panel, which featured Robert Heidt, President/CEO of Glendale Chamber of Commerce; Jamie Aldama, Glendale City Councilman; and Michelle Boggs, Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield-Arizona.

Midwestern University is proud to have hosted this event and participated in the creation of more inclusive work environments. For more information on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please visit: https://www.midwestern.edu/dei/policy-statement