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Financial Giant Wells Fargo Shows Proud Support of GLBT Youth, Equality

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Jun 24, 2013
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A number of organizations dedicated to supporting GLBT youth have teamed up for this year’s Pride season, with corporate support from financial services giant Wells Fargo & Company.

"In some cities, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., Wells Fargo team members will march alongside several organizations focused on raising awareness for anti-bullying efforts to support LGBT and non-LGBT youth who face harassment," a press release from Wells Fargo reads.

"To bolster Pride 2013 efforts, Wells Fargo convened leaders from a number of prominent organizations, including GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network), It Gets Better Project, Point Foundation, The Trevor Project and Teach For America, to join with Wells Fargo to magnify the anti-bullying message," the release notes.

GLSEN was founded in 1990 by Kevin Jennings, a gay teacher who saw a need for safe and supportive school environments. GLSEN has been instrumental in helping to establish gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools around the country.

The Point Foundation assists GLBT students with scholarship money. Text at the Point Foundation website reads, "Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential - despite the obstacles often put before them - to make a significant impact on society."

The Trevor Project provides support online and via telephone to GLBT youth who may be struggling with bullying, social or family rejection, and other forms of anti-gay abuse. One of the chief aims of the Trevor Project is to intervene and prevent LGBT youth suicide.

Teach for America combats the negative effects of poverty on the educational prospects of all youth. Education can be difficult for GLBT students, due to harassment and bullying at school (by fellow students or, in some cases, by teachers), but poverty and lack of opportunity can also afflict GLBT youth, since a far higher percentage of GLBT teens than straight teens are tossed out of their own homes by parents who refuse to accept who they are.

The "It Gets Better Project" was established by openly gay writer and columnist Dan Savage and his life partner. The "It Gets Better Project" posts supportive videos from groups, celebrities, and everyday people that encourage LGBT youths contemplating suicide to push through difficult times in order to survive and arrive at a time in life when they can be successful and self-empowered.

"Through co-branded It Gets Better themed advertisements, posters, t-shirts and banners, the collective team aims to reach broader audiences while influencing action," the release added. In support of the project, Wells Fargo "created its own It Gets Better video and booklet where senior leaders and team members from across the company share personal stories of overcoming adversity," noted the release.

"The It Gets Better Project is grateful to Wells Fargo for the support it has given the LGBT community year after year. Its actions will have a direct impact on the lives of young people, especially in those communities where LGBT youth are most at risk," Savage was quoted as saying in the release.

Wells Fargo’s corporate stance on LGBT equality has long been firmly supportive. "For more than 25 years, Wells Fargo has actively supported programs and nonprofit organizations serving the LGBT community through grants, sponsorships and volunteer activities. Wells Fargo’s support for the (LGBT) community is part of the company’s commitment to serve diverse customers; to hire, develop, engage and retain team members who reflect the community, and to encourage team members to value and respect each other for who they are and for the skills and experiences they bring to the company.

"Wells Fargo’s support of anti-bullying efforts is consistent with the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Pat Callahan, Wells Fargo’s chief administrative officer. "When children learn the value of inclusiveness at school, they carry it with them throughout life. Investing in students today is a down-payment to ensure an inclusive workforce and society tomorrow."

Wells Fargo scored 100% on the 2013 Human Rights Campaign Coporate Equality Index.

Wells Fargo plans to participate in Pride events in 50 cities nationwide.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2013-06-24 23:31:09

    Great. Now can they lower the interest rate on my mortgage?


  • Anonymous, 2013-06-25 09:40:24

    Bravo! Gay people notice and support companies that support us!


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