William Blair Marks Pride Month with Digital Event Supporting LGBTQ+ Community

Monday, June 29, 2020

Paige LaCour and Phillip Blee

Co-chairs of William Blair's Pride Alliance Paige LaCour and Phillip Blee at virtual Pride Month celebration held June 25.

With the usual celebrations of Pride Month canceled by COVID-19, William Blair organized a firm-wide digital event on June 25 to support the LGBTQ+ community.

"Parades are just one component to celebrating Pride," said Paige LaCour, co-chair of William Blair's Pride Alliance network. "We were proud to host a virtual event to provide insights on how recent world events have affected the LGBTQ+ community."

Colleagues dialed in from across the globe to hear the discussion. Featured speaker was Bryant Dunbar of William Blair community partner in Chicago, the Test Positive Aware Network.

TPAN, a nonprofit that provides critical care and education to HIV-positive people, is one of many organizations William Blair and its employees have partnered with to help those affected by COVID-19.

Others include Brave Space Alliance, which serves LGBTQ+ communities on Chicago's South and West sides, and Lurie Children's Hospital. The firm also backs Out in Finance, a network of LGBTQ+ professionals working in the Chicago financial services industry. 

TPAN, which until COVID-19 had not offered online healthcare in its 30-year history, switched to telehealth in less than a week after Illinois stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March, Dunbar, TPAN's director of development, told the group.

"Through phone care and video webinar, in the first 30 days of shutdown we served 504 clients," Dunbar said. "We are averaging about 400 care appointments per week, and 85% of the people we are serving during the shutdown are LGBTQ identified."

June marked the third-year anniversary of William Blair's Pride Alliance. The business resource group was formed to cultivate a supportive culture for LGBTQ+ employees and promote diversity and inclusivity. 

"The current social environment is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to come together to protect the most marginalized members of our community," said Phillip Blee, co-chair of William Blair's Pride Alliance.

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