The Greater Dayton LGBT Center is celebrating Dayton’s 25th PRIDE weekend with the annual PRIDE Dinner this Friday night at Sinclair’s Pontiz Center followed by a Parade and an expo on Courthouse Square on Saturday. Friday’s 80’s themed festivities begin at 5:30pm with a cocktail hour and business expo highlighting many gay friendly business in the area. In a bold move of support, LexisNexis,a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic markets. has signed on as the 2012 Pride Presenting sponsor. Earlier this year, LexisNexis was recognized by The Human Rights Campaign with The Corporate Equality Award, which recognizes a company each year for outstanding efforts in promoting equality for LGBT people in the workplace.
Alyce Clark, Vice-President of Human Resources at LexisNexis and PRIDE President, stated, “Reed Elsevier and LexisNexis Executive leadership strongly support all LexisNexis Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including our PRIDE group which was established in 2010. This is a key reflection of the company’s commitment to build a culture that embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive environment in which all employees can contribute to their fullest potential in the workplace and in their communities.”
For LN Pride Community Outreach Chair, Kevin Mabrey, the Pride Celebration is all about “allowing me to be who I am, because I spent so many of my early years hiding who I was. I’m glad I can finally be who God made me! To have the support of my employer and know that we’ll have over 50 co-workers and their families walking in the parade is powerful.” Mabrey shared that the LexisNexis Pride ERG has members in New York City, Atlanta, North Carolina, Amsterdam and is continuing to grow. As a company LexisNexis has offered domestic partner benefits for years and the open arms they’ve given the Pride ERG has been encouraging and makes Kevin want to help recruit his other gay friends to work in an openly inclusive environment. Their presence at Dayton’s Pride will be the first time the company has officially participated in a Pride parade. Kevin credits their ERG sponsor, Doreen Tyburski from their New York corporate headquarters as the executive that is helping their group gain visibility.
Mabrey also shared that LexisNexis has declared June pride month at the company and will present educational messages and seminars throughout the month. On June 21th LexisNexis will present a bullying conference, that will help educate their employees on the effects of bullying, how to tell if your children are being bullied or if they are the bully.
This was especially exciting to Kevin, as he shared he was that kid who was thrown against the lockers in school and made fun of for being gay. He’s proud to be part of company that is working to prevent that for future generations.
Kris Jackson, Development Director for the Greater Datyon LGBT Pride committee says ,” the whole focus of the Pride weekend is to celebrate our lives in an open atmosphere. Corporate sponsors like LexisNexis and American Family Insurance prove we’ve come along way. Dayton unanimously approving the domestic partnership registry is another big win we’ll be celebrating. We’ve worked through so much adversity in the past 25 years that we can finally celebrate in an open, family friendly atmosphere. On Friday night we’ll be honoring Sue Spiegel with our Frontier Award for outstanding support for our community. As the ARC Ohio RED Gala chair in 2010 and 2012, she’s helped to raise over $875,000 for education and prevention of HIV/AIDS and support of those infected or affected by the disease.” Jackson also shared that other awards will include the Impact Award which will go to City of Dayton employee Kery Gray, a Lifetime Achievement award to local historian and former Gay Center Board Member, Leon Bey and the Celebrating 25 years award to John Zimmerman.
On Saturday Sue Spiegel of Dayton Bag and Burlap, will be the Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade, which steps off at noon lfrom the Natalie Clifford Barney Historical Marker in Cooper Park on Saint Clair Street and travels through the streets to end with a celebration at Courthouse Square for a fabulous festival of entertainment, food, and frivolity. Food, beer, and craft vendors alike will be on hand until the festivities end at 5:30pm. Which allows you just enough time to go home and freshen up before the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus big show at 8pm at the Victoria featuring the music of Abba.
With so much to celebrate this year, be sure to show your Dayton PRIDE this weekend!