On Thursday, February 7th, PRIDE Employee Resource Group celebrated our inaugural kickoff event at Corkapolis in Downtown Cincinnati. The night was filled with wine, laughter, great speeches, amazing food and much needed conversations.
Michelle Hall and the PRIDE ERG leadership team want to personally thank everyone that attended the event. Michelle started the night off by sharing a quick story; “It was really not that long ago where I felt like I could not bring my full-self to Cincinnati Bell. It was also not that long ago where I would be in meetings on a Friday and people would ask each what they were doing for the weekend but people would not ask me. It is because they felt uncomfortable and they knew I felt uncomfortable. We have come a long way since then but there is still a lot more to accomplish, which is the entire reason we formed this group. We formed PRIDE so that we can start to really understand each other and be more inclusive.”
She continued the dialogue by saying: “It’s only when we begin to have courageous conversations where we start to have an understanding and consideration for each other, we begin to break down some of those barriers, and we begin to connect and that’s what we want to do in this group. We want to become a resource for people and begin to bring people together. When we do that, we make this a great company and we start to make this a great city where people want to live.”
Andy Kaiser, CFO of Cincinnati Bell & PRIDE’s executive leader, was there to represent the PRIDE group. Andy shared a very moving story about his experience, as a young man, meeting a couple that ultimately changed the way he looked at same-sex relationships. He continued the conversation by saying “It’s all about dialogue, education, and ensuring we don’t allow discrimination or bias to happen in any form within the company.” He emphasized that “embedding PRIDE in everything we do is going to take time and a continuous conversation.”
PRIDE is a resource for all employees and reflects Cincinnati Bell’s values of diversity and inclusion throughout the workplace. The PRIDE Employee Resource Group fosters an accepting, inclusive, and safe environment for all employees, regardless of an individual’s personal identity.
The night would not have been possible without our members and allies of PRIDE. Please enjoy some pictures from the first PRIDE kickoff event at Corkapolis. Upcoming events include: The Cincinnati Pride Parade – June 22nd at Sawyer Point