Pride at Gartner Speaks with Cleve Jones on LGBTQ+ and Human Rights

The Pride at Gartner employee resource group (ERG) encourages each member of the Gartner team to bring their whole and authentic selves to the workplace and is devoted to promoting a positive and inclusive environment for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Recently, members of our Pride at Gartner ERG hosted a virtual session to commemorate the historical events of Pride Month and bring awareness to current issues many under-represented groups still face today. 

During the session, Gartner’s Craig Safian, EVP & CFO (and Executive Sponsor of Pride at Gartner), LJ Justice, Pride at Gartner co-lead and Rajiv Desai, VP Diversity & Inclusion, were joined by Cleve Jones, an American human rights activist, author and lecturer. His book, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, is about the history of LGBT rights advocacy in the United States from the 1970s to the 2010s.

“Pride Month offers an opportunity to reflect on our community’s history. As Cleve reminded us, the first Pride was an uprising led by queer people of color, who provided a catalyst for change that ultimately led to the LGBTQ+ rights we have today. Though we still have a long way to go, I was encouraged by Cleve Jones’ call to action. He reminded us that in order to make real change, we need to keep holding ourselves and our community accountable. We have to keep on doing the work and make sure that allyship, especially today, becomes actions that we turn into habits.” says LJ Justice, Research Principal (Pronouns: They, Them, Theirs). 

The group spoke to Jones about his work with mentor and pioneer LGBT activist Harvey Milk to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, social progression, as well as how he was able to evoke change during the HIV/AIDS epidemic with the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt

“I loved hearing Cleve’s story about his part in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and the creation of the AIDS quilt. I’m so appreciative of how he and Gartner leadership also addressed today’s fight for the rights of Black Americans.” says Maya Ann-Michael Mathis, Research Coordinator (Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)

Jones also discussed several lessons he learned throughout his career about minding biases, the importance of being able to find common ground with others, and offered up his advice on navigating the corporate world as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“Hearing Cleve speak was humbling, thought provoking and also reassuring to hear the parallels between his experience and what is happening today. To hear his story of hope amidst such a difficult time was the little glimmer of hope I needed,” says Peyton Kasak, Manager, Talent Development & Leadership Effectiveness (Pronouns: She, Her, Hers).

Gartner is a multicultural, global business that serves clients in more than 100 countries around the world. Our teams are composed of individuals from different races, geographies, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, generations and experiences. Gartner’s Pride at Gartner chapter will host several other virtual events, panel discussions and activities to commemorate Pride Month throughout June. 

Discover more about inclusion, engagement and diversity at Gartner here.

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