With roots dating to the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated each June, highlighting how generations of LGBTQ individuals have fought to make the possibilities of America real for every American.
To honor that legacy, EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis is presenting a special message from EXIM to celebrate Pride Month. She underscored the valuable contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans across nation, who contribute more than $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy.
“This annual observance demonstrates how LGBTQ Americans have strengthened our country, using their talent and their creativity to help create awareness and goodwill,” Chair Lewis said. “Here at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, we want to take a moment to acknowledge those important achievements.”
EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month. You also can view her message here.
Honoring the Resilience of LGBTQ Americans
The June 28, 1969, police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City was a turning point in the movement for gay rights in the United States. That was followed by the first Gay Pride Day in 1970, an annual commemoration that has grown to encompass a month-long series of events, held in June to mark the Stonewall anniversary.
Since those early days, anti-discrimination efforts have continued, with the first March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights occurring in 1979, the U.S. military ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011, and the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015.
In proclaiming June as Pride Month, President Biden called for celebrating the great diversity of the American people, recognizing the achievements of the LGBTQ community, and waving their flags of pride high.
“This month, we honor the resilience of LGBTQI+ people, who are fighting to live authentically and freely,” President Biden said. “We reaffirm our belief that LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. And we recommit to delivering protections, safety, and equality to LGBTQI+ families so that everyone can realize the full promise of America."
Providing Resources to Support LGBTQ Business Owners
In her comments, Chair Lewis noted that EXIM has provided numerous resources for U.S. businesses throughout Pride Month.
“But our support doesn’t stop there,” she said. “EXIM has a team of specialists dedicated to supporting U.S. companies throughout the year. Our Minority and Women Owned Business Division supports businesses of all sizes that are owned by minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities.”
EXIM’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Division (MWOB) works closely with organizations that have a minority trade focus, to help spread the word about EXIM financing and create opportunities for export-ready U.S. businesses. These specialists seek to engage businesses, educate them regarding the availability of EXIM services, and increase the total amount of financing to support their exports of goods and services.
The MWOB team recently hosted a webinar in collaboration with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS). The special event featured discussions on advancing inclusive economic growth for the LGBTQ community and highlighted resources that are available to all U.S. businesses.
You can see a recording of the webinar here.
To find out how EXIM can help your business compete in the global marketplace, schedule a free consultation with a member of the MWOB team and launch your export journey today.