What Does Pride Mean to You?
ACA’s celebration of Pride Month is a part of its commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in its workplace. Our LGBTQ+ and ally Employee Resource Group ACA ALLiance is hosting many activities during the month of June to help provide education and resources to employees. To kick off our celebration, we asked employees from across the firm, "What does Pride mean to you?" and have included their responses below.
What does Pride mean to you?
To me pride is a moment of reflection along a journey and a time to celebrate the milestones of equality that have been achieved. Pride is also a chance to continue the journey of advocacy, so we may all live even more equal and inclusive lives. – Allison Charley, Senior Principal Consultant
Pride month is a way to recognize that our differences make us special and serve as sources of strength. Pride month calls our focus back to the core values that each of us has inherent worth and is deserving of dignity, justice, and love. – Joshua Broaded, Partner
To me, Pride Month is about highlighting there is no greater power that we might personally hold than when we are able to understand, engage, and celebrate the individualism of our friends, colleagues, and local communities. – Kenny Clowers, Partner
Pride is a personal thing - all about feeling the best you possibly can about who you are. To me, Pride Month is an opportunity to ensure that differences and individuality are celebrated so that all of us are encouraged to feel pride. – Jack Rader, Partner
Pride Month is an opportunity to highlight the diversity that makes our communities so great. I hope to one day live in a world where individual differences are not only accepted, but truly celebrated and appreciated. – Jillian Timmermans, Partner
Pride means openly declaring that I support the rights and equal treatment of all people, regardless of their sexual or gender identity. It means creating a culture where no one is ashamed to express who they are, and differences are celebrated and encouraged. – Kim Daly, Partner
Diversity, equality, and acceptance should be celebrated, and Pride Month offers that opportunity. Embracing all those around us -- inclusion -- is so important and makes our community stronger. – Pat Shea Partner
To me, Pride is a reminder that I am who I was born to be. It’s also a warm embrace to everyone who struggle or have struggled to accept who they are and who they love. I carry Pride in my heart for so many different reasons, but the main one is definitely because it taught me so much about loving myself no matter what. – Valeska Andrade, Senior Data Analyst
To me, Pride is a celebration. It’s an uproar of love, unity, and community. Pride is a party where we love who we are today while pushing forward toward a more inclusive and equitable future. – Jeremy Sickles, Operations Associate
To me Pride is about feeling comfortable and confident in oneself regardless of gender, background or sexual orientation and supporting family, friends and colleagues to feel the same in their own unique way. – Adam Palmer, Partner
Pride month is a reminder that everyone has the right to be proud of who they are without the fear of being judged or mistreated. – Geoff Hecht, Partner
Pride is the embracement and community-wide celebration of who we are as individuals, where all are recognized as equal, vital members of humanity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. Here at ACA, we are committed to fostering an environment in which all team members feel safe, secure, and affirmed. – Luke Wilson, Partner
Pride means celebrating the beauty in everyone and honoring the struggle for equal civil rights by the LGBTQ+ community, as we work together to embrace our diversity and make the world better every day. – Carlo di Florio, Chief Services Officer
Pride means my brother can be proud of 'who' he is, rather than 'what' he is. – Dee Stafford, Managing Director of Client Development
Pride means leaving ignorance behind and celebrating people for every bit of who they are. – Gina Galang, Senior Adviser
Pride means appreciating oneself and appreciating others for each individual’s unique characteristics that create the beautiful rainbow that is humanity. – Breanna Pollard, Senior Principal Consultant
Pride is about creating a new normal for people who live outside the hetero-normative parameters that people believe is the only truth. But truth is individual, different for everyone, and though some of us can settle with our own truths in private, Pride allows us to celebrate individualism and love, for both self and anyone you want to love. – Linnea Donahugh, Operations Associate
Pride to me means safety and acceptance. It reminds me that I don’t have to feel isolated or ashamed about who I am, and that there are plenty of people out there who understand the struggles that come with being different. It also means an opportunity to celebrate together as a community and witness the transformative power that community building has. – Matthew Macar, Data Analyst
Our best client service often results from bringing our full selves to bear on their challenges – not just our analytical, technical, and problem-solving skills, but our personalities, preferences, and identities. My experience (and voluminous research) shows the more diverse these backgrounds, the more thoughtful our solutions for clients. ACA celebrates Pride Month through that lens – gender and sexual choices are part of who we are, and we channel those to enrich each other and the clients’ work. To my LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies: also know you inspire others who don’t feel comfortable being out in their own workplaces – amplifying your impact on our communities. – Shvetank Shah, Chief Executive Officer
Pride has always held a special place in my heart, and from an early age it always meant one thing; togetherness. For me its always a time of year where family and friends from all walks of life come together to celebrate being different, regardless of what that difference is. Everyone is welcome, everyone is celebrated and everyone feels loved! – John de Freitas, Senior Principal Consultant
Live the life you want. It is never too late to chase your happiness. – Amarin Sengthong, Manager of Engagement Coordination & Scheduling