Manchester Pride 2020

14 August 2020

3 min read

A guest blog from Chris Greenway, Executive Sponsor of The Bank's colleague inclusion network, Proud Together, talking about our involvement in this year’s Manchester Pride celebrations.

We’re very proud to once again be sponsoring Manchester Pride, a time for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to come together to celebrate and make their voices heard; to be proud of who they are. We’ve sponsored Manchester Pride since 2016, and despite changes to Pride festivals around the world this year, I’m delighted that we are able to sponsor this year’s virtual event.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Peace, no-one is free until we are all free’. A vision for peace in a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to live and love without prejudice.

Though the lockdown means our colleagues are unable to take to the streets to show our support, we’ll be joining in with Manchester Pride’s virtual parade on 29 August. Keep an eye out for details on the Manchester Pride website.

To show how important this message of ‘Peace’ is to us, The Co-operative Bank team have created a short video with clips from our participation over the years, to be played on the day that you can watch on YouTube.

As an Executive Sponsor of our colleague inclusion network, Proud Together, I’m passionate about colleagues being able to express their true selves, being treated equally and not facing prejudice; in any aspect of their lives. We've reached out to a few of our network members to ask what this year’s theme means to them:  

“Peace to me means the ability to live without prejudice or discrimination.  I long for my daughter to be able to hold her girlfriend’s hand in public without drawing comments or stares.  I have three daughters and it saddens me they have such different experiences based on the gender of those they love.” - Debbie Strickland, Director of First Line Risk.

“Peace means co-operative harmony. Peace means us having space, quietness and time to consider how we can continue to be inclusive. Peace means every piece of us being free to be ourselves. Being at peace with yourself and others means accepting each of us is different and our differences make us who we are.” - Claire Williams, Head of Culture and Leadership Development.

“When it comes to spreading peace and understanding, now more than ever, I can’t think of a more powerful way than when I see LGBTQ+ allies getting involved and increasing its effects. They really are people with purpose.” - Paul Graham, Digital Storyteller.

“Nothing is quite as freeing as the peace of mind that comes with being able to be all of you, all of the time.” -Curtis James, Delivery Lead.

“Jimi [Hendrix] puts it perfectly ‘When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.'” - Lydia Hall, Customer Advocate.

We’ll all be watching on the day and we hope you will, too. Now more than ever, it’s up to us all to campaign for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community all over the world, and we won’t stop until our customers, colleagues and communities are treated equally.

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