The Pride of Hubbard, Part II

The Pride of Hubbard, Part II
  Welcome to part II of our Pride Month series! Last time around, we touched upon the origins of the Pride movement before moving onto a little profile of Karen Fuentes – a broker here at Hubbard. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check it out! It’s a Monday, the weather is doing its best Martin Riggs impression, and I’m making dated Lethal We...apon references. For many, vacations are around the corner as June reaches its halfway mark. However, that also means that we are halfway through Pride Month – and what better time to learn a little bit more about this movement? Have you ever wondered where the rainbow flag comes from? The story behind it is rather interesting. Rainbow flags have been around for ages; however, it wasn’t until 1978 that they first became associated with the Pride movement. Gilbert Baker was born in rural Kansas, served in the US Military, and was an openly gay activist. After an honorable discharge from the military, Gilbert taught himself to sew. In 1974, though, the cogs really began to turn. In 1974, Gilbert Baker met perhaps one of the most historically influential people involved in the early Pride movements – Harvey Milk. It was Harvey Milk who challenged Gilbert to compose a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ community. Three years later, on June 25 1978, the rainbow flag made its debut. The flag itself is composed of 8 colours: Hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet. These colours were chosen deliberately and each one was assigned a meaning – pink represented sexuality, red represented life, and orange represented healing. Yellow, green, and turquoise represented sunlight, nature, and art respectively. Finally, indigo and violet represented serenity and spirit. However, it wouldn’t be until a few months later that the demands for the flag skyrocketed. November 27, 1978. Dan White – disgruntled by recent events regarding his position on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – entered City Hall through a basement window so as to avoid metal detectors. There was a press conference ready to take place that day to announce White’s replacement. Harvey Milk was present. Harvey Milk, along with then-Mayor George Moscone, were shot dead in cold blood by Dan White on that day – murders fueled by hate. What followed was a surge in demand for Pride flags as San Francisco prepared for the inevitable aftermath. Pride may have become a celebration of life, it may be vibrant and colourful – but it has a past filled with struggle, agony, and sacrifice. This is why, at Hubbard, we want to make sure these themes are celebrated – not only for those who have sacrificed, but so that their sacrifices in the name of diversity and inclusivity will not be forgotten. One such person who is keen on celebrating these values is Hubbard’s own Maria McCreadie. “I think Pride is a celebration of identity” she said. “We have come so far from the days of segregation and Pride seems to be a celebration of that, a celebration against persecution.” It is indeed true that the celebrations involved in this movement aren’t just limited to identity – but rather an outward expression of joy at being able to live freely without the worry of discrimination. “I had friends growing up who were part of the LGBTQ community and they were not able to be open about their identities until much later on in life,” said Maria. “I think that’s sad.” “It’s sad we live in a world where people are still discriminated against,” she lamented. The Pride movement, though, is not merely beneficial only for those directly involved in it. There is something there for anyone who has faced oppression or discrimination. “As a woman, I’ve had to break through the glass ceiling – it has not been easy.” Seeing these movements around her where other people have struggled just like she has – even if not for the same reasons – has been helpful in getting her to overcome her own obstacles. “We are who we are – we shouldn’t be judged for it. The only thing that should be judged is our merit,” she concluded. Ultimately, that is the goal – that should be the goal for society. To only base opinions off of merit and not race, gender, religion, or sexuality. According to Maria, the future looks bright, “We are on the path to more inclusivity and being more diverse.” However, certain things still need to be paid attention to. “We need to make sure we all make the right decisions and put the right people in power. People who will unite us and not divide us,” she said. The future is especially important to Maria because of her little daughter. “I want my daughter to be who she wants to be and for the world to welcome her regardless of who she is,” she expressed. Finally, Maria concluded, “I hope people going through any kind of struggle don’t give up and stay strong. Don’t look ahead at just the immediate future but also look at the bigger picture – the years ahead.” Diversity and inclusivity are clearly important at Hubbard. From the diverse work-force to the general office culture, these themes are interlaced within the very fabric of the environment. As Pride Month comes to an end, it is important to use this remaining time to push ahead with raising awareness and celebrating progress. There is yet more to come in this series and we hope to offer more insights into the environment at Hubbard all the while celebrating diversity and inclusivity. Stay tuned!       More
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The Pride of Hubbard, Part I

The Pride of Hubbard, Part I
  As we mark the beginning of June and the imminent arrival of summer, it’s a good time to turn the spotlight onto what June has become increasingly known for – Pride. Now, Pride Month is more than just a celebration of lifestyles; in fact, it has a rather dark past.   June 28, 1969. 1:20 A.M. Four plainclothes policemen wearing dark sui...ts, two patrol officers in uniform, Detective Charles Smythe, and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine announced their arrival at the Stonewall Inn – a known gay bar – by screaming “Police! We’re taking the place!” What followed has since gone down in history. The riots that broke out that night, some 52 years ago at the Stonewall Inn, have had a meteoric impact on the modern day. The sheer amount of violence that was experienced by the members of the LGBTQ community – one that stumbled onto the next night as well – was the basis for the next level of the pride movement. A man named Bob Kohler was walking his dog by the Stonewall Inn that night and he recalled that “I had been in enough riots to know the fun was over … the cops were totally humiliated … the anger was enormous. I mean, they wanted to kill.” Once the chaos of that night subsided, it served as an impetus for future movements. November 2nd of the very same year saw the first proposition for a pride march – to be held in New York City. The rest, as they say, is history. At Hubbard, we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and diversity. An active effort is made by everyone in the organization to make everyone feel included – regardless of race, gender, or sexuality. To celebrate this, we will be doing a little blog series – one where members of the Hubbard team talk about their experiences with Pride and their views on inclusivity and diversity. First up, Karen Fuentes. “I grew up in a really inclusive environment – I learned from an early age not to be prejudiced.” Karen reminisced about her childhood in the Philippines and how growing up with friends of all kinds helped shape her mentality. However, it wasn’t all fun and games. Karen recalls an incident with one of her neighbours. “I had a friend – a neighbour – and he was gay. His father knew this and he used to beat him up.” Knowing her friend was struggling in such a way just because of who he was established her belief that no one should fear who they are – that everyone should be accepted. This is a belief she has carried with her all the way until now. When she first came to Canada, one of her friend’s took her to her first Pride Parade. “It was interesting and fun!” she recalled her experience. “It was so colourful, the floats were great, though I didn’t expect to see so many people without clothes!” Karen laughed. Upon seeing the changes over the past decade, Karen believes that the younger generation is doing it right. She stated that “the new generation is more open on these matters and they don’t have as much prejudice. They are becoming more educated and that’s a good thing.” Ultimately, according to Karen, it comes down to respect. “Diversity and inclusivity – especially in the workplace – is extremely important. Everyone should respect each other. Respect is number 1.” Karen continues to be an important part of the office here at Hubbard and it is no surprise she fits in so well with everyone, especially after the insight she has provided us. Over the coming two weeks, we will bring you more profiles from within Hubbard as we aim to celebrate Pride Month, inclusivity, and diversity. Stay tuned!   More
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