San Francisco, CA – September 14, 2007 – More than 2,000 people are expected in the nation’s capital this month for the seventeenth annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit. Widely recognized as the premier conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, the Summit provides a unique opportunity to build alliances that foster safe and equitable work environments for everyone.
The Summit is expected to coincide with a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). As business professionals, community leaders and many of the nation’s most prominent companies, a majority from the Fortune 500, meet to discuss ways to make workplaces safe and accepting of LGBT people, the federal government will consider passing federal legislation that will outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be in Washington, DC at this historic time,” said Selisse Berry, founding executive director of Out & Equal. “Nondiscrimination policies are the very foundation of the work we do and build upon at the Summit. Although we know that there are many advanced topics to address—from domestic partner benefits to LGBT equality in international workplaces—the necessary first step for any employer is a basic commitment to judging employees based on their contributions rather than their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The Workplace Summit brings together LGBT employees, allies, and human resource and diversity professionals from the U.S. and abroad to share best practices on workplace equality, and essential education, information, and resources to address current workplace issues that affect the LGBT community. The three-day event will take place at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC, September 27-29, 2007. It will offer internationally known keynote speakers, pre-Summit Seminars, and featured speakers and panels that collectively address the most relevant LGBT topics and issues in the workplace today.
This year’s Workplace Summit theme is “A United Vision: Leveraging Our Diverse Human Capital.” Many workshops and speeches will focus on how we can work together to achieve workplace equality. As the home to several corporate headquarters, over 200 social advocacy groups, multiple universities, and numerous government and political agencies, Washington, D.C., will allow for an unprecedented network of people to explore new and innovative ideas for workplace equality.
Keynote speakers for the 2007 Summit include: Chrissy Gephardt, political advocate and the first openly gay member of a U.S. presidential candidate’s family (Dick Gephardt, her father, ran in the Democratic primary in 1994); John Amaechi, the first former NBA player to ever come out publicly; the mother-daughter team of Bernice Johnson Reagon & Toshi Reagon, who for years have inspired people with their activism and music; and Brian Graden, president of entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group and president of Logo. Also appearing will be such notables as Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, award-winning author, civil rights activist and political powerhouse, Keith Boykin, and Susan Stanton, former city manager for Largo, Florida until she was fired for being transgender.
National co-chairs for the 2007 Workplace Summit include Dr. Yvette Burton, Business Development Executive for IBM Global Services; and Wesley Combs, President and Co-founder of Witeck-Combs Communications. The presenting sponsor for the Summit is Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (”Deloitte”).
Out & Equal™ Workplace Advocates is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in San Francisco, California. Out & Equal champions safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The organization advocates building and strengthening successful organizations that value all employees, customers and communities. For more information, visit www.outandequal.org.
Jere Keys, Communications Manager
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates