Physical pride parades may have been canceled this year but that hasn’t stopped members of the LGBTQ community and allies from both celebrating progress and fighting for change. On Friday, June 16, Adweek hosted Pride, Protests and Progress, a virtual event with 11 LGBTQ leaders in sports, media, marketing and culture. These speakers, who are also part of Adweek’s inaugural Pride Stars list, wrapped up the month of June by honoring intersectionality, amplifying marginalized voices and laying the groundwork for long term inclusion.

Facilitate Tough Conversations
"There are a lot of people that are uncomfortable, and that’s ok. I think that the uncomfortable feeling that’s being felt throughout the world is the raw fuel that’s really going to drive some change." Allyn Shaw, president and chief technology officer, Recycle Track Systems

"We need to continue to educate people, and we can only continue to do that through a open, non-defensive dialogue." Benjamin Lord, cmo, Mira Beauty

Demand Action Within Your Own Company
"Corporate America has to be urgent and take action. The rallying cry that we have for our leadership in the company is three words: expectations, accountability and capability." Shelly McNamara, diversity and inclusion officer, hr executive at P&G

"What we are trying to do at MasterCard across the board… is to make sure that transgender people feel like they belong and are welcome within our four walls and organization. What we’re really excited about is the launch of TrueName. We know that non-binary and people that are transgender have a really tough time just getting their chosen name on their documents." Randall Tucker, chief inclusion officer, MasterCard

"Megan Rapinoe, one of our ambassador athletes, says “You cannot win championships without the gays.” You just can’t. I really believe that with success with business. You cannot be successful without all the team players." Kendra Freeman, Co-Founder, Menti

"It’s really important for brands to recognize that millenials and Gen Z are really watching the way they move and the signals they are putting out there. This is an opportunity for brands to put their money where their mouth is — not just by selling shirts where 5% goes to a non-profit, but by actually doing something substantial that has a real, clear signal behind it." Rigel Cable, director of analytics and SEO at Astound Commerce

"Sometimes, people get really comfortable in that seat that they are in, and they don’t want to give up that power. So you have to hold them accountable and say ‘Look, maybe it’s time for some new blood.’" Allyn Shaw, president and chief technology officer, Recycle Track Systems

Focus on Intersectional Identities
"I am a white gay woman. It doesn’t matter how educated I am — I am going to miss a piece of someone’s story because I have a different experience living in this country and living in this world. If you truly care about diversity, you have to tell the full story. And in order to do that, you have to have more diversity around your table and on your team." Rachael Rapinoe, co-founder and ceo of Mendi, former soccer player

"The transgender community is the intersection of all races and ethnicities. A trans person could be the number 1 candidate, but if the person interviewing them is worried about how they’re going to integrate them into their company, they’re not going to hire them. The next step is to give people a level playing field to achieve. We don’t just want hiring in entry level jobs." Michaela Mendelsohn, founder, TransCanWork

Take Meaningful Action
"We just released a study with P&G that looked at how non-LGBTQ Americans view advertising that is LGBTQ-inclusive, and it was jaw-dropping in that it was really positive. Non-LGBTQ people want to see LGBTQ people in ads because it helps them build acceptance and think better of the company." Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD

"Now more than ever, it’s not just about having a brand write a 7 figure check. What does writing that check mean? Where is it going? What kind of impact will it have on the economy, these communities and actually making a difference?" Robyn Streisand, dual founder & ceo, The Mixx + Titanium Worldwide

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