2023 LGBTQ+ Unity Conference Awards
Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man and a drag queen, designed the first rainbow flag in 1978 as a symbol of pride. In 1994, on the 25th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Baker made a mile-long version of the rainbow flag which established it as the symbol for LGBTQ+ pride.
Over the years, the rainbow flag has evolved to become more inclusive, with the introduction of the Progress Pride Flag in 2018. The various colors of this iconic symbol came to reflect the immense diversity, intersectionality, and unity of the LGBTQ+ community. Each color of the flag holds a different meaning and represents an important value of the LGBTQ+ community. In our 2022 LGBTQ+ Unity Awards, the Texas Diversity Council seeks to recognize inclusive LGBTQ+ leaders and allies that champion these values in their workplaces & communities.
The TXDC is honored to present the following awards representing each color of the LGBTQ+ Progress Pride Flag:
Legacy Icon Award
The color Red in the pride flag is associated with life and passion.
This prestigious honor recognizes an extraordinary individual whose body of work has made a profound and historical impact in the LGBTQ+ Community. They embody the purpose of LGBTQ+ Unity, demonstrating professional excellence, leadership and allyship. Their contributions to the advancement of the LGBTQ+ Community not only influences and reshapes perceptions, systems, and ideas, but creates lasting impact for generations to come.
- Maintains an extraordinary background of developing, growing and advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion
- Sustains a record of influencing positive change in the LGBTQ+ Community.
- Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and fairness through ethical and moral leadership, enhancing the credibility of the individual and the organization as a whole.
Healing Impact Award
The color Orange in the pride flag represents healing.
This award recognizes an individual in the healthcare industry that goes above and beyond the call of obligation for exemplary achievement in promoting the advancement and inclusion of LGBTQ+ health issues throughout the health profession and through patient care.
- Establishes an innovative organizational culture with an extraordinary and unfailing commitment to diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, community outreach and patient satisfaction.
- Demonstrated positive impact on health education, patient care, and/or environment for LGBTQ+ faculty, students, vendors, and patients within institutions and beyond.
- Serve as role model for other individuals in the profession by setting an example in ways that are consistent with the shared values and goals of their respective organizations.
- Identifies and improves systemic barriers encountered while advocating for the inclusion and advancement of LGBTQ health issues.
- These awardees include doctors, medical attendants, chairmen, board members, advocates, or analysts whose work has positively impacted the way the healthcare system works in our hospitals, labs, clinics, nonprofits, and health facilities.
Leading Light Award
The color Yellow in the pride flag is associated with sunlight, representing new ideas and thoughts.
The Leading Light Award distinguishes Texas Diversity Council’s commitment to fostering the careers of the next generation of LGBTQ+ business leaders by recognizing individuals who have dedicated their time, energy and expertise to advancing the careers of others.
Mentorship plays a critical role in the development of the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders, lighting the path to opportunities and innovation. This award seeks to recognize extraordinary role models who have demonstrated exceptional contributions to supporting the career trajectories of emerging LGBTQ+ leaders. Through community engagement, youth programming, and targeted mentoring efforts, this individual has made an undeniable contribution to the LGBTQ+ leaders of tomorrow.
- Demonstrate a strong commitment to helping others grow professionally and personally
- Shows a willingness to share their experiences and knowledge
- Creates a climate that supports trust, openness, candor, and rapport
- Provide feedback that is honest, objective & constructive
- Provide professional or academic guidance and help in expanding the mentee's networks
OUTstanding Leadership Award
The color Green in the pride flag is associated with prosperity and growth.
The OUTstanding Leadership Award recognizes senior leaders that uphold and promote the principles of authentic leadership, LGBTQ+ inclusion, progress and possibility. About one-third (31%) of LGBTQ Americans reported that experiences of discrimination have affected their ability to get promoted or attain their desired salary, while just 26 of the 5,670 (0.5%) board seats in the Fortune 500 are held by openly LGBTQ+ directors. When it comes to allyship, visibility matters. This award seeks to recognize individuals who promote the importance of authenticity, transparency and inclusion within the workplace and community.
- Demonstrates leadership characteristics in the LGBTQ+ community/or high visibility in the LGBTQ+ community
- Contributes to creating a culture of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness in the workplace
- Champions LGBTQ+ protections in the community/or workplace
- Encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work
- Leads and facilitates courageous conversations on important topics
Community Advocate Award
The color Blue in the pride flag represents harmony and serenity.
The Community Advocate Award recognizes exceptional LGBTQ+ trailblazers and supportive allies who have made a difference in supporting and advancing the community. Corporate responsibility means we must integrate social and environmental concerns into business operations and interactions with stakeholders, employees, and customers. Through outstanding service, education and programming, these individuals exemplify recognizable LGBTQ+ advocacy efforts. They have volunteered their time and resources to create a more informed and inclusive society. A community advocate strives to bridge the gap and barriers between the LGBTQ+ community and other intersectionalities of society.
Through community involvement these individuals have served as a voice for LGBTQ+ rights in the local community and/or workplace.
- Demonstrates high visibility in the LGBTQ+ community due to advocacy efforts
- Fosters communication to drive understanding and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community
- Contributes to the promotion of broadening civil adoption and/or cultural acceptance of LGBTQ+ equality
- Upstander for LGBTQ+ rights and fair treatment in the local community and/or workplace
Pride Empowerment Award
The color Purple in the pride flag represents empowerment.
The Pride Empowerment award recognizes individuals advancing equality for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace through employee resource groups. LGBTQ+ focused ERGs empower employees to connect with others, share experiences, educate, and impact strategic direction. A successful program is continuously elevating best practices, implementing intersectional, collaborative programming with other ERGs, and advocating for LGBTQ+ equality to transform their workplace. This individual champions LGBTQ+ ERG efforts by creating an affirmative environment for members, providing strategic business alignment, and advocating for financial support and leadership buy-in.
- Serves a leadership role in their company/organization’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group
- Recognizes the importance and benefits of empowering LGBTQ+ people in the workplace
- Advocates for resources and support from company/organization executives
- Serves as the voice for LGBTQ+ people in the company/organization
LGBTQ+ Workplace Excellence Award
The colors Black and Brown represent diversity and inclusion.
The LGBTQ+ Workplace Excellence Award recognizes organizations that have championed diversity, equity, inclusion in the workplace, and who have served as a prime example of elevating and promoting LGBTQ+ excellence. These organizations demonstrate a historic and ongoing commitment to pursuing and implementing workplace diversity and inclusion, especially for LGBTQ+ employees.
- Leaders in advancing equality for LGBTQ+ people in workplaces
- Raises the bar and serves as an example for others
- Supports other organizations’ D&I efforts through active knowledge sharing and peer organization mentoring.
- Implements policy that allows for LGBTQ+ employees to perform at their full potential while also prioritizing wellness.
Trans Trailblazer Award
The colors Pink, Light Blue and White make up the Trans Pride Flag. According to flag creator Monica Helms, the flag is symmetrical so “no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our own lives.”
Leaders of the Stonewall Riots and original Pride movement, trans icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, took a courageous stand. Their unending commitment to social justice and equality for the LGBTQ+ Community is echoed throughout history and honored in the Pride movements of today. Despite their work in launching the fight for LGBTQ+ Rights, Trans folx still face severe discrimination, stigma and systemic inequality. With 2021 being reported as the “deadliest year of violence against gender diverse people since records began” (Forbes), trans representation and support is needed now more than ever. This award was designed to recognize excellence in trans inclusion in the workplace. Highlighting the importance of trans joy and power, this recipient is making notable strides and breaking barriers for the trans community.
- Sustains a record of influencing positive change in the Trans Community
- Continuously advocates for trans representation and inclusion within their organizational policies, processes, and systems
- Embodies unapologetic self-pride and serves as an inspiration for others