by Judi Baker | I joined the Out & Equal staff one year ago this month. I had never been to an Out & Equal Workplace Summit, and though I learned a lot about the upcoming event as I worked on the program book, I really had no idea the magnitude of the Summit until I was there.
Last year, the Out & Equal Workplace Summit took place in Dallas, Texas. The staff flew into Dallas a few days early and we convened in the gay neighborhood of Oak Lawn for a pre-event staff dinner. The minute I saw the “Dallas Welcomes Out & Equal” banner hanging from the balcony of one of the nightclubs, I knew that I was in for a experience larger than I had anticipated.
My first Summit was incredible and inspiring. I watched attendees from all over the country (and world!) gather, discuss, explore, problem-solve, connect and energize each other at workshops and panels. At the plenaries, I witnessed politicians, celebrities, and CEOs share their stories about coming out, the power of diversity, and the importance of being their whole selves in all aspects of their lives. I saw ERG members show their pride, as they wore their company logos and gathered with their colleagues. I watched the Out & Equal staff come together to produce an event that would be memorable, powerful, and engaging.
This year, the Workplace Summit takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. We are very excited to be in Baltimore just days before the election! We know the energy will be high and our purpose strong. In the light of all of the changes in the last year (President Obama’s support of marriage equality, the state of ENDA, the EEOC ruling that now protects transgender employees, and our first Global LGBT Workplace Summit to name a few), we have so much to talk about, and hope to see you there!
Read more about the 2012 Out & Equal Workplace Summit here.
Watch the 2011 Workplace Summit highlights video: