Inclusivity and Allyship: Pride Month at Index Exchange

We’re firm believers in celebrating our people, all people, just as they are—a belief that was encapsulated this Pride Month at Index Exchange. From an Instagram series saluting key media moments in LGBTQ+ history, to a book club discussion of Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider,” to live-streamed conversations with LGBTQ+ advocates, we strived to champion inclusivity, allyship, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout June. 

To kick things off, we ran a social series featuring The Village Voice and The Blade, media outlets that were at the forefront of LGBTQ+ news coverage in the seventies and eighties. These important publications broke the news about the first bricks thrown at the Stonewall Uprising, and were critical in building a sense of community for LGBTQ+ individuals facing adversity. 

Alongside our social activity, we wanted to champion an open dialogue internally, so we invited LGBTQ+ advocates Alexandra D’Sa and Ben Greene to speak to our teams. In our first fireside chat, Alex D’sa—one of INvolve’s Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leaders and co-founder of House of Pride—spoke with Samir Chabab, our head of international marketing and communications, about intersectionality, creativity, and the importance of cultivating queer spaces.

“Intersectionality is a powerful lens to look through. It enables us to understand how identities are built and how they might impact one’s experiences of discrimination and oppression. My conversation with Alex was a reminder of just how powerful this can be. Within every community, privileges dictate a person’s experience, and sharing the realities of your life experience—as Alex did with our team—can help create a more visibly diverse and empathetic society.”

Samir Chabab, head of international, marketing and communications
Index Exchange

Later in the month, Ben Greene—transgender educator, HR consultant, and leading speaker for the likes of TEDx and DisruptHR—joined our HR Lead Simone Payne-Powell for a conversation about gender identity, inclusion, and Ben’s experiences as a transgender man.

“Speaking with Ben was truly inspirational. He is so comfortable in his skin and so candid about sharing his story (not to mention, the depth of his knowledge on gender identity is remarkable). Ben is the walking embodiment of being your authentic self—something so many of us struggle with, and something I know the team benefitted from hearing.”

Simone Payne-Powell, HR lead
Index Exchange

Pride at IX, our internal affinity group committed to supporting LGBTQ+ Indexers, also hosted an intimate book club discussion of “Sister Outsider,” a collection of essays and speeches exploring identity and society written by the inimitable poet Audre Lorde, to close out Pride Month at Index Exchange.

“Everything—from the book we chose to read to the fireside chats with Ben and Alexandra—served as a reminder to celebrate differences, continue to drive change, and embrace self-love. Regardless of your sexual identity, Pride Month gives you an opportunity to support your peers more fiercely and love yourself more, and that’s something worth celebrating—in and outside of the office.”

Azurée Caldwell, community specialist
Index Exchange

If you would like to support the artists of House of Pride or are interested in learning more about gender identity, please visit The HOP Shop or check out Ben Greene’s book, “My (Blank) Is Trans.” And if you’d like to join a team that believes in inclusivity and allyship, explore our open roles:

Index Editor

Index Editor

This post was published by the Index Exchange editorial team.

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