This year, Unilever is sponsoring 2019 WorldPride in New York City, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and WorldPride, to celebrate the progress made by the LGBTQIA+ community. However, a number of issues still affect the community at large including the representation of trans people and people of color in media, youth homelessness, healthcare and counseling services, victimization and life expectancy. The statistics are staggering:
- 36% of trans people reported that media representations of trans people had precipitated negative reactions from their family or friends. 1
- The average life expectancy of a trans woman of color is 35.2
- 1 in 4 pre-teen suicides may be LGBTQIA+ youth.3
- As reported by the LGBT Homeless Youth Provider Survey, 68% indicate family rejection as a major factor contributing to LGBTQIA+ youth homelessness.
- According to the American Journal of Public Health, each episode of LGBTQIA+ victimization such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior 2.5 times.
As a corporate ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, Unilever remains committed to championing equality, unity, fairness and respect within and beyond its business. Today, the company is launching “United We Stand,” a Pride campaign that turns over the reins of its WorldPride sponsorship to six New York based organizations and six people at the forefront of communicating LGBTQIA+ culture to highlight the issues that merit decisive action.
“It is our privilege to provide a platform to the organizations that are on the front line of assisting with these important issues. The six allies we are partnering with for the United We Stand campaign work tirelessly to bring about equality and well-being to the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Mita Mallick, Head of Diversity and Cross-Cultural Marketing at Unilever North America. “Acceptance and inclusion of the uniqueness of every individual is at the heart of our business. Through our partnership this Pride, we hope to galvanize a new wave of support for each of these organizations to continue in their important work of advocacy, support and education within the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.”
About the ‘United We Stand’ Campaign
- Dove is working with Aaron Philip to bring awareness to individuals underrepresented in media and advertising and show the world that beauty isn’t binary. Aaron and Dove have partnered with the Audre Lorde Project – a New York based organization which focuses on supporting organizing campaigns that work on healing justice, trans justice, community building and volunteering – to make the fashion and beauty industries more diverse, inclusive, and accessible. Said Aaron, “It’s been great to partner with Dove to celebrate the amazing work Audre Lorde Project in serving LGBTQIA+ communities of color. My journey proves that beauty isn’t binary, and I hope that by sharing my story it gives others in our community strength to follow their dreams.”
- Schmidt’s Naturals is teaming up with Lachlan Watson and the Trans Justice Funding Project – a community-led funding initiative supporting grassroots trans justice groups run by and for trans people – to elevate the critical role that self-care, community, and wellness play in the trans and non-binary community. Together, they are raising awareness of the important role that small actions of self-care can have on your mental health and wellness. “Change starts at the frontline and that’s why, on this Pride 2019, I’m proud to partner with Schmidt’s to bring awareness to the work of the Trans Justice Funding Project,” said Lachlan. “It’s easy to get caught up in the feeling of being unable to change the big picture, which is why it’s so important that we fund and support real, trans-lead organizations like the Trans Justice Funding Project who are truly embodying that change.”
- Shea Moisture, a brand that believes that economic empowerment is essential for people to thrive, is partnering with Big Freedia to support the work of Destination Tomorrow – a grassroots South Bronx agency servicing the LGBTQIA+ community that offers young people a space to learn and flourish by providing them with comprehensive programs and services – in building economic empowerment for LGBTQIA+ communities in the Bronx. Said Big Freedia, “My whole message is about economic empowerment as an essential part of helping communities to thrive especially within LGBTQIA+ peoples of color who face so many barriers. It’s a pleasure to partner with Shea Moisture for Pride 2019 to hero the work of Destination Tomorrow in supporting our communities in the Bronx.”
- Axe, a brand that aims to tackle toxic behaviors associated with traditional masculinity, is working with Tommy Dorfman and the Anti-Violence Project – a leading New York based charity founded to offer on the ground support and counseling services to LGBTQIA+ peoples who experience hate crimes and/or violence – to create world where LGBTQIA+ people are safe, respected, and live free from violence. Said Tommy, “The work of the Anti-Violence Project is vital. As I share in my film, there were moments in my life when a helpline to talk to queer people who understand some of the hate I received as I explored gender would have been really beneficial. I hope partnering with Axe to support the work of AVP will make you also get involved and support their work.”
- Vaseline, a brand that believes in the power of healing both physically and emotionally, is teaming up with Titus Burgess and New Alternatives – an organization dedicated to the care and well-being of young people in the LGBTQIA+ community – to underscore the need for a place that helps LGBTQIA+ youth feel accepted and empowered on their road to self-sufficiency. “I have a personal connection to New Alternatives and am happy to be working with Vaseline to support their vital work in NYC with homeless LGBTQIA+ youth. It’s important to support grassroots organizations alongside the bigger known organizations and bring healing to our community.”
- Suave, a brand that has valued the importance of family for over 80 years, is teaming up with Amiyah Scott and PFLAG – an organization with a mission of support, education and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community that is committed to advancing equality – to create awareness around the importance of family support and acceptance within the LGBTQIA+ community. Said Amiyah, “I have a personal connection to PFLAG and they are a part of my journey that I share with my father. It was great to have the opportunity to partner with Suave to share this, and I hope the film will help touch not just LGBTQIA+ people but also the families of all types that surround them.”
Unilever partnered with breakthrough director Tourmaline, director of “Happy Birthday, Marsha,” a film about iconic transgender artist and activist, Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson and her life in the hours before she ignited the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Tourmaline and Unilever worked to capture creative content that shines a light on the important organizations in the LGBTQIA+ world. A passionate advocate for the trans community, Tourmaline is committed to shifting the conversation around the gender binary of society and unearthing histories of trans women of color.
Follow #UnitedWeStand on social media to follow the campaign, watch videos that introduce the inspiring people sparking important dialogue within the community and show your support for the six organizations that are making meaningful contributions to help future generations of LGBTQIA+ prosper.
United We Stand supports the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the company’s blueprint for decoupling its growth from its environmental footprint while increasing positive social impact. One of the three big goals of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is to enhance livelihoods for millions of people by 2020, which includes creating an inclusive business and society.