Toyota Embraces Pride
The Face of Spectrum -- Members of Toyota's business partnering group made its presence felt at the North Texas Pride Festival earlier this month.
Through Spectrum, and its predecessor GALA, Toyota became one of the first automakers to form a business partnering group focused on promoting awareness of and support for the LGBT community. But as its participation in National Pride Month events attests, this organization’s role has now evolved into something even greater.
That’s due in part to the residual benefits of One Toyota. Outreach that previously came to life organically at various Toyota affiliates across North America have now become more unified and coordinated — helping to amplify their collective impact.
“We simply have more people in the same room, coming up with ideas and working together to put them into action,” says Baron Smith, senior analyst product strategist and Spectrum board member. “This is the first full year that’s been true. It’s really helped us to hit the ground running.”
A Bigger Tent -- Spectrum's outreach at the North Texas Pride Festival included staffing a tent where participants could learn more about Toyota's support for the LGBT community.
That’s given team members at Toyota's headquarters the opportunity to take advantage of a series of events throughout June and in September during Dallas Pride. Highlights have included participation in the North Texas Pride Festival, a video screening of Lexus’ “It Got Better” campaign, and a talk being planned with the Human Rights Campaign.
Further, for the first year, Toyota entered a team in the annual AIDS/Lifecycle, a ride of 2,400 cyclists from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which raised $16.6 million this year to help eradicate AIDS. The 10-person team was made up of people from TMNA, TFS, the Toyota Research Institute and a Toyota dealership.
Meanwhile, team members in manufacturing and the field organization have extended Spectrum’s reach, participating in Pride events in:
But their efforts won’t begin and end with National Pride Month. More tie-ins are planned for the balance of the year, such as PrideFest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in July and the Dallas Pride Weekend in September.
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Oxford, Mississippi
- Charleston, West Virginia
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Covington, Kentucky
- Lexington, Kentucky
Rainbow Coalition -- For the first time, Toyota unfurled the Pride flag in front of its Plano headquarters campus during National Pride Month.
“This is all in keeping with Toyota’s commitment to engage with the communities in which we operate,” says Smith. “Hopefully the momentum we’ve built this month will continue throughout the year.”
Want to learn more about Spectrum? The group’s page on My Toolbox is a great place to start.
By Dan Miller