CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is marking Pride month with community engagement, education and other supports for the LGTBQ+ community. It’s part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that helps us address health and economic inequities in the communities we serve, the products and services we offer and the support we provide local organizations and providers making a meaningful impact.
June 18-20, our headquarters building will display “PRIDE” and feature rainbow accent lights, visible across Chicago’s Millennium Park.
June 28, BCBSIL ’s Blue Door Neighborhood Center® (BDNC) locations are hosting a virtual webinar, “Pride Month: The Fight Continues”, from noon until 1pm. This community discussion features BCBSIL’s Pride Alliance – an HCSC business resource group - and the Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
June 29, the Blue Door Neighborhood Centers are joining with Above & Beyond for “Taking Pride: Mental Health within the LGBTQ+ Community”. This virtual discussion will examine the relationship between stress, mental health and substance use disorders within the LGBTQ+ community.
Additionally, our employee volunteerism program, Blue Corps, has curated opportunities for employees to support Pride-month activities such as a Pride Month Senior Food and Greeting Card Drive with the Center on Halsted and Pride Month Tie-Dye project with Ignite.
June is recognized as Pride month in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, a series of demonstrations by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning community.
“PRIDE month activities are a great way to demonstrate our supports for LGTBQ+ communities, but PRIDE is more than a month,” said Krishna Ramachandran, vice president, provider performance for BCBSIL. “Year-round we support our employees, our members and our families and work to ensure we are promoting a culture of commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.”
Through our grant and sponsorship programs, BCBSIL has provided nearly $750,000 in funding over the last 10 years to organizations focused on supporting LGBTQ+ communities and causes, including: Springfield PrideFest, AIDS Foundation Run & Walk Chicago, Peoria Proud’s River City Pride Fest and Howard Brown Health Center’s 63rd Street location, serving Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
Our Business Resource Group, Pride Alliance, is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allies group that fosters diversity through educational seminars, an open membership policy, networking, mentoring, community outreach efforts and employee cultural awareness activities. In addition to partnering on the June 28th BDNC webinar with the Blue Door Neighborhood Center, Pride Alliance is hosting a series of educational employee seminars this month on topics such as Transgender Programs and Resources, LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Healthcare as well as a webinar sponsored by Diversity Best Practices, one of BCBSIL’s diversity and inclusion partners.
BCBSIL has been a longtime sponsor and participant in Chicago’s annual PRIDE parade, usually held in June. This year, the parade has been postponed until October – giving our employees another opportunity to celebrate PRIDE and honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals in their fight for equality.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.