Pride: statement from Sanj Srikanthan

15 June 2021

Statement - 15 June 2021

A message from Sanj Srikanthan

June is LGBT+ Pride Month. It is a festival of rainbows, colour and people which celebrates the role of LGBT+ people in our societies – our friends, partners, colleagues and our families.

“It is a celebration of how far the world has come and also an important reflection on how far we still have to go, and the actions expected of us all to create a world that is inclusive and welcoming of LGBT+ people. At ShelterBox, we put families first, and we don’t seek to hold to one definition of what a family is. But the reality is that while there are calls from businesses, civil society, political leaders and faith groups to recognise and remove discrimination, the everyday treatment of many LGBT+ remains unacceptable and often unknown.

In some of the countries where we work and will work, there remains a form of discrimination institutionalised in law. Humanitarians around the world often hide their sexual orientation or identity to be allowed to continue to work.

It is a reminder to us here at Shelterbox that Pride Month has grown out of a struggle of human rights, a humanitarian campaign for change. As we consider our roles in the positive changes in the world around us, it’s our opportunity to learn more about ourselves and how we can champion others.

ShelterBox is committed to supporting LBGT+ staff, volunteers and ultimately those in the countries we support too. We are at the start of this journey, and we recognise that we have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that everyone we work, or volunteer, with feels not that they are included but that they belong.

The team at ShelterBox have a range of activity planned. We started LGBT+ Pride Month with UK ShelterBox Book Club members voting to read Mr Loverman, by Bernardine Evaristo. Our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, Tony Malone, will be delivering a Facebook Live session at 14:30pm on Tuesday 14th June, asking, ‘what is a family?’ We will be changing our logo too in celebration of our friends and family at ShelterBox – and we will change it again when we attend Cornwall Pride at the end of August too.

We are also striving for continual progress, and we will make sure our support does not end when June is over. Throughout the next year we will be providing opportunities to learn and sector wide discussions on inclusive change.”

Contact the ShelterBox Media Team

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