Why I’m proud to work at Foursquare

A look back at how Foursquare celebrated PRIDE month 2019

Alyssa Smith Unsplash

Pride – /prīd/ – noun
a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

It’s safe to say that we’ve all felt pride at some point in our lives. That inexplicable warm-fuzzy feeling radiating from the middle of your chest. Perhaps after receiving congratulations on a job well done, or a bit of self satisfaction after achieving a personal goal. As the Pride 2019 lead of FOURSQUEER (Foursquare’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group) our team set out to ensure that during the month of June everyone in our company got a glimpse of that special feeling.

In light of the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Uprising, and with World Pride coming to NYC, we knew this couldn’t be just any ordinary pride celebration. After multiple meetings and brainstorm sessions we decided to change things up this year, and really take the term “pride month” to heart. We wanted to go beyond simply turning our logo rainbow colored or throwing a party. Rather, we strived to achieve a month long celebration across all of our offices, putting a bright rainbow spotlight on various aspects of the LGBTQIA+ community. The incredible achievements they’ve made, the battles that are still being fought, raising money and awareness for organizations fighting for the rights and well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community, and most importantly, bringing lived equality and visibility to the forefront of our programming.

We started off the month with a special limited edition Foursquare Rainbow Swag fundraiser. Beyond giving our LGBTQIA+ employees and allies the opportunity to flaunt their pride both in and out of the office, we also provided employees with an opportunity to give back to the community. All proceeds went to our friends at the Family Equality Council (FEC), A NYC based non-profit organization whose mission is to “advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families and those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.”

Our largest event was a Tech Centric LGBTQIA+ Rooftop Happy Hour featuring a “YAAAS” worthy performance by NYC’s elite drag queen Brita Filter

Our largest event was a Tech Centric LGBTQIA+ Rooftop Happy Hour featuring a “YAAAS” worthy performance by NYC’s elite drag queen Brita Filter and specialty cocktails generously sponsored by Ketel One Vodka. With more than 275 guests from various neighbors in the tech space, we were certainly loud and proud! We also raised money for the Trevor Project, an American non-profit organization focused on mental health and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQI+ youth, through employee donations.

To close out the month we hosted an intimate fireside chat with the CEO of the FEC, Stan J. Sloan. Barely skimming the surface of Stan’s vast knowledge and experience, we discussed the history of both successful and failed legislation impacting the LGBTQIA+ community, emphasizing the point that lived equality is still a reality we’re yet to achieve. Highlighting two major projects that the FEC is currently bringing to the table “Every Child Deserves a Family” as well as “Surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology,” the hope was to shine a light on two deeply rooted discriminatory issues for LGBTQIA+ families and aspiring families in America.

While the fight for true equality is far from over, this month is all about celebrating the impact that the LGBTQIA+ community has had on the world and all who inhabit it. This year I’m particularly proud of the team that helped to organize these events, I’m proud of Foursquare for truly understanding the need for diversity and inclusion and for celebrating the diversity within its team, and I’m proud to be an openly gay man who strives to inspire change and acceptance within this crazy world. One heart at a time.

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