06.30.22 | Culture
Our growing network of Business Resource Groups cultivate an inclusive company culture where employees are empowered to bring their truest selves to work every day. During Pride Month, we are reminded that true allyship requires collective action year-round on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community.
We caught up with Christopher DeCosmo (he/him) and Marah Calvo (she/her/ella), the co-leads for our Stellar Pride BRG, who reflected on the path to progress and Constellation’s position as a positive force in the beverage alcohol industry. They also gave a sneak peek of upcoming programming! Read more of their perspectives below.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Christopher: Pride is a time to celebrate and commemorate the LGBTQIA+ community and how they’ve always been interwoven in our society to its benefit. It’s also a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the work yet to be done.
Marah: To me, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and to be proud of who we are. I am thankful to be around a people who are supportive and truly accept me for who I am. It is also a time to reflect and give thanks to the generations before mine that fought so hard for our rights. After all, this is the reason why we have made the progress we’ve made.
How is Constellation Brands commemorating Pride Month?
Christopher: We kicked off Pride Month with a global event that featured an engaging panel discussion with LGBTQIA+ small-business owners. Working with AASCEND (our African American BRG), we also hosted an event on Juneteenth to highlight the interconnected nature of civil rights for BIPOC folks in America and the LGBTQIA+ community.
What role does allyship play during Pride Month and beyond?
Christopher: Allyship can’t just be for Pride. It must be 24/7/365. We must stand by and stand up for our queer friends and family.
Marah: Allyship is very important because it helps create the space for the LGBTQIA+ community to be our authentic selves. The great thing is that anyone can be an ally! Without allies to the LGBTQIA+ community, we cannot make progress and keep changing things to be better for future generations.
What is coming up for the Stellar Pride BRG in 2022?
Marah: Stellar Pride is partnering with our Corporate Intern Program to host Pride Night at the Rochester Red Wings’ baseball field. We will be closing out Pride Month with our partners in ¡Salud! (our Hispanic/Latinx BRG) to put on a member-only virtual Lotería event hosted by the incredible drag queen Cholula Lemon. We are also starting to plan for National Coming Out Day on Tuesday, October 11.
What DE&I project are you most proud of implementing or working on?
Christopher: My dream project is Stellar Pride championing employees who feel comfortable to self-identify their sexual orientation and gender identity, as part of our Self Identification program. As our workforce provides these details and the project continues, it’s important to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our colleagues and to better impact our DE&I objectives. This project is helping to improve equity and programming across Constellation Brands.
Marah: I’m proud of our work to encourage all my colleagues to add their preferred pronouns in their email signature. Although it may seem like something small, it does help create awareness and a more welcoming environment, especially in the workplace. Personally, I am working on saying “them” when I introduce myself to people for the first time. Changes like this add up!