Keeping Pride 2020 in Focus

By Hanna Johnson
Jun 26, 2020 12:00 PM ET
Blog

General Mills’ support and allyship for our LGBTQ+ employees and the broader community is unwavering. 

That’s why our Pride planning teams were committed to finding creative ways to celebrate Pride this year amidst social distancing, while ensuring we were able to fully focus on allyship for our Black community in light of the George Floyd tragedy and fight for racial justice. 

“It’s been such a heavy time and being able to celebrate Pride with colleagues and honor its history by remembering the Stonewall Riots that were sparked by a Black transgender woman in response to police brutality and discrimination is extremely important,” says Molly Sjostrom, global inclusion manager. “It speaks to intersectionality and the need for allyship within and across our marginalized communities to drive real change.”

Last year, General Mills made history as we were among the first Minnesota companies to fly the rainbow flag at our World Headquarters. 

This year, we raised the Progress Pride Flag, which incorporates the Transgender Flag as well as Black and Brown stripes, to show our solidarity and support for Black Lives Matter and marginalized communities of color. 

“Raising the Pride flag is a way for General Mills to loudly and proudly say to their employees, and the world – I see you, I stand with you and I will fight for you – and that means the world to me,” adds Kaylee Pohlmeyer, brand experience manager and president of Betty’s Family. 

In addition to raising the Progress Pride Flag, Betty’s Family, General Mills’ LGBTQ+ employee network group, invited employees near our World Headquarters to participate in our first-ever car parade to celebrate together and see the flag waving proudly. 

More than 100 cars full of employees, their families and furry friends arrived on campus on June 22, each receiving a swag bag to help decorate their cars and show their Pride.

“When we began to work from home, it became clear that Pride was going to have to look different this year,” says David Bloom, CFD specialist and incoming vice president of Betty’s Family. “The Pride Ride combines the power of a traditional Pride march and social distancing into a truly unique and creative way to celebrate. I am glad we can still be together this year. Not shoulder to shoulder, but bumper to bumper. I will take it!” 

Not only did our flag raising ceremony look different this year, our employees are finding their own unique ways to celebrate Pride month. 

“Pride looks a bit different for me this year,” says Pohlmeyer. “It is full of more reflection, more conversations and less celebration in the usual sense of the word than in years past. But, it is still so important to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and what makes us unique.” 

See a video highlight of our Pride celebrations, including a special word from our Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening.