The Rainbow Railroad
More people today are living as refugees or displaced persons than at any time since the end of World War II1 and many of those seeking asylum are from the LGBTQ2+ community. In more than 70 countries around the world LGBTQ2+ people are facing extreme violence and persecution.2 They are looking for hope and a safe place to call home.
We are proud to support Rainbow Railroad, an international organization committed to providing emergency travel support for people who need safe passage from state-enabled violence, murder, or persecution in their country. Since 2006, the organization has been able to help over 600 people around the world, including regions where there have been significant increases in anti-gay violence and persecution.
The title of the program pays homage to the Underground Railroad, reflecting its mission to help people find a path to safety. Through our philanthropic dollars we are able to help Canadian and American families provide safe refuge for those coming through the Railroad when they start a new life in Canada or the United States.
Organizations like Rainbow Railroad are making a positive difference in the world. In 2018, they helped 25 transgender individuals to safety.
In 2018, we also celebrated Pride with over 1,500 employees in Canada and the United States. We even created a few firsts together to be truly inclusive of all attending the festival: in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, we had an ASL interpreter on the TD float and it was the first time a bank had a Drag King accompany the Queen on its float during the parade. In 2018, we supported 83 Pride festivals across Canada and the United States, and more than 160 LGBTQ2+ organizations and initiatives. We also supported the True Colors Conference, the largest gathering for LGBTQ2+ youths in the United States. Over, 3,000 young adults, middle and high school students, attended the two-day event. In its 25-year history, the conference has become a safe place for youth to come together, connect, and inspire. TD’s contribution helped bring over 1,000 students to the event this year.
For more stories like this, read TD's 2018 report on The Ready Commitment.
1United Nations Refugee Agency 2017 Report and National Broadcast Agency: https://www.npr.org/2017/06/20/533698511/more-people-living-as-refugees-now-than-anytime-sincewwii-new-u-n-reports-says