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Darden Celebrates Pride Month

June 05, 2014

By: Nicholas Leon, Co-Chair, Development Committee, Pride Alliance Employee Resource Group

Darden Celebrates Pride Month

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Pride Alliance is hosting our “June Pride Month” at the Restaurant Support Center (RSC) for the fourth consecutive year.  Each year, it keeps getting bigger and better! This year's festivities will kick off on June 12 with our Dessert Extravaganza, where more than 20 local LGBT organizations and allies will provide our employees with resources and opportunities to connect and engage with the community.  This will include non-profit organizations and LGBT-owned business leaders, such as the Zebra Coalitionthe CenterHope and HelpPFLAG and many more! We will be providing delicious desserts like cake pops and jelly beans, along with refreshments and a chance to win some great raffle prizes. A new and exciting event we added is the Orlando Gay Chorus performing during lunch.  We will also be asking volunteers to participate in our Human Pride Flag photo.  Employees will be asked to wear t-shirts that correspond with the colors of the rainbow. We will take an aerial view photo of them all aligned in the formation of the pride flag.

During June 9-13, we will be exhibiting part of the LGBT History Display, brought to us by the LGBT History Museum of Central Florida. Their mission is to preserve and exhibit the histories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of Central Florida. Another new event, The Amazing Race, will be held on June 19. Contestants will be asked to sign up in teams of five. Each team will be challenged to find specific locations throughout the Restaurant Support Center using a special map with clues. At each location, teams will be asked to answer a question or solve a riddle pertaining to the LGBT community. This event is designed to help educate our employees about our shared LGBT history. The first team to the finish line after identifying all six locations and completing each objective will win a prize!

We will close our June Pride month with an off-site networking event courtesy of Darden and the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) of Orlando. The MBA is Central Florida’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which was formed in 1992 and includes more than 300 active business members. This will serve as an opportunity for Darden colleagues and members to network with local LGBT MBA members and allies around the Central Florida Community.

Our goal with all these events is to promote diversity and inclusion and make each year's pride month even more successful than the last. I am proud to be a part of this great month of events and look forward to continuing to make Darden a great place to work for ALL our employees.

Pictured: Darden Restaurants’ Pride Alliance Employee Resource Group is holding their Dessert Extravaganza for the fourth consecutive year.

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