Celebrating Pride and Diversity at SHL through Artistic Expression
How the SHL community encourages everyone to bring their authentic selves to work by supporting the LGBTQ+ community and the ‘Queer Art’ initiative.
I think that’s kind of indicative of a type of self-confidence that people develop when they recognize their own ability to create.” – Kehinde Wiley
The path to equality continues to be fraught for anyone who does not conform to society’s perception of ‘normal’. One example of this is the struggle of the LGBTQ+ community, who continue their battle for equal rights. This community still faces significant challenges in many areas of life, including (to name but a few examples) employment discrimination, hate crime, and marriage inequality.
At SHL we are proud of our culturally diverse workforce, and we strive to create a supportive and equal-opportunity environment for our employees. In support of our LGBTQ+ community, we are building on International Pride Month by hosting our first-ever Employee Art Competition.
Taking inspiration from London Pride’s program ‘FIFTY-TWO’, which is celebrating queer art and shining a spotlight on the work of LGBTQ+ artists, SHL is encouraging its employees to unleash their creative flair and create a visionary masterpiece (or two). Using any medium, entrants are invited to submit a piece of art expressing diversity in all its forms, as seen through their own personal lens.
The competition opened on Monday, June 1st, and will run until Tuesday, July 21st. A representative panel from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion group will then choose first, second, and third place winners; the winning artworks will be shared internally and via SHL’s social media feeds.
Additionally, a silent auction will be held, where employees will have the opportunity to bid for their favorite pieces. All proceeds will be donated to charities chosen by the winners.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
As the world continues to evolve, so must we as individuals. Part of this evolution is to open up our minds to ideas and concepts which may challenge our current thought processes, however difficult this can be. In essence, as we embark on this journey of change, we must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Dignity and respect are basic human rights, and it is now more important than ever to not only educate ourselves but also to share our learning with generations to come. Two insightful and informative articles are First Pride Parade: History & Evolution and How To Be An Ally.
Below are three of the entries we have received thus far: