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Washington, D.C. – May 7, 2019 – UFCW OUTreach, a constituency group dedicated to building mutual support between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community and our union, recently held its annual awards gala to celebrate UFCW activists who have championed LGBTQ+ rights in their workplaces, organizations, and communities.
Over 100 UFCW leaders, members, and allies attended the April 12 event, where UFCW International President Marc Perrone was honoured with the prestigious Champion of Equality award. President Perrone received the award for his unwavering support of OUTreach initiatives since being elected as UFCW’s international leader in 2013. He was also recognized for his work in advancing transgender benefits and promoting the negotiation of non-discrimination clauses in UFCW collective agreements.
In addition to recognizing President Perrone’s outstanding work on LGBTQ+ rights, the gala honoured UFCW Canada national partner and OUTreach ally Helen Kennedy of the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. With Helen’s support, UFCW Canada Local Unions have advanced their LGBTQ+ work among the membership in UFCW bargaining units across the country. Helen’s unique perspective in understanding the importance of labour’s voice in driving social and cultural change in society has helped forge a longstanding friendship between UFCW Canada and Egale and has also spawned a new initiative aimed at providing LGBTQ+ youth with employment opportunities in UFCW-represented retail stores.
Other notable recipients who were celebrated for their commitment to LGBTQ+ justice included the UFCW Canada Local 1006A OUTreach Chapter, the UFCW Translatina Coalition, and Johnny Rodriguez of UFCW Local 540.
A primary purpose of the gala was to raise funds to support OUTreach initiatives that strengthen UFCW’s relationship with LGBTQ+ members and their communities. Accordingly, UFCW Canada’s National Office and Local Unions raised a total of $33,500 in support of the fundraiser. Together with the UFCW International Union and Local Unions in the U.S., over $100,000 was raised to advance UFCW OUTreach initiatives across North America.
The gala was the one of many OUTreach events planned for 2019. This summer, the constituency group will be heading to Vancouver, B.C to take part in the city’s Pride parade, and later in the year OUTreach will be conducting its fall executive board meeting. To learn more about UFCW OUTreach and its ground-breaking work to support LGBTQ+ rights, visit the OUTreach website.