IKEA launches Pride 2020 initiative
BURLINGTON, Ontario – IKEA Canada believes creating a welcoming, safe and accepting environment is part of its vision as a company and that includes LGBT+ people from coast to coast. Though Pride celebrations will look and feel different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s second largest furniture and home furnishings retailer remains committed to supporting country-wide efforts to bring the feeling of home – safety, support, understanding and love – to as many people as possible.
“Home should be a place where everyone has the safety and freedom to be who they are,” IKEA Canada chief executive and sustainability officer Michael Ward said in a statement. “An unwavering belief in equality is at the heart of everything we do, and we will always stand up for the rights of LGBT+ people to feel safe, welcomed, and accepted in every corner of our society.”
This year, IKEA Canada will support of LGBT+ organizations across the country, contributing to outreach programs, peer-to-peer support, youth programming, and virtual Pride celebrations.
In honour of Pride 2020, IKEA is launching two limited edition STORSTOMMA bags in the colours of the rainbow flag. The proceeds of each bag will go to the Ottawa-headquartered Pflag Canada, this country’s only national organization offering peer-to-peer support to all Canadians – especially within the LGBT+ community – with sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
At a time when many LGBT+ Canadians may be cut off from networks of in-person support which often serve as a home away from home, Ward said IKEA is proud to support Pflag Canada’s efforts to build a welcoming country that feels like home for everybody. This donation will help the organization expand its network of chapters, address an increase in demand, and develop resources to support the creation of safer spaces nationwide.
“Pflag Canada is thrilled to once again be working with IKEA Canada to support our chapters across Canada. Funding and recognition from last year’s Pride initiative went a long way towards amplifying our organization's mission and supporting our chapters' needs. This year, we wholeheartedly embrace IKEA’s support, as many of our communities are experiencing heightened anxiety and stress due to COVID-19. IKEA’s support behind our organization will allow for us to continue to reach out to those in need and offer remote peer-to-peer support meetings," said Omid Razavi, Pflag Canada director of communications.
IKEA Canada is committed to an inclusive and accepting environment for all customers and co-workers and is also supporting the following Pride initiatives this year:
- For the third year, the company raised the Pride flag in front of all 14 of its stores across the country in recognition of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia;
- It is once again a sponsoring Pride Toronto, participating in the virtual parade and events, and furnishing a studio space for the community. The retailer will also look to support additional local events as plans are finalized; and,
- It is partnering with organizations like Pride at Work and Workplace Pride to create a fully inclusive work environment where collective diversity allows for important conversations from an intersectional perspective, recognizing unique life experiences.
“Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our culture and values, and our co-workers’ commitment and passion for Pride is truly inspiring,” said Sonia Sangha, IKEA Canada leader of equality, diversity and inclusion. “We believe everyone has the right to be treated justly, whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we work every day to make this a reality at IKEA.”
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