This year is the 45th anniversary of the San Francisco Pride Parade. For 45 years, people of the Bay Area have been gathering to celebrate diversity. The 2015 San Francisco Pride theme is, "Equality Without Exception". Over 100,000 people are expected to attend this event.
SunPower is already known for producing the highest efficiency silicon solar cells in the world with using our motto: win together. This year, we’re taking this idea a step further, truly celebrating all people in our community by marching in the parade. We invite all SunPower employees and their families to walk together in support.
When I first started talking about the possibility of SunPower employees marching in the parade at the office, I have received positive feedback across the board. It turns out that this is something many of us have wanted to do in years past. Everyone has been really supportive. I think we are doing the parade this year because the need is there. We need to communicate to all of our employees that the SunPower community supports them and their families.
SunPower will enjoy significant visibility by marching in the parade. The first time I saw a pride parade, I remember spectators getting an immediate feeling of positive support about every company marching for equality. I remember seeing Intel® in the Portland parade years ago and thinking, “What a great company; they really care about our community.” This is a message we want to show to our customers; SunPower isn’t just good at making solar modules, they’re good in general. We’re not just a solar module company, we’re a part of the community. Participating in the parade sets us apart from other companies who aren’t there. We support diversity.
The SunPower contingent is enrolled in the parade as “The LGBTQA+ Employees of SunPower.” The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, ally, and more. This means that everyone is included. Allies are very important to the LGBTQ community and regularly make a huge difference. As Macklemore put it, “we may not be the same, but that’s not important, no freedom ‘til we’re equal.”
So far, we've heard from about forty people in the SunPower community who are interested in the parade. We’re hoping that by the time June 28th rolls around, we'll have twice that many show up. The intent is to continue our participation as an annual event, a gesture that will have positive impacts on our community all year.
The goal is for this parade event to strengthen our community. Everyone has the right to feel connected to their community, and SunPower is part of that community. Participating in this parade sends a statement to all of our employees that it is okay to be who we are. Our diversity and inclusion enhances our ability to solve challenges and win together.
How to cheer us on at the SF Pride Parade
The Parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 28 at Market & Beale and ends at Market & 8th Street in downtown San Francisco. The parade route is about one mile long and takes about an hour to walk. SunPower will have one vehicle driving the route for those who can't walk the mile but still want to show support.
What is a Parade Contingent? A Parade contingent is fundamentally about representing a cause, message, or belief in front of a diverse audience of Parade-goers. Parade contingents generally organize their contingent’s look around some central theme: celebrating self, celebrating diversity, standing against LGBT discrimination, speaking out for one’s ideals, honoring LGBT history, recognizing friends and allies, or standing for a loved one lost.