Employees share their story of being 2SGLBTQ+ or allies with their art work
Amazon Canada in partnership with Pride Toronto, art curator Marcos Mena Cruz, president of Oleos & Canvas and Alay Fuentes Bejerano, hosted the #ProudToBe art competition to kick off Pride 2023 celebrations. Amazonians participated by showcasing how they are #ProudToBe their most authentic self at work through visual art, culminating with 12 finalists’ artwork being featured in an art exhibit on June 15th and on the Amazon Canada Pride Parade float in Toronto on June 24th.
ProudToBe is a celebration of individuality, authentic expression, and a recognition of the work made by those who came before us. This year’s theme highlights the many ways Pride allows us to embrace our identity, break free from societal expectations and norms, find community, and discover our most authentic means of self-expression.
The two winners, Adam Dwyer and Caixin Fan of the competition will each receive a trip for two to any Pride festival weekend in Canada, inclusive of flight and hotel. Their artwork will also be promoted on a digital screen in Canada in Toronto’s iconic Yonge-Dundas.
Adam, when asked about his art and working at Amazon said, “This piece expresses how I feel when I am trying to pick just one of the 2SLGBTQ+ to identify as at Amazon. Amazon welcomes ALL people – no matter colour, race, sexual orientation, ethnic background. None of that matters and the mix of culture everyone brings makes me feel very comfortable being my queer self at Amazon.”
Caixin, also told us, “Amazon actively works to provide employees opportunities for growth and development. It creates a challenging environment that allows me to develop skills that supports my personal growth. These skills are lifelong skills that I can use at Amazon and in the future.”
In addition to this, Amazon Canada and Glamazon, and employee resource group which assists 2SGLBTQ+ employees during their career at Amazon, will be donating $5,000 to OCAD University to continue nurturing upcoming 2SLGBTQ+ students and talent and $5,000 to The 519 to support their work with Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ community.
“We are very grateful to Amazon for their support of our 2SLGTBQIA+ Drop-in Program, which provides vital student community-development opportunities that support thriving on campus. Their generous support will be used to facilitate opportunities to co-design a broader program with our students and will help us develop new community partnerships to enhance student support and experience,” said Sarah Mulholland, Manager, Student Communications and Campus Community at OCAD University.
Sherwin Modeste the Executive Director of Pride Toronto, gave great accolades to Amazon for its holistic approach to celebrating Pride 2023 with its employees and wider community. He recounted the impact of the volunteer work by Amazon employees who packed over 6000 care packages last month for Pride’s Community Connect program. The program aims to bring Pride celebrations to queer communities outside of the Downtown core. “The partnership between Pride Toronto and Amazon is an opportunity not just for Pride Toronto to receive financial contribution, but it also provides an opportunity for Amazon to make meaningful contributions to the 2SLGBTQI+ communities in areas like employment, skill development, fostering community connection and so on,” he said, “The financial contribution to Pride Toronto allows us to be able deliver on our mandate, not just during Festival Weekend but year-round. We thank Amazon for this year’s sponsorship, and we are looking forward to continuing to build this relationship.”