Joyous moments included "Dancing in the Streets" of NYC
TD Bank's General Counsel Ellen Glaessner knew her first time at the WorldPride Parade would be a " wow, legendary experience with New York City" the moment she arrived.
"We gathered at noon wearing our Forever Proud TD T-shirts," she said. " It took nearly four hours to just get started! People mingled and chatted, watched balloons float away, listened to the buzz of security helicopters overhead, and waved to people passing by. Finally, we started walking, and it was worth the wait."
TD colleagues joined 150,000 participants in the New York City parade on Sunday, June 30, which drew an estimated crowd of 3 million according to city officials. Ellen's son, who was participating in his first TD event, noted how well organized it was for such a big crowd.
The parade capped off TD's events in New York City for WorldPride 2019 that included a three-day Diversity & Inclusion Summit. TD was a Platinum Sponsor for the first WorldPride held on US soil, which was particularly appropriate this year as it was also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, a seminal event for LGBTQ2+ rights.
"Parade goers loved the TD crowd – we handed out TD rainbow flags and whistles," Ellen said. " We made some serious noise with those whistles! At one point, DJ Mike played Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and EVERYONE was singing along and dancing – on both sides of the street, from rooftops, fire escapes, and windows of apartments up above, plus all the TD'ers."
TD colleagues from many areas participated in WorldPride Events
But it wasn't just the Big Apple that celebrated WorldPride. TD colleagues from offices located around the US will be participating in 31 events in 2019 from April to November.
Here are impressions from TD colleagues who participated in WorldPride events.
"It was such an amazing experience marching with TD in the Boston Pride parade. The music, the crowds, the energy, and of course 100+ other people proudly wearing our iconic TD Forever Proud t-shirts – it all created such a feeling of inclusivity and belonging. I'm so happy that I was able to participate in this amazing event alongside my friends and colleagues, and so extremely proud to represent TD and showcase our support of the LGBTQ2+ community." – Winson Wang, Associate, Corporate Banking and Lead, LGBTQ2+ Business Resource Group (BRG)- Southern New England, Boston
"I'm always taken by the folks in the crowd who wave their TD Debit Cards as we pass. I loved seeing the energy in the crowd, the T-shirts, the outfits, the signs, the Pride – people dancing on their balconies! Plus, there were rainbows everywhere I went during my six days in NYC!" - Jan Wilkinson, Business Process Analyst, Falmouth ME
"The most poignant moment was when parade route was diverted into the narrow streets of Greenwich Village for a few blocks, sending us along Christopher Street to pay homage to Stonewall Inn. Our community has experienced so much positive change within the past 50 years and this is definitely a cause for celebration. However, we must also remember that a weekend like this would still not be welcome in many parts of the US and in many countries around the world. Yes, there is still more work to be done as we must keep working toward full equality for all!" - Rupert Hon, Regional Manager, LGBTQ2+ Business Development, Toronto
"It was an awesome day to be part of the TD Family! For me the day was extra special sharing it with my daughter and wife. We walked to show support for Diversity & Inclusion! It was fun spending time with coworkers at an event that has so much meaning. We can’t wait until next year!" - Alan Nossen, NY Retail Market President
"The Diversity & Inclusion Summit was by far the best event I have ever attended in my 10 years at TD. From the moment we arrived it was such a pleasure to spend time with such a diverse group from all areas of TD and so many different geographical areas. I hope everyone that attended continues to ride this momentum and make as much of an impact as possible." – Amanda Salovitch, Relationship Manager, BRG Lead for LGBTQ2+ for Northern New England, and Upstate New York Auburn, ME
"This year’s World Pride theme was a million moments of pride. The TD Diversity & Inclusion Summit brought a diverse group of individuals from all TD business lines. I personally left with a million reason on why I am fortunate to work for an amazing organization." – Carlos Parada, Store Manager, Hartford, CT
"The TD Diversity & Inclusion Summit was filled with highs and lows – one minute you are holding back tears listening to real stories from colleagues and people from our communities. And that very same day you were feeling proud of who YOU are and what we can accomplish together." - Don McAlarnen , Senior Manager, Retail Creative Services, Mount Laurel, NJ
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