Saturday, February 24, 2024

Inclusivity in Action: Starship Technologies Proudly in LA | Written by Reed Zura | Starship Technologies

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At Starship Technologies, inclusion and diversity are more than just words. They are deeply ingrained in our values. This year, we embrace these values ​​and are excited to announce our participation in the historic and world-famous LA Pride Parade.

For the first time, our team and Starship robots will proudly march in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. This demonstrates our unwavering support and commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment where all employees can grow into their full selves.

We aim to make a big statement at LA Pride as our Starship robot takes to the vibrant and vibrant streets of Los Angeles. This important opportunity aligns perfectly with our recently launched core values. “We love that you’re different, and that’s what makes us unique.” By participating in the Pride Parade, we only embody this core value. We reaffirm our dedication to fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone feels empowered to be their authentic selves.

We hand-picked three outstanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Ambassadors to lead our participation in this iconic event. These prominent people provide valuable insight into what Pride means to them personally and why they are passionate about marching alongside the LGBTQ+ community.

Through their thoughtful responses, we will gain a deeper understanding of our common motivations and the deeper meaning of Starship’s presence at Pride parades. We invite you to join us as we celebrate diversity, embrace inclusion, and demonstrate our commitment to building a more just and inclusive world.

Meet Quyen Huynh (she/her), US Human Resources Manager.

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • I choose to march in the Pride Parade every year to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community, voices, and history.

2. Why is it important for you to participate in this event?

  • Representation is important. As a first-generation student and child of immigrant parents, I decided to push myself further into the minority group by identifying as lesbian and marrying a deaf wife. When I first started coming out of the closet, it went through a lot for me. Please travel (even if it doesn’t work)! All kidding aside, my story seemed so far removed from other stories that I honestly felt scared and at times overwhelmed that I couldn’t empathize with three of my gay friends from high school. That was until I attended my first Seattle Pride Parade in 2012. The Seattle Pride Parade was a place where I met and connected with many Asian Americans who shared the same struggles as me (coming out to my parents, being shunned by my family). and kicked out of the house, and the list goes on). So that was my coming out story, caught between two parentheses. Sure, it might not make sense to most people, but it made sense to us. Thanks to Pride, I was able to find a home I never knew existed. Pride also gave me a voice. It’s important to me (and my wife) to use the voices we have, to express our true selves, and to support the generations of queers and baby gays who are still discovering their sexuality. To restore the rights and freedoms that were and are still denied to us. voice. Visibility is very important, which is why our participation in the Pride March is important.

3. What does it mean to you that Starship has given you the opportunity to lead this event?

  • It was an honor to march with Starship at Pride. As a leader, I want to shine a spotlight on civil rights issues. At the same time, we hope to bring together all kinds of amazing star shippers from all walks of life and have the opportunity to celebrate who we really are at this event.

4. What does Pride symbolize to you?

  • Pride is a symbol of love and acceptance, giving people freedom of identity and expression, and promoting equality, visibility and justice.
Quen and his wife Amy pose for photos in white wedding dresses after their elopement in the Northern Cascades
“08/18/2021 — Love wins! Amy and I are doing our best as we chase the sunset in the mountains. Elopement in the North Cascades.”

Meet Elda Velazquez Martinez (she/her), US Support Manager.

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • People who left because of their past and the violence they suffered for being who they were.

2. Why is it important for you to participate in this event?

  • I can change society, we are all entitled to the same rights and respect

3. What does it mean to you that Starship has given you the opportunity to lead this event?

  • I feel it’s important to make this movement visible and represent companies that support diversity and inclusion.

4. What does Pride symbolize to you?

  • Boldly accepting who you really are and being unapologetic about who you are. It symbolizes being satisfied with one’s identity and seeking acceptance from others.
Elda smiles in front of LA's public art
Elda has many adventures!

Meet Global Social Media Specialist Reed Zula (he/him).

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • I am joining Starship in the Pride Parade to celebrate and embrace my own identity while elevating the voices of those in the LGBTQ+ community around the world. Pride parades are powerful platforms for awareness, acceptance, and solidarity. This is an opportunity for me to express my pride in who I am, while also advocating for equality and rights for LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.

2. Why is it important for you to participate in this event?

  • The only Pride event I’ve ever been to was last year’s New York City Pride Parade. For the first time in my life, I felt what it meant to be part of a larger community that shared similar experiences, challenges, and aspirations. By just being who I am, I was able to connect with others who have been through a series of challenges and celebrate the resilience we all share. Secondly, I am honored to be a part of this event. We live in a world where queer voices are still silenced or ignored. Although I am participating for those who are unable to attend, I believe that participating in Pride parades increases awareness and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and contributes to the ongoing fight for equality and social progress. .

3. What does it mean to you that Starship has given you the opportunity to lead this event?

  • March with your colleagues and represent your company to send a powerful message of inclusion and support. This shows that my workplace values ​​diversity and accepts employees for who they are, regardless of sexual orientation. It is a great honor to be chosen to lead this event. This shows me that my company not only values ​​me as an employee, but also recognizes the importance of LGBTQ+ representation and allies. This means the company is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment where employees can be themselves and bring their whole selves to work. Assigning this responsibility makes me feel empowered and respected and strengthens my sense of belonging within the organization.

4. What does Pride symbolize to you?

  • For me, Pride is a celebration of authenticity, resilience, and progress. It symbolizes the freedom to love and express yourself without fear or shame. Pride reminds us of the struggles and sacrifices of our predecessors who fought for LGBTQ+ rights and paved the way for greater acceptance and equality. But it’s also a call to action: we’re not done yet. It also represents a call to action, urging us all to continue working towards a future where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. .
Reed holds a palm-sized Pride flag at New York's first Pride in 2022.
Reed attended his first Pride at the 2022 New York City Pride Parade!

As we eagerly prepare to march at LA Pride, we are filled with joy, purpose, and a sense of unity. This milestone moment for Starship Technologies symbolizes our unwavering commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion.

Through the voices of our DEI Ambassadors, we gain valuable insight into what Pride means to them personally, and their passion for this event is contagious. Their stories and perspectives have deepened our understanding of the importance of Pride and the importance of standing in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

As we take this bold step, please join us in celebrating diversity, embracing inclusivity, and advocating for a world where all individuals are accepted for who they are. Together, let’s create a future where love, respect and acceptance have no boundaries.

We are very proud to be participating in the LA Pride Parade for the first time ever. We also hope that our presence will be a beacon of hope, inspiring others to champion diversity and build workplaces and communities where everyone can thrive.

The journey has just begun. Together, we will continue to foster a world where differences are respected and love triumphs over prejudice.

Starship is honored to be a part of the Pride Parade and looks forward to sharing this amazing experience with you. Let’s make history together and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.

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