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An O.P.E.N. Letter #forallfamilies during Pride Month

By: Caleb Kearney, IT Process Specialist and Chair of Our Pride Employee Network (OPEN) at Campbell’s World Headquarters

Dear friends—

Who’s in your family? Two dads, two moms, a mom and a dad, a single mom or dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, lots of kids, no kids? Today’s families come in every color, size and orientation, and they’re not always biological.

PrideMonth_CalebFamily_Campbells

My family: Me (third from left) and my partner’s birthday celebration (birthdays are 3 days apart). Pictured are my sister (far left), and two best friends on either side.

To me, celebrating that shared diversity is what June, Pride Month, is all about. It’s a time to recognize our LGBT community’s contributions, but it’s also a time to recognize that we’re all in this together—especially after a national tragedy that hits home.

We’ve been faced with an unspeakable attack where lives were lost, but it cannot and should not stop us from celebrating what this month is about. We need to come together now more than ever.

This year we planned to raise the Pride Flag at our World Headquarters here in Camden, N.J. to celebrate Pride month with our LBGT employees and allies. After Orlando we felt it was even more important to raise the flag as a symbol that Campbell proudly stands with its LGBT employees.

Working for a company that is eager to take that type of stand is why I’m excited to join with fellow employees, family members and friends at this year’s Pride celebration in New York City.

It’s a time to be together.

Celebrate the differences that we find in one another

It’s one of the reasons why we encouraged our employees around the world to participate in our Family Photo Project. In just a few weeks we received more than 100 images.

I was deeply moved to see the diversity in the people who matter in the lives of my colleagues. We posted their photos on screens around the office—showing employees that the people they pass in the halls may have families that look just like theirs or are completely different.

PrideMonth_Forallfamilies_familyshots_CampbellsWe’re excited to share some of those photos with you to show we’re proud of the diversity of our employees and their families.

But, we also want to hear from you.

Show us your family

Starting this week, you’ll start to see Goldfish and V8 invite you to share your family with us by using the hashtag #forallfamilies. It’s part of a campaign that was planned to launch last week, but out of respect for the victims of the Orlando tragedy and our community we decided it was best to pause.

After we discussed the significance of the #forallfamilies campaign, we felt it was important to continue to celebrate Pride month and bring the community together. We are genuinely excited to engage with you, to admire and laugh with you over your family snapshots and to support you in being open and represented.

If you’re in New York City on June 26, look for us at Pride NYC as we march to remind everyone that we are #forallfamilies. Members of OPEN and our brand teams will be there to connect with and encourage you to join our conversation online, share our food and learn about what we’re doing in Pride Month.

We go beyond Pride Month

If you look at our employees, you’d see how they increasingly mirror the diversity I see outside of our operations.  I love that. To me, Campbell gets it–the conversation around the American family is changing.

What better acknowledgment of that than our Real Real Life advertising campaign? One of the highlights from that campaign was the “Your Father” ad (featuring Larry, David, and their adorable son, Cooper).

Our OPEN work started back in 2007 and the group now spans all of our businesses and locations – with our largest chapters at our world headquarters in Camden, N.J., where I work, and at Pepperidge Farm (home of Goldfish) headquarters in Norwalk, Conn.

In 2012, OPEN members started grassroots participation in Pride Month events to connect the company with the LGBT community. What started as a “passion project” has grown to a national initiative with Goldfish and V8 sponsorship of Pride events and promotions in Philadelphia, New York, Cincinnati, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Seattle and Portland. And this fall, look for us at OutFest in Philadelphia, as we extend our outreach even further.

We’re proud of the work we do and recognition like our seventh 100 percent score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.  We’re proud that we took a stand against the discriminatory law known as HB-2 in North Carolina, reinforcing Campbell’s intolerance of discrimination in any form.

PrideMonth_OPENgroup_HRC_Campbells

And I’m proud of my Campbell family, both within OPEN and throughout the company, and I can’t wait to see the faces of your #forallfamilies members who make you glow with Pride as well.

It’s a month to be proud of who we are and that, my friends, will never change.

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