We celebrated our commitment to diversity and inclusion by taking part in Birmingham Pride, held on the 25th and 26th of May 2019. This year’s pride celebrations were the biggest in the history of the city and the architectural community was proud to take part. We marched under the banner of Openland Midlands, an LGBTQ+ organisation in the property sector. OpenLand provides a safe and non-judgmental space in which LGBT professionals and allies can network. They seek to bring together and connect like-minded people in a forum where they can exchange ideas and share best practice as regards LGBT inclusion and intersectionality to take back to their respective organisations. More information on: http://openland.org.uk/
The pride parade started with a breakfast kindly provided at the offices of Court Collaboration on Colmore Row. We listened to a speech by Andy Street, the West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor. The seven committee members and friends of the BAA and RIBA came prepared with branded t-shirts and plenty of glitter. We then marched alongside representatives of Cushman and Wakefield, Colliers International, Ikon Gallery, RICS Midlands, CBRE, Court Collaboration, Hogan Lovells, St Modwen. The parade took place from Victoria Square to the Gay village, allowing for a large section of the city to take notice of the large RIBA/BAA flag we waved!
“It was very important for use to march in pride this year. Following from the first BAA Pride breakfast last year, we wanted to take a more active role. Birmingham is currently at the centre of debate about schools teaching the award-winning ‘No Outsiders’ programme and marching in Pride, celebrating all members of the community in the city send a strong message to prospective architecture practitioners in the public. Architecture is welcoming and supportive. Everyone should pursue a career in it!”, Simeon Shtebunaev, BAA Committee member.