New corporate mentor initiative for LGBTQ refugees launched


Nearly two dozen companies in North America have agreed to mentor LGBTQ refugees as part of a new initiative announced on Tuesday.

The Baltimore-headquartered Under Armour is among the 23 companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that have pledged to mentor at least 50 LGBTQ refugees over the next three years under the new initiative the Human Rights Campaign and the Tent Partnership for Refugees unveiled during their virtual North American Business Summit on LGBTQ Refugees.

Accenture, ADP, AT&T Mexico, Bain & Company, CIBC, CompuCom, GSK, Chobani, Finastra, Hilton, Huron, IBM, Ipsos, Kearney, Medtronic, Nomura, SAP, Scotiabank, Softchoice, TD Bank Group, Von Wobeser y Sierra and Warby Parker are the other companies that have joined the initiative in which roughly 1,250 LGBTQ refugees will participate. Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power announced them during the summit in which HRC President Alphonso David and Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, who founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees, participated.

The companies will mentor the refugees through their respective LGBTQ employee affinity groups.

The nation’s capital, Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the cities in which the participating companies will offer mentorships.

“This is a wonderful first step,” said Power after she announced the companies that are participating in the program. “Each of you companies that made these commitments, you’re making it easier for other companies to do the same, by being first movers and so I just think have so many people’s personal gratitude, people whose names you’ll never know.”

The Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration during the summit unveiled a guide that advises companies on how they can develop and implement mentorship programs for LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. ORAM Executive Steve Roth participated in the summit alongside José Luis Loera of Casa Refugiados, a Mexico City-based group that assists migrants, and Forouz Salari of The519, a Toronto LGBTQ community center that provides services and support to migrants and asylum seekers.