During the month of April – Fair Housing Month – Equality Virginia partnered with Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) to educate Virginians about our efforts to eliminate housing discrimination against LGBT Virginians, and also to show housing professionals that there’s an exciting way they can help!
The month culminated with a Fair Housing Breakfast reception in Richmond, sponsored by Weinstein Properties at their Kings Crossing property. A special thanks to Richmond Business Alliance for helping us spread the word!
Throughout the month we have been encouraging housing professionals and companies to join the new multi-state campaign Equality Means Business designed to showcase businesses that know how vital LGBT customers and employees are to their success in a modern economy. Housing professionals including Weinstein Properties, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Second Act Communities, and Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation are among the newest members of Equality Means Business.
This program is for ALL small businesses who want to increase their business and stand up for fairness and equality. The Equality Means Business program is growing every week – in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina – meaning that LGBT-friendly professionals and businesses are coming together not just across the commonwealth, but across the region to create a more friendly and inclusive business community.
From restaurants in Virginia Beach, to doctors in Chester, to shops in Blacksburg, we’ve seen a growing number of businesses pledging to keep their doors open to all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. All professionals and businesses that join Equality Means Business are added to an online directory, so consumers can be sure that they are supporting local businesses that have taken a stand against LGBT discrimination.
There is also a way for large corporations to be involved! Equality Virginia’s Virginia Fairness project recognizes several large corporations, including Altria, Capital One, CarMax, Dominion, and Genworth, that have policies clearly demonstrating a commitment to the safety and well-being of their LGBT employees.
As we work to change laws to protect LGBT Virginians, we are glad to have companies like these that support diversity and improve Virginia’s reputation as a welcoming place to live, work, and visit. Employees of Virginia Fairness accredited companies are respected and valued because their employers know that supporting workplace fairness makes good business sense, improves Virginia’s national reputation, and keeps Virginia competitive.
Equality Virginia wants to keep the momentum from the successful Fair Housing Month going! We are always happy to receive new Equality Means Business members, so if you know of any local businesses that are willing to take a stand against discrimination, let them know about Equality Means Business!