From 9 to 5: PRIDE in the Workplace

UMKC Pride Breakfast will celebrate progress in LGBT community

Two Hallmark leaders recognized for their expertise in, and support of, diversity and inclusion will speak at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Pride Scholarship Breakfast, a fundraising event for scholarships for LGBT students.

Carol Hallquist and Buck Wimberly, the event keynote speakers from Hallmark Cards, Inc., will discuss corporate progress and its role in ensuring inclusive and safe work environments. Hallmark has received recognition from The Human Rights Campaign for being one of the ‘Best Places to Work for LGBT Employees.’

The breakfast will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the UMKC Atterbury Student Success Center, Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Holmes St.

“The 6th Annual Pride Scholarship breakfast is one way that UMKC shows its support of, and commitment to, LGBTQIA students on our campus, and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion is honored to host this important event,” Erika Noguera, coordinator, Division of Diversity. “The event raises funds for scholarships, and it serves as a celebration of diversity and exposes our campus community to different perspectives and life experiences.

“The theme for this year’s breakfast brings focus to the experiences of our students once they leave campus. The keynote speakers represent Hallmark Cards, Inc., which is a company that exemplifies the kind of support for diversity in the workplace that our students have come to count on.”

The Human Rights Campaign uses the Corporate Equality Index to look at the policies and practices impacting LGBT employees across numerous large U.S. corporations, and Hallmark is continually recognized for its work to provide a safe and supportive environment for its LGBT population. Hallmark’s score was 90 on the Index.

Hallquist is president of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation and leads Hallmark’s corporate social responsibility efforts, including corporate diversity and inclusion. Wimberly serves as the creative brand and essencing strategist at Hallmark and leader of HERE, Hallmark’s LGBTQIA employee resource group.

According to campKC magazine, “Carol Hallquist has a tireless commitment to diversity. Not only diversity in the traditional sense, but in the widely varied work she does as vice president of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation and the initiatives where she commits her personal time.”

For his part, Buck Wimberly is determined to influence the workplace and product solutions by sharing stories about the LGBTQ experience. His life serves as one of those stories. After 13 years of marriage, he came out in 2008. He and his partner are now raising their five kids together.

In addition to the two speakers, Heartsong, which is an auditioned small ensemble from the Kansas City Women’s Chorus, will perform at the event under the direction of Associate Director Andrea Dalton, and Director Michael Patch.

Last year, more than $26,000 was raised at the Pride Breakfast to support the LGBTQIA Scholarship and the Pride Empowerment Assistance Fund, which provides emergency assistance to students who are experiencing financial difficulty due to loss of family support.

The cost of the breakfast is $38 for an individual ticket and $300 for a table seating eight. All tables for the event has sold, but we can still accommodate a limited number of individual ticket purchases. To register, visit Pride Breakfast. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Erika Noguera or phone her at 816-235-1727.


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