Wednesday 07 December 2016

“It Gets Better”…at Edelman

Most every day I get up, come to work, and find I’m challenged, valued and rewarded.  I love my job and in that regard, I consider myself as pretty darn lucky.  But my luck does not stop there…because what makes this place so special and different is somehow those things are not enough.  You see, at Edelman when you see an opening to make a difference in the world, you are empowered to go for it…and that’s just what our work on the firm’s It Gets Better video submission was all about.

The Message

A group of us wondered out loud about embarking on a project to share our collective point of view on the challenges we had faced as LGBT youth – bullying and harassment, shame and denial are things so many have encountered growing up and coming out.  We realized when you’re in an environment that embraces you, you forget about the struggle.  We agreed, we had a story to tell and so we set out to make it happen.  In my mind, the journey for us was as powerful as our final message…

Coordinating the Team

Our first email soliciting support – endorsement, resources and time – was immediately and resounding met with, “YES, whatever you need.”  Our call for participation resulted in an overwhelming deluge of emails from colleagues – gay and straight – stepping up and in front of the camera to boldly share their story of struggle and/or of support.  Our camera team was tireless on planes, trains and whatever form of transportation was necessary to capture the stories while being efficient and respectful of budget.  Our internal working team was coordinated, collaborative and passionate about how this could all be stitched together with the end-viewer always as our number one priority.  Our final video is a powerful story of struggle, perseverance, hope and joy.

In my 7 years with Edelman, this is one of those projects life moments I’ll always remember.  It was a little thing that became so much bigger.  Bigger because of the message we were able to share…and bigger because it reminded me that beyond feeling challenged, value and rewarded by my job…that I also am part of a living, breathing organism called Edelman that is not perfect…but is certainly the best place I could ever hope to work.  For myself and the colleagues who worked this project, there is no question,

“it gets better…”

Image credit: ItGetsBetter.org

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