FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, Ga., March 24, 2021 — OUT Georgia Business Alliance is proud to announce its TGNC360 initiative and advisory committee leadership guiding the organization’s new employment and entrepreneurship effort created by and for Georgia’s Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) community.
TGNC360 aims to advance economic equity by providing full-service support to Georgia’s TGNC residents on their employment and entrepreneurship journeys, while connecting participants with TGNC-focused community partners to improve access to healthcare and affordable housing.
“I’m grateful that the OUT Georgia Business Alliance has embraced this initiative as an extension of its mission, vision, pillars, and values,” says Gabrielle Claiborne, OUT Georgia Board Member and Chair of the TGNC360 Advisory Committee. “To have the organization’s endorsement and commitment of resources undergirding this work will go a long way in sending a clear message to the TGNC Georgia community that our vocational health and well-being truly matter.”
“TGNC360 is an important step in changing the attitudes and experiences of TGNC community members across the State of Georgia,” said Justine Ingram, member of the TGNC360 Advisory Committee. “Such an initiative is vital in decreasing the instances of workplace discrimination while increasing the accessibility of culturally sensitive and affirming places of employment for Georgia’s most marginalized communities.”
The full TGNC360 Advisory Committee includes chair Gabrielle Claiborne (OUT Georgia/Transformation Journeys Worldwide), Timothy R. Bussey (Kenyon College), Chanel R. Haley (Georgia Equality), Jamie Anne Harrell (Emory University), Justine Ingram (Southern AIDS Coalition/Trans Housing Atlanta Program), Dionne Kettl (TRANScending Barriers Atlanta), Jaye Meggs (Trans Gentlemen of Excellence), Dr. Kristen Peter Mork (MITRE Corporation), Dr. Elijah Nicholas (Dr. Elijah Nicholas, LLC), Sybastian Smith (National Center for Transgender Equality), Rev. Kimble Sorrells (United Church of Christ), and Feroza Syed (Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty).
TGNC360 was developed to address the daunting employment statistics that are the lived experiences of TGNC Georgians, as highlighted in the 2015 US Trans Survey:
- 11% were unemployed (more than twice the 2015 US unemployment rate of 5%);
- 33% of those who held or applied for a job during that year were fired, denied a promotion, or not hired because of their gender identity or expression;
- 29% of those who had a job in the past year reported other experiences of workplace harassment related specifically to their gender identity or gender expression; and
- 30% lived in poverty (more than twice the 2015 US unemployment rate of 12%).
“For me, one of the values of TGNC360 is gaining access to a seat at the table and being able to effect tangible change in an organization’s culture from the inside out, starting with creating inclusive policies for TGNC employees,” said Jaye Meggs, member of the TGNC360 Advisory Committee.
OUT Georgia is uniquely positioned to leverage its assets, business relationships, and community partnerships to provide tangible and real solutions for the approximate 80,520 Georgia residents who identify with the transgender, gender nonconforming, gender expansive, and non-binary experience.
To address these disparities, the objectives of TGNC360 will be to:
- Connect, support, and leverage TGNC-led and TGNC-focused coalition community partners to be an integral part of the solution;
- Identify TGNC individuals to bring this initiative to life and fairly compensate TGNC-led or focused community partners for services they provide;
- Connect participants who need work readiness skills and work readiness resources with supportive services;
- Train employers and workforce development providers to provide trans affirming environments that will set TGNC job seekers up for success;
- Facilitate/collaborate to deliver job fairs to connect qualified TGNC applicants with trans affirming employers; and
- Promote employment, entrepreneurship, and access to networks and business building resources through the OUT Georgia Business Alliance.
“It’s important to me to see TGNC people succeeding and living happy fulfilled lives,” said Feroza Syed, member of the TGNC360 Advisory Committee. “Workplace policy, employers, and advocacy in this space is so important to making that dream a reality for our community.”
TGNC360 was inspired by the work of organizations across the nation doing similar advocacy work for TGNC employment and enterpreneurship, including the Independence Business Alliance’s TransWork initiative in Philadelphia, TransCanWork in Los Angeles, and the Transgender Economic Empowerment Coalition in Washington State.
Next steps will include engaging the TGNC360 Advisory Committee to develop measurable goals and objectives for 2021 and beyond; engaging corporations, small businesses, and community partner organizations for involvement; and launching a series of town hall meetings to gather feedback directly from TGNC community members.
“Our chamber’s vision is one in which every Georgian has equitable access to the resources to start or grow their business and to safely and fully participate in the workforce,” added Chris Lugo, Executive Director of OUT Georgia Business Alliance.
“TGNC360 is not just a strategic initiative to us; it’s our commitment to centering and serving a community that is often left fighting for reliable resources, high-quality employment opportunities, and life-affirming support.”
About OUT Georgia Business Alliance
OUT Georgia Business Alliance proudly serves as Georgia’s only LGBTQ+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1994, OUT Georgia Business Alliance (formerly the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) has served the LGBTQ+ and Allied business community by advocating for the most inclusive and equitable business environment; providing support and resources to fuel economic growth; and driving meaningful community connections and impact across the State of Georgia.
OUT Georgia Business Alliance is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and is a proud affiliate of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact us at OUTGeorgia.org or info@OUTGeorgia.org.
OUT Georgia Business Alliance