Nearly 200 Kaiser Permanente employees, physicians, family members, and friends took part in the Oakland Pride Parade and Festival Sept. 9.
At just 6 blocks long, the Oakland Pride Parade is not known for its length. But what it lacks in distance it makes up for with a warm community spirit and family-friendly vibe. The parade is followed by a lively street festival that includes a children’s area, complete with a petting zoo and teacup rides.
Now celebrating its ninth year, Oakland Pride is attracting more and more participants. The crowd from Kaiser Permanente this year included employees, physicians, and leaders such as Kaiser Permanente Northern California President Janet Liang, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson, and Kaiser Permanente Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Ronald Copeland, MD.
Decked out in a rainbow lei before climbing onto Kaiser Permanente’s parade float, Tyson described Oakland’s Pride Festival as “a wonderful day.”
“This is a day where we demonstrate once again what we stand for and who we are,” Tyson said. “We take great pride in promoting equity, diversity, and a culture of inclusion among our employees, physicians, members, and our customers.”
The Human Rights Foundation recently underscored this point, naming Kaiser Permanente a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. And for the 12th year in a row, Kaiser Permanente earned a 100 percent score by the foundation in the 2018 Corporate Equality Index survey, which evaluates corporate practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace policies.
Kaiser Permanente was the premier sponsor of the Oakland Pride Parade and Festival, as well as pride parades in 6 other Northern California cities.
“The fact that Kaiser Permanente takes such a prominent role on this day and that the organization encourages us to be our authentic selves in the workplace is really gratifying to me. I couldn’t work for a finer company,” said Jay Bachicha, MD, an ob-gyn from Kaiser Permanente San Leandro and the national co-chair for KP Pride, the organization’s LGBTQ association.
Rosa Pastran, a Kaiser Permanente employee in South Sacramento, said the organization’s celebration of pride aligns completely with her belief in inclusion and equal rights for all. She rode the company float with her sister, Ericka Pastran, a Kaiser Permanente Richmond medical assistant, and Ericka’s 6-year-old daughter.
“I have friends and family members in the LGBTQ community,” Pastran said. “We brought my niece today to show her that regardless of who you are or who you love, you should be proud.”
Watch the short video above to hear more from the people of Kaiser Permanente and to experience some of the sights and sounds of Oakland Pride.