This year, Amazon Canada hosted approximately 200 Amazon employees as they marched alongside Canada’s Drag Race alumni, Scarlett BoBo and Toronto’s Olivya Chin, on their very first Pride Toronto float – the fabulous GLAMAZON float – designed by local artist Natalie Very B, in the Pride Toronto parade on June 23, 2022, in downtown Toronto.
“It was very e\xciting to be a part of Amazon’s 2022 Pride Celebrations,” said international drag superstar Scarlett BoBo. “It was great spending time with the 2SLGBTQ+ employees and allies via Glamazon, and attending the parade with my drag sister Olivya Chin! It’s amazing to see a corporation like Amazon investing in diversity in the office and in the [overall] community.”
Derek Hooey, the Learning Operations Manager of the YYZ1 location in Missisauga (and Chapter President of Glamazon Canada) sees Pride as “the perfect opportunity to celebrate the diversity of their team and the contributions of their 2SLGBTQ+ employees,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to educate all of our employees about the 2SLGBTQ+ community which fosters greater inclusion so our queer employees can feel safe to bring their authentic selves to work every day.”
“Amazon allows individual buildings to make localized decisions for which charities they support,” Derek continues, explaining Amazon’s partnerships with local charities and initiatives. “Most [Amazon] buildings have partnerships with local women’s shelters and food banks. YYZ1 has additional partnerships with the Peel Children’s Aid Society and Habitat for Humanity, with over $1,000,000 worth of goods donated in the first 6 months of 2022. We’re also looking at ways we can further our impact in Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ charitable sector going forward.”
Commited to having 2SLGBTQ+ talent on site to educate their internal teams and celebrate their 2SLGBTQ+ employees, Derek says, “The discussions between talent and our sites raises awareness to internal and external stakeholders on the work we are doing and on where we would like to be in the future. When entertainers like BoBo share their own community engagement stories and perspectives of their causes it helps our employees make informed decisions on how they can support the community as well. Amazon also focuses on hyper-local charity affiliations based on the population at their site. Amazon’s giving targets at risk families and youth, as well as supporting charities with employment opportunities for new Canadians.”
A great way for Amazon users and subscribers to help amplify minority community voices is by “making their purchases from small businesses through the Amazon Store Fronts and by consuming media from minority communities through Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music,” Derek says.
With the the pandemic being extremely hard on the food industry in the community as well, co-owner of Kitchenette Toronto, Jimmy Georgoulis, said, “When companies like Amazon partner with small businesses like ours, especially catering companies who operate in the LGBTQ+ community, it makes a huge impact!”