The Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

Advancing Diversity, Inclusion & Growth



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  • June 30, 2020 10:00 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    In its "Why Practice in Pittsburgh - Pride Month" series, the Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition featured 3RBA's President, Ronald L. Hicks, Jr.  In the profile, Ron highlights who are some of his favorite LGBTQ TV and movie characters and why celebrating Pride is important to the LGBTQ community.

    Ron's profile was the last in a series of profiles that were published by the Coalition for Pride month.  To read all the profiles and to learn more about the Coalition, visit https://pghlegaldiversity.org/

      

  • June 16, 2020 1:36 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    This week, the United States Supreme Court declared in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (US, Jun. 15, 2020), that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from being fired because they are homosexual or transgender.  Title VII explicitly prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” but does not specifically name sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.  However, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court ruled:

    An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.  Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids. 

    Although the employers argued that such an interpretation is contrary to Congressional intent, Justice Gorsuch concluded the opinion, by stating:

    [While] Title VII’s effects have unfolded with far-reaching consequences, some likely beyond what many in Congress or elsewhere expected[, …] none of this helps decide today’s cases.  Ours is a society of written laws.  Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations.  In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee.  We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.

    Bostock is a landmark ruling that will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide. As even the dissent recognized: “[The LGBT Community] can take pride in today's result.”

    To read the full decision, click here.


  • June 03, 2020 6:13 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    For those in the LGBTQ+ community, June represents the month in which we celebrate our Pride.  This year, COVID-19 has caused many of Pride celebrations to be held virtually or delayed until later this year.  However, several recent events have brought us a significant reminder that, as a community, we must speak out when hate, violence, and systematic discrimination claims the lives of those who are not in the majority. 

    As the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and other members of the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) and their affiliate organizations stated today:

    The words “I can’t breathe” have once again shocked our national conscience.  Sorrow, anger and open wounds have again been thrust to the forefront.  The systematic racism happening in our country is corrosive on our resolve as a nation.  Far too many Americans, young and old alike, live in constant fear. Fear for not just livelihood, but life.  What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castille and the countless before is not acceptable nor does it illustrate who we are as a people.  This senseless violence should rattle us all to our core as it also should for Asian Americans being scapegoated, harassed and becoming victims of violence in the era of COVID-19.  We must come together as communities of color and allies, neighbors and friends, business leaders and decision makers to stop this crisis once and for all. 

    Too many lives are being lost. Too many families are being devastated.  The negative impact on our cities and towns is not and should not be sustainable.  Our local, state and national economies have been stretched to the max already.  The time for action is now.  We have to shed light on institutional racism, and we must work to find solid equality for all.  Our country deserves better, our people deserve justice, families of color deserve respect, journalism merits the exercise of reporting and free speech, and businesses deserve to thrive in a safe economy. 

    Our country was founded on the principle that all persons are created equal.  As a community, it’s time for us to use our voice to work with our allies and the business community in general to declare that discrimination and bigotry against any fellow human being is wrong and will not be tolerated.  Only then can we be proud to be who we are.   

       


  • May 31, 2020 8:49 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Join the NGLCC TWICE MONTHLY from 3 PM EST to 6 PM EST as it brings together LGBT business owners, local affiliate members and corporate procurement experts for its Sip & Pitch Fridays.  This event is open to all, and you do not have to pitch to participate.  The format of the event includes:

    SIP & PITCH

    A chance to informally present your business to a panel of experts and your fellow business owners for positive, constructive feedback and new ideas.  If you have a 5 minute (or less) presentation with all the bells and whistles: great! If not: that’s great, too! Simply bring your “elevator pitch” and any messaging you’d like to work on with our experts. This is an open forum!

    Although these are mock pitches, these programs are a tremendous opportunity for NGLCC community businesses to enjoy:

    • No-cost constructive feedback to help you improve your pitch, whether a casual elevator pitch, coordinated matchmaking opportunity, or formal pitch for upcoming RFPs.
    • Judgment-free, safe-space for you to practice your pitch. Everyone in the room wants to help you succeed and share best practices.
    • See and be seen by representatives from NGLCC Corporate Partners and fellow Certified LGBTBE® companies seeking your goods & services. Participation is a great way to build relationships with key buyers and strategic partners while presenting to a national audience eager to see your innovations.
    • Learn what other NGLCC Certified LGBTBE® suppliers do. You will likely be amazed to hear what some of your fellow NGLCC members are up to which could lead to ways for you to work together.

    COMMUNITY & CONVERSATION

    For the final hour ALL members of the LGBT and allied business community in the NGLCC network are welcome to pour a drink of your choice -- with everything from coffee to cocktails welcome -- and casually network with your fellow community members over digital video. Our community is sustained by our resilience and commitment to helping one another through the good times, and the challenging ones.  So come with a joke, a story, or just a friendly face as we affirm that all of us in the NGLCC family will get through this together.

    Learn more about Sip & Pitch Fridays, including how you can register or participate as an LGBTBE or corporate partner, by visiting our Events page.

  • May 18, 2020 8:13 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Every Wednesday, NGLCC is offering webinars to help LGBTBEs do business online and get through COVID-19.  To learn more, click here.

  • March 11, 2020 8:10 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    So far, Pittsburgh and the Greater Allegheny region have not had any reported cases of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19).  But, as the infection continues to spread in the United States, Three Rivers Business Alliance is working hard to make sure its members are prepared to handle this issue.

    Below are some resources and other information 3RBA has gathered to help educate employers on COVID-19.

    Resources for Employers:

    How Does the Coronavirus Spread?

    COVID-19 typically spreads between people within six feet of each other through respiratory secretions, especially coughing and sneezing. Currently, it is unknown whether the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it.

    What Can Employers Do Now?

    It is imperative that employers maintain open communication with their employees. Employers should ensure that they have updated contact information for current employees and stay informed of the latest news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease.” The CDC recommends employers begin implementing the following steps now:

    • Talk with your employees
    • Encourage employees with acute respiratory illnesses to stay home
    • Separate sick employees
    • Emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene
    • Perform routine environmental cleaning
    • Advise employees about the risks prior to travel to countries that have had a significant outbreak
    • Consider informing employees in the case of possible exposure in the workplace

    Can Employers Require Employees to Undergo Medical Examinations?

    As stated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” employers may not require medical examinations under the ADA unless the medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Whether a medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity depends upon the facts presented (e.g., what are the employee’s symptoms, where has the employee been, etc.) and the latest CDC guidance on coronavirus.

    What Actions Can Employers Take in the Case of a Pandemic?

    In the case of a pandemic, employers have the right to send employees home if they show coronavirus-like symptoms at work. Also, employers may enquire if employees are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms as long as they are mindful of confidentiality obligations. Finally, if an employee returns from traveling during a pandemic, an employer may ask the employee whether they are returning from a location where that individual may have been exposed to the virus.


    This is an evolving issue, and the business that prepares for it will be in a better position to deal with it. Let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you in responding. We will do our best to keep you updated on our events and further information regarding coronavirus.  Also, check out our COVID-19 Resources page.  


  • March 11, 2020 8:08 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    Effective immediately and until further notice, Three Rivers Business Alliance (3RBA) has implemented the following greeting policy for all its events.  As far as interactions at any event, 3RBA wants everyone to feel welcome and comfortable.  But, out of respect for those who do not want to appear rude by declining a gesture such as a handshake, hugging, kissing, or other touching, 3RBA requests that all attendees refrain from such gestures.  Instead, 3RBA asks all attendees to greet each other using a hand waive or an "elbow bump."

      

  • February 15, 2020 4:05 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

    As Pride 2020 fast approaches, Three Rivers Business Alliance is proud to be participating in or sponsoring local Pride events and other regional organizations that support the LGBT+ community in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region.  Some of the events that 3RBA has sponsored or will be participating in over the next several months include:

    Renaissance City Choir's 2020 Concert Season

    Morgantown Pride Block Party - Apr. 18, 2020

    Ohio Valley Pride Festival - May 8, 2020

    Pittsburgh Pride - July 18-19, 2019

    Please check our Events page for more information on the above events.  Also, if you would like 3RBA to consider sponsoring or participating in your event, please send an email message to info@3rba.com.


  • January 05, 2020 8:02 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)
    Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor, possible text that says 'STATE GRANT SEMINAR AAAAAAAAAR'

    Pennsylvania State Representatives Tim O'Neal and Natalie Mihalek are inviting small businesses, nonprofits and municipalities from their legislative districts to attend a grant seminar and hear from panelists from the state departments of Transportation, Community and Economic Development, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Environmental Protection.  The event is being held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at 9:30 AM – 12 PM EST, at North Strabane Municipal Building, 1929 Route 519, Canonsburg, PA.

    This is a great opportunity to learn about available grants at the state level. The event is free and includes a light continental breakfast, but registration is required by filling out the form no later than January 15, 2020, at http://www.reponeal.com/form/stategrantseminar2020.   To learn more about this event, click here,

  • January 05, 2020 6:51 PM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)
     

     


    3RBA has received a $2,500 grant from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Wells Fargo to continue its Let's Get Business Together! program.  The program is a LGBTBE® Certification Growth Initiative which seeks to expand the number of certified LGBTBE® in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.  As of October 2019, 3RBA had twelve (12) members who are certified LGBTBE®, with nine (9) having received their certifications through 3RBA. The Let's Get Business Together program plans on increasing that number to twenty-five (25) by December 30, 2020.

    To learn more about the LGBTBE® certification process, visit 3RBA's Get Certified page.  Also, check out our Events page for all Let's Get Business Together! events.

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Three Rivers Business Alliance

1735 E. Carson St. #403
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705

info@3rba.com
412-346-4161



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