IKEA U.S. Launches New Pride Collection to Support LGBTQ Homelessness Relief Initiatives
CONSHOHOCKEN, P.A., June 16, 2020 – A longtime supporter of equality for all and LGBTQ rights, IKEA U.S. released a new, limited-edition Pride-themed collection of reusable bags, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Ali Forney Center of New York City and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
To help raise funds and awareness for both centers, IKEA U.S. launched the new, limited-edition* STORSTOMMA Rainbow lunch bag ($0.99) and will donate 30% of the retail price from each sale to the centers, up to $50,000 per charity between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. This donation is in addition to a $25,000 in-kind donation to each organization (a combined value of $150,000). The charitable partnership is dedicated specifically to providing affordable housing solutions, shelter and support services for homeless LGBTQ youth and seniors.
“At a challenging time when much of the country and the world must self-isolate, it is important to recognize the meaning of the word ‘home,’” said Rafael Fantauzzi, Country Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at IKEA U.S. “Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ individuals facing discrimination, stigmatization and isolation, the four walls of a house are not always a ‘safe space.’ That’s why we’re committed to creating a more loving, accepting world – because everyone deserves to feel at HOME, every day, everywhere.”
Beyond the emotional need, there is also a real physical need. Studies find that LGBTQ individuals are especially vulnerable to homelessness, with LGBTQ youth in the U.S. being 120% more likely to face homelessness1. LGBTQ seniors are another vulnerable group, with one-third of U.S. LGBTQ seniors living at or below the poverty level2. Partnering with established non-profits such as Ali Forney Center and Los Angeles LGBT Center takes the campaign a step further by helping to address both critical physical and emotional needs of housing insecure LGBTQ youth and seniors.
"In a time where people are being asked to stay home, I am filled with gratitude that IKEA is helping us to provide a sense of home for our homeless LGBTQ youth,” said Alexander Roque, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center. “It is during these unprecedented times that the true value and commitment of our community partners is most punctuated and most desperately needed.”
"The IKEA campaign is a perfect fit for the Los Angeles LGBT Center's ongoing work to end homelessness and provide affordable housing for our LGBTQ youth and seniors, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community," said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. "The need for these critical resources has only increased under the COVID-19 pandemic, making support from our partners like IKEA more crucial than ever."
IKEA History of LGBTQ Support
A humanistic and values driven company, IKEA believes that equality is a human right no matter your ethnicity, race, gender or sexuality. IKEA has a long-standing history of supporting equality of LGBTQ individuals, including being the first brand to feature a gay couple in mainstream advertising over 20 years ago. IKEA firmly believes that everyone has the right to be treated fairly and to be given equal opportunities regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It actively aims at creating a fully inclusive work environment, contributing to a positive change in all areas of its business and in society. IKEA was proud to join the Human Rights Campaign and 200 businesses on an amicus brief to advocate for Civil Rights Act protections for members of the LGBT+ community and applauds the Supreme Court’s recent ruling.
IKEA has been recognized for leading the industry with many inclusive benefits for LGBTQ co-workers and their families including: health/medical, dental, vision, bereavement, relocation/travel assistance, adoption, employee discount, supplemental life insurance and parental leave. The IKEA U.S. medical plan also covers a portion of gender confirmation counseling and surgery. Additionally, as part of its commitment to integrate diversity in all areas of work processes and business practices, IKEA has joined The Human Rights Campaign Foundation. IKEA U.S. has received a rating of 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for the last five years.
1 The issues. (n.d.) Covenant House. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-issues/lgbtq-homeless-youth
2 Grinberg, E. (2019, June 27). New York's new LGBT-friendly elder housing is a lifeline, but only for a few. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/health/lgbt-friendly-senior-housing/index.html