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Marking Pride and Black Pride in London
A weekend of celebration and positivity

“The performances were amazing to see; the energy was contagious!”

White & Case employees and clients from BNP Paribas, as well as families and friends, recently celebrated Pride in London and UK Black Pride. 

Nathaniel Crowley, Chair of the Firm's London Spectrum LGBT+ network, sets the scene, "For the third year in a row, we collaborated with our client BNP Paribas to host a joint event marking Pride in London. As many there commented, we looked to "step up our game" and try something new this year: a reinterpretation of a well-known ballet. We also had a group marching in the parade (third time again) and participated in UK Black Pride for the first time."

The Spectrum LGBT+ network is the hub of the Firm's commitment to our lawyers and Business Services employees who identify as LGBT+, as well as those who wish to support as allies. This active and highly visible group provides a network of peer support as well as frequent socializing, networking and professional development opportunities.

Marking 50 years of Pride

The weekend started with an immersive brunch experience centered on an exclusive performance of scenes from Swan Lake produced by Vox Vanguard, a classical music-focused production company. Tchaikovsky's music for this well-known ballet is an homage to the historic LGBT+ struggle, reminding the audience of the challenges of not being able to be open about your sexuality and gender identity. 

In her remarks, Global Head of Diversity, Maja Hazell, spoke about the fact that this year is a pivotal moment in LGBT history: 50 years since the Stonewall Riots in New York, which led to the first-ever Pride Parade. She noted that Pride continues to be a protest and a celebration—a moment to celebrate how far we've come and also to reflect on how far we still have to go. 

Celebrating Black Pride

The fun continued on Sunday with more celebrations for UK Black Pride, and another chance to experience the fantastic positive atmosphere and energy of Pride. Practice Assistant Lamese Refaei commented that, "Apart from having an amazing time and discovering new artists, one of the highlights for me was seeing the sheer shock and amazement on people's faces that a law firm was present at UK Black Pride."

Professional Support Lawyer Kate Buttrey adds, "It is a common (mis)perception that law firms, particularly those based in the City, recruit their people from a narrow range of backgrounds. I think it's important that White & Case is present at UK Black Pride to correct that impression, to demonstrate that the Firm recognises, encourages and celebrates diversity in its workforce."

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