Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go released a statement on its support of Pride Month, which takes place each June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969.
Last year, the c-store chain teamed up with Capital City Pride, an Iowa LGBTQ+ nonprofit dedicated to producing educational events and programming that celebrates the state’s diversity, to be the lead sponsor for 2020 Pride Week. A team of LGBTQ+ associates came together and spent months planning how the team would show up.
“But then the world changed,” the statement reads. “COVID-19 threw everything into disarray. Pride Week in Des Moines was postponed until 2021. The killing of George Floyd and the protests that ensued sparked a new question: In the absence of Pride Week, how can we show up for the LGBTQ+ community without ignoring the widespread calls for racial justice and reform in this country?”
Instead of merchandise like shirts or fanny packs, Kim & Go is taking the budget it had set aside for merchandise and is giving 100% of it to two organizations: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Transgender Law Center’s Trans Agenda for Liberation.
“It is not about Kum & Go rainbow t-shirts right now. Nonprofits decimated by COVID-19 and a likely recession need our support. Black LGBTQ+ organizations whose communities stand at the violent intersection of racism, homophobia and sexism need that support now more than ever,” the statement reads.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving and fighting for liberation.
The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. The organization supports brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. It works for racial, economic and gender justice because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.
“We will continue to work to show up for our LGBTQ+ Associates, Customers and Communities,” Kum & Go’s statement reads. “Happy Pride.”
For 60 years, Kum & Go has been dedicated to the communities it serves, sharing 10% of its profits with charitable causes. For four generations the family-owned convenience store chain has focused on providing exceptional service and delivering more than customers expect. Established in Hampton, Iowa, in 1959, the chain has since grown to employ nearly 5,000 associates in 400 stores in 11 states: Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.