Authentic Disruptions [Remarks]

Authentic Disruptions
Written For: Fortune 500 corporation

On behalf of our more than XX,XXX Employees, let me extend a warm ________ welcome to each and every one of you. For more than five years, _________ has been in partnership with ROMBA.During that time, we’ve seen a lot of growth within this amazing organization. Give yourselves a round of applause for being here… clap a little harder if you got here flying Southwest.

I must say, it is a pleasure to be in front of everyone today. I am always in awe at the talent that fills the rooms at every ROMBA conference. It is also a pleasure to deliver these remarks in Dallas. The home of _________. A company I’ve had the pleasure to call home for many years. A company that has long been both inclusive of LGBT professionals and a champion of LGBT causes in the work force.

As I mentioned a moment ago, we’ve seen a lot of progress and growth within this organization. We’ve also seen some amazing growth outside of it. The last five years have seen some landmark legislation and court decisions that have benefitted the LGBT community.

The theme for this year’s conference, “Authentic Disruption,” is the perfect summation of what it’staken to bring about the changes we’ve seen. Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m mentioning all this at a conference for LGBT MBA students. Or maybe you aren’t, but if you are, it’s pretty simple.These victories came not only because we organized and fought, but also because we’ve been living outloud. In some cases, living out loud is just what you do. For others, living out loud is a daily act of bravery and courage. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, living out loud and authentically disrupting is important.

The late gay and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin said, “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” There are anumber of ways to protest a refusal to acknowledge one’s dignity. Some are obvious. Marches,demonstrations, blocking roads and freeways. Taking a case all the way to the Supreme Court. Some are more subtle. Enrolling in that MBA program. Starting or joining an organization that builds community with other LGBT students. Getting that degree, starting that business, climbing the corporate or nonprofit ladder. Shattering glass ceilings and kicking down doors where our numbers are none, growing, or few. THAT is authentic disruption.

As a future LGBT business leader, you stand on the shoulders of giants who, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, pushed forward to authentically disrupt and challenge the status quo. Five years, ten years, 20 years ago, some of the new freedoms we enjoy today were unheard of. Soon, it will be your turn. And at ROMBA conferences five years, ten years, or 20 years from now, somebody just likeme will stand on a stage just like this and talk about the progress we’ve made. Progress that you all willhelp make happen.

But this conference is not all about the super serious. We’re here to have some fun, some of you may be hoping to land a job, because these student loans and bills don’t pay themselves, and make someconnections.

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