Human Rights Campaign honors Jeff Bezos with 2017 Equality Award
Amazon Books VP Jennifer Cast introduced Jeff at the HRC’s National Dinner, speaking about his focus on creating an accepting workplace when she joined in 1996, and his early and significant support for marriage equality in Washington State.
GLAmazon members, Amazon leaders, Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor and members of Amazon’s public policy team attended the dinner. Amazon has a long history of supporting LGBTQ rights — GLAmazon first formed in 1999, and the company was an early supporter of marriage equality and trans rights. In his remarks, Jeff thanked Amazonians for their commitment to equality and reinforced that it is, and always will be, a core value at Amazon.
Well a huge thank you to the HRC. And a big thank you, Jennifer.
I’ve been lucky to know you Jennifer for twenty years now – and have seen first-hand how your passion and determination have changed lives and promoted equality in Washington State and throughout the LGBTQ community.
Thank you Jennifer for everything you’ve done and for everything you continue to do. It’s so much.
I also want to recognize the Amazonians who are here tonight and who work on equality and inclusion every day at Amazon:
There are a bunch of members of our affinity group, GLAmazon, here. Whoo! Our diversity director, Latasha Gillespie, thank you Latasha. And of course the brilliant storytellers from Transparent, including Jeffrey Tambor, whose remarkable portrayal of Maura Pfefferman has touched so many of us. Thank you Jeffrey.
I am very proud of the work you all do every day to improve Amazon and to improve our larger community.
Amazon has more than 500,000 employees worldwide – and from our earliest days, we have been committed to equality in our workplace.
We want our employees to be empowered to speak their mind and to be heard.
Every Amazonian should feel comfortable sharing their unique perspectives and every Amazonian should seek out the perspectives of others.
We want our employees – and the communities where we operate – to embrace that we’re all human, we’re all different, and we’re all equal.
At Amazon, equality is a core value for us, and it is simply right. Yet inequality persists in many forms across our communities.
And we must never just look – we must expose it, understand it, question it, and fix it.
And we are, and I mean everyone in this room and beyond.
After decades of fighting, marriage has become a right for all Americans.
And across the United States, more people now support gay and trans rights than ever before.
I believe the ideal of equality is ingrained deep within all of us.
Children accept one another for who they are – gay, transgender, straight.
They think of their friends as people with individual identities, experiences, weaknesses, and strengths.
They inherently understand the concept of human equality – it’s innate.
We live in a more accepting world than our grandparents.
And our grandchildren will live in an even more accepting world – where they’ll be embraced for who they are, how they identify, and who they love.
I’m incredibly optimistic – so many companies, communities, and organizations like HRC are embracing this future and helping to create it.
It is up to every one of us to keep making progress together.
I’m honored to receive the Equality Award from an organization that has impacted so many lives.
Thank you to the HRC team and all of you for your relentless focus on celebrating and promoting equality across all our communities.