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PepsiCo Foundation grants $500,000 to PFLAG

by PageOneQ

In a move that may upset conservative organizations and leaders, the PepsiCo Foundation has given a grant of $500,000 to Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to support Straight for Equality, a national education campaign, and to fund training and chapter support.

PFLAG is a national organization made up of chapters of parents of members of the LGBT community. Chapters serve multiple roles, including support for parents who have recently learned a child is gay, community education, and engaging parents and friends in the struggle for LGBT equality.

"PepsiCo has provided PFLAG with an enormous gift, and an unparalleled opportunity, to demonstrate the power we have to create change, no matter where we are, or who we are," PFLAG executive director Jody M. Huckaby said in a statement released earlier today. "Because of the Foundation's generosity and commitment, we now have the resources to produce materials for our chapters to use in their communities, and to create critically important conversations, in every corner of our country."

"We are delighted to continue our partnership with PFLAG," Jacqueline Millan, Director of PepsiCo Corporate Contributions, said in the same statement. "The Straight for Equality in the Workplace training program is unique in that it is promoting the necessary message of inclusion to untapped groups within the local community, and that is a crucial step towards building a healthy working environment."

According to the PFLAG statement:

PFLAG launched Straight for Equality in October 2007 in an effort to invite and engage new allies for equality. The program, designed to reach the straight ally who doesn't necessarily have a family connection in the traditional PFLAG sense, has been hailed as an effective and unique model for reaching new potential allies who share PFLAG's commitment to equality for all.

Peggy Moore, a former senior VP at PepsiCo and a member of PFLAG's Board of Directors, has been working on a program in which the company makes investments in increasing diversity. Organizations funded by the PepsiCo Foundation include Human Rights Campaign, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, and National Council of La Raza. Support for the grant came from Moore and EQUAL, the company's LGBT employee group.

The gift to the Human Rights Campaign was made in 2006 to support the Workplace Climate Project, a program to help create inclusive and safe workplaces.

Mark DePerimo, a spokesman for the American Family Association, had no comment on the grant until the organization reviewed materials regarding the program. A woman who answered the phone at the Focus on the Family press office said that spokesperson Devon Williams was unavailable for comment at the time this report was published.

UPDATE: An email from FOF spokesperson Devon Williams to PageOneQ said "We do not have a statement regarding Pepsiís gift to PFLAG. If we do comment, I will certainly send it to you."


Originally published on Thursday September 25, 2008.

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