Stoli Group (USA) of Stolichnaya vodka has announced a three-year partnership with the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s Leadership Learn, Act, Build (LAB) program, which aims to help aspiring LGBT leaders to effectively advocate for equality. Stolichnaya, owned by SPI Group, joined the battle against the controversial, antigay “propaganda” laws in Russia with a worldwide message of support for the LGBT community.
So far, Stoli has donated $300,000 for a fund that will go towards training the potential leaders to build strong organizations to fight against legislation which endangers or discriminates against LGBT people.
“Our position at Stoli is clear. We stand with the LGBT community in the fight for equality, and are proud to be working with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to make our joint vision possible,” said the president of Stoli Group USA, John Esposito. “Through our strategic partnership we hope to harness the power of our global community, cultivating leaders on a local level in the U.S. to create meaningful change throughout the world.”
The Center’s Leadership LAB initiatives aim to strengthen LGBT leadership capacity in the U.S. and abroad, by providing training, mentoring, internships, and on-the-ground staff support in select communities that are deliberate about including LGBT equality.
“Over the last few years we’ve experienced tremendous gains in freedom and equality for LGBT Americans, but there is still much work to be done, especially in states where organizing for LGBT equality remains very challenging,” said the chief executive officer of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Lorri L. Jean.
“And while we’re also making gains internationally, there have been big and significant setbacks. Extremists, acknowledging they’re losing the battle here, are expanding their influence in other countries by demonizing LGBT people and attacking our freedoms. Their influence must be countered. This extraordinary commitment by Stoli Group USA sets a terrific example for all corporations.”