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WorkPride - Community-in-focus Panels for Ethnicity: Black

With the increasing awareness around intersectionality and its importance, this community-in-focus series of panels on ethnicity explores how our identity combines with ethnicity and the resulting challenges and lived experiences this creates. With a particular focus on Black communities, this discussion will cover topics including:

- What it means to be LGBTQ+ and black

- Identity challenges faced by black communities

- The impact of being out in a black family

Sponsored by:


  • M
    Belton Flournoy
    Belton Flournoy
    Managing Director
    In addition to being a Managing Director in Protiviti’s Technology & Digital consulting practice, Belton is founder of Protiviti UK's LGBT+ group, which won best LGBT+ network in 2019 by the Inclusive Tech Alliance. Belton was shortlisted as a top 10 inspirational business leader in 2020 by the British LGBT+ awards, was recently listed as #18 on Yahoo Finance’s Top 100 Future Leaders, #15 on Yahoo Finance’s Top 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders and was featured on the top UK Black Role models, presented by Google. Belton was co-founder of Pride in the City with Pride in London where he ran a Mayor backed initiative dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusivity across London businesses.  In January 2021, Belton joined The Inclusion Initiative (TII) at the London School of Economics as an Advisory Board Member supporting their three-year innovative partnership programme bringing together research and practice to build more inclusive work environments. He has over a decade of experience supporting clients with deploying strategic solutions across some of the world’s leading financial services institutions, while maintaining a strong passion for ensuring diversity and inclusivity remain high on organisations business agenda.  He is extremely passionate about intersectionality, where he believes it is each person’s role to support other groups who are in the minority – “after all, we don’t want to preach to the converted, we want to educate and inspire people to be more aware and inclusive.” Belton also acts as an adviser to the UK Multicultural network, proCulture. He has experience delivering Cyber Security, Customer Experience, Identity & Access Management (IAM), Spreadsheet Risk and Compliance/Regulatory Risk programs across Europe. He has managed global teams across large organisations, as well as supporting small and medium-sized organisations to implement fit-for-purpose solutions. Protiviti is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration through consulting solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit. Please do not contact me if you require financial support.
  • M
    Andreena Leeanne
    Andreena Leeanne
    Lived Experience Speaker & Poet
    Poetry LGBT Open Mic Night
    Andreena Leeanne, is a Black Lesbian Lived Experience Speaker, Workshop Facilitator & Poet. She writes and performs poetry to come to terms with and speak out about her personal experiences with homelessness, mental health, childhood sexual abuse & the many other challenges she has faced in her life. In January 2015 Andreena founded Poetry LGBT Open Mic Night. Poetry LGBT is a warm and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community to come together to share their experiences & creativity through poetry and spoken word. Andreena recently started Adult Survivors Open Mic for survivors of abuse to share their story through poetry. Andreena delivers self-care writing workshops online and in person. During these structured workshops the participants are encouraged to explore what self-care means to them especially during these challenging times. Andreena has performed her poetry at various community-led events, Labour Party events and for Local Authorities such as London Borough Hackney during LGBT History Month, the Greater London Authority and at International Women’s Day events; and has had her work published in the anthology Sista! (Team Angelica, 2018). Her debut poetry collection CHARRED has also been published by Team Angelica October 2020. In 2018 She was one of Stonewall’s Black History Month role models. In 2020 she has been shortlisted for a Positive LGBT Role Model National Diversity Award. In 2021 Andreena became a trustee of a charity called Action Breaks Silence whose mission is to end violence against women and girls. Charred is available to purchase on Amazon and Etsy Writing Workshop brochure:
  • Yasmin @theyasminbenoit
    Yasmin @theyasminbenoit
    Model, Activist, Writer
    Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN)
    Yasmin Benoit is a British model, leading asexuality activist, writer, and speaker. At 18, she began modelling with the goal of diversifying the fashion industry and became one of the UK's most prominent Black alternative models. In late 2017, she publicly came out as aromantic-asexual and quickly became an unlikely face and voice for those communities. Her goal is to empower the aromantic and asexual people, bring those identities into the mainstream, fight for their social and legal inclusion, and dispel misconceptions about them in an intersectional, cross-sectional way. Yasmin created the popular #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike movement to show that there is no asexual way to look or dress, which has been embraced by asexual people worldwide. In 2019, she became a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and in 2020, an asexualities researcher at California State University and made her presenting debut with her 'Me and My Asexuality' BBC Sounds series. Her unconventional approach to activism has attracted the attention of international press, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour Magazine, British GQ, and Sky News. In early 2021, she did a TedX Talk on asexual media representation for the University of Arkansas, appeared in three Vogue publications, signed with literary agency, Gleam Titles, and was wrote an essay for LGBTQ+ anthology, 'We Can Do Better Than This.' (Penguin, June 2021) Yasmin was also included on the Attitude101 Influential Figures List as a "trailblazer" in "The Future: Under 25" category, and she appeared on the Visible100 List of game-changers as a Community Campaigner.
  • Nigel Ashford
    Nigel Ashford
    Digital Marketing , Public Speaking ,DEI , Event Management Consulting
    Nigel is a retired television reporter/anchor who has transitioned into motivational speaking. He specializes in topics of suicidal survival, following your dreams and aspirations, ignoring the noise of naysayers, fighting against your insecurities, the power of silence and solitude, surviving the storms and wilderness with God, the power of combating your thoughts, being gay and Christian, and being black and gay. In addition to speaking, Nigel Ashford has guest-starred on shows, podcasts, magazines, and social media outlets such as Promo Homo TV, Black Boy Joy, and the Straight Spouses Podcast. He presented and hosted the Freedom 2B Summit in Los Angeles. He was featured in The Unleashed Voices (TUV) Magazine, Shoutout Atlanta Magazine, and Connect Us Magazine. Nigel Ashford is the creator and host of the Facebook Live digital show 'OUTSPOKEN'. OUTSPOKEN speaks on serious and light-hearted relevant topics relating to culture, issues, changes, and achievements within the LGBTQ community. OUTSPOKEN provides a unique and honest platform for an audience to seek commentary on politics, health, pop culture, and current events within our rainbow culture. Nigel wants his platform to be a voice that exudes positivity, diversity, and equality while exploring topics of adversity. Nigel is releasing his Children Story/Coloring book in October - making him the first African American to create a children's book incorporating all LGBTQ families of color. He is also set to be a featured speaker at Purdue University's Black Culture Center in October.
  • Traci Wade
    Traci Wade
    VP, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion
    Traci Wade Vice President, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Oracle As vice president, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), Traci Wade leads global programs that build awareness of the business impact and value of a diverse and inclusive culture at Oracle. She engages with senior leadership in creating and supporting strategies that infuse and elevate a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity into the workplace. Her team actively leads and supports Oracle’s Employee Resource Groups to help build companywide communities, develop future leaders, encourage partnerships, and retain talent. Traci played a key role in establishing the company’s first D&I strategy and team more than a decade ago, and has been providing leadership and guidance ever since. She is regarded as a strategic and inclusive thought leader and expert on the subject, and has received recognition and numerous awards from a wide variety of publications and organizations for her commitment and success in leading D&I corporate efforts and outreach.
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