Pyxis Pride: Perspective from Kolbi Brown
Pride Month is a time to reflect on the resilience and vibrancy of the LGBTQI+ community and an opportunity to celebrate the tenacity of those who have advocated and fought to ensure equal rights and dignity for members of our community.
While there is much to celebrate, we know there are more battles to fight and important work to be done. As a gay black man in America, I often feel my sheer existence is under attack. From on-going racially motivated violence and unaddressed inequities in our healthcare system that adversely affect communities of color, to the relentless push to demonize our trans brothers and sisters with draconian laws in statehouses across the country – each one of us who has the ability must advocate for change. In some locales, even saying the word “gay” is prohibited and not safe.
Safe, open, and welcoming spaces can be hard to come by - especially for LGBTQI+ people of color. Growing up, my own home was not a safe space. School was not a safe space. As an adult it took some time before I found employment in a safe space, where I could bring my whole authentic self. I feel proud and privileged to say that Pyxis Partners is such a space.
Pyxis Partners is a certified LGBT Business Enterprise. It is wonderful to see myself reflected within our leadership team, but more importantly discussions around the intersection of race and sexual orientation are welcomed and encouraged. While many places of employment run away from these issues, Pyxis Partners leans into these areas, not to check off a box but to truly seek solutions to pressing problems.
Pyxis Partners works at the intersection of health policy, advocacy, and engagement. In this mission driven work, my colleagues and I are afforded the opportunity each day to advance policies and programs that result in positive change for those who are underrepresented and often overlooked. While this is “the job,” for my colleagues and I, this work is deeply personal, making it even more rewarding.
As Pyxis Partners celebrates Pride Month, it is my personal goal to remember the resilience of so many in the LGBTQI+ community and to continue to do all I can to create safe spaces for members of my community while remembering this work cannot be haphazard. Being part of a work culture that is respectful and welcoming of others must be intentional and consistently nurtured. Lastly, it serves as a reminder of the importance of our Pyxis mission and to recommit ourselves to advocacy for all those who society would rather did not exist or remain unseen.