By Aubrie De Clerck
My career coaching business, Coaching for Clarity, turns ten this year. When I asked myself how I wanted to celebrate, the answer came to me quickly – give back and make a statement about what’s important. Giving has always been a priority for me, whether it’s volunteering time or donating money. And with the tide turning politically, it’s time for me to be more vocal in my business. I decided that each quarter I will give 10% of the proceeds from my individual coaching sessions to a cause I care about. In April, I chose Basic Rights Oregon.
I’ve always been passionate about LGBTQ rights. Honestly, I don’t understand why it’s an issue for people to be who they are, or love who they love, but it is. People in the LGBTQ community face so much discrimination, so many barriers and so much violence. I want to do what I can to help change that.
Basic Rights stood out as the organization to choose because of these factors:
- Workplace equality. Coaching is about knowing that people are whole, capable and resourceful as they are. When people go to work, they want to know they can be themselves there. I think that’s true for everyone. With their Fair Workplace Project and their effort in passing the Oregon Equality Act, BRO helps create an Oregon where LGBTQ workers can show up as themselves every day.
- Intersectional focus. Societal barriers are complex. There are so many layers and none of them can be ignored. It’s important to honor everyone’s experience as we work for equality. Liberation is not a case of either-or and BRO’s involvement in coalitions like One Oregon and Fair Shot shows their active commitment to ending oppression.
- Track record of legislative success. Given our political and societal climate, I knew that when I made a contribution, it was going to be to a legislative group. Even if I don’t like the system the way it is, it’s still the system we have, and a lot of the change I want to see is going to come through it. I’m not a patient person personally, and I have trouble maintaining the energy over the course of times it takes for legislative change to take hold. But I can give to Basic Rights Oregon and know that they’re going to work unceasingly for equality for communities I care about.
As the sole proprietor at Coaching for Clarity, what I was able to contribute wasn’t very much, but I know it meant something to me and to BRO. So to other business owners, if you already make a stand with your voice and dollars, fantastic – do more! To business owners who haven’t yet spoken up in this way – you can do this. Working for change professionally is possible, and it’s important. Consider how you can get behind what matters to you in a whole new way.