As part of its diversity and inclusion efforts, Blackstone recently established OUT BX, a group dedicated to raising awareness of social and professional challenges impacting LGBTQ individuals.
The group, which started as an organic initiative by employees across the firm, hosts events where LGBTQ employees and supporters can interact and connect with the LGBTQ community, helping to create a strong community culture to recruit and retain talented LGBTQ individuals.
OUT BX had the opportunity to host the latest episode of the Blackstone podcast, in which Tony James spoke with former Congressman Barney Frank – the first openly gay member of Congress – about his personal and professional advocacy for the LGBTQ community over a three-decade career on Capitol Hill.
OUT BX also hosted its inaugural volunteer event supporting the Ali Forney Center (AFC) – the country’s largest non-profit provider of housing and support services for homeless LGBTQ youth. AFC provides shelter for over 130 young people each night, but this is unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg for the thousands of homeless LGBTQ youth, which comprise up to 40% of the New York City’s homeless population.
A team of 30 plus employees from across Blackstone business groups in the New York office packaged 500 “essentials” kits, which are distributed to those young people who are forced to spend nights on the street due to space constraints at shelters. The kits included soap, lotion, deodorant and other personal care items.