The Florida “Don’t Say Gay” law banning instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Texas directive criminalizing gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. The Oklahoma “bathroom bill” prohibiting trans students from using facilities aligned to their gender identity.
Across the United States, these and other actions aim to restrict LGBTQIA+ individuals’ inherent rights as human beings. Earlier this spring, 2U signed the HRC’s business statement opposing discriminatory legislation of this nature. But as more of these harmful proposals take hold across the country, it’s critical for the LGBTQIA+ community to continue to not only be visible as our authentic selves—in our work environments and personal lives—but also create intentional moments for affecting change. By coming together with each other and our allies, we embrace the full spectrum of our unique and shared identities and remind the world of our enduring resilience. That’s why we in 2Q, the company’s LGBTQIA+ Business Resource Network, chose “Go Forth and PRIDE!” as our loud-and-proud theme for this year’s U.S. Pride celebration at 2U.
To bring our theme to life, below you’ll find 2Q member spotlights representing just a few of the many passionate LGBTQIA+ employees working across 2U’s global offices. You can also check out our curated list of 2U-powered online courses connected to LGBTQIA+ topics, which can be taken either for personal enrichment or by leaders ready to help forge a better world.
By giving you a glimpse into our #LifeAt2U and the many aspects that make us #2UProud, 2Q hopes you’ll “Go Forth and PRIDE!” with us well beyond June—and into a safer and more inclusive future.
“A Day in the Life” of 2Q at 2U
Since 2Q was first formed at the start of 2019, we've featured inspiring stories of our members in recognition of U.S. Pride. Each of them have had unique experiences connected to their identity and are the embodiment of this year’s theme.
- “As the venerable philosopher Lizzo once said, ‘Love looks better in color.’ For me, that means it’s not only my right, but my responsibility to live my life and be myself out loud. I have so many privileges afforded to me in this life, and to grey myself out or not live up to the full expression of myself would be taking those privileges for granted.”—Angelina Collazo-Young (they/them), senior manager of instructional products and experience
- “From the first time I stepped into the 2U Cape Town office, I never ever felt like I needed to hide who I was. This has allowed me to have confidence in my work environment and perform to the best of my ability, because I feel safe and supported. I am proud to be a 2U employee and part of an organization that encourages us to celebrate our diversity and be inclusive of everyone.”—Sheana Abrahams (she/her), benefits manager
- “I wanted to join both 2Q and 2U’s Black Engagement Network (BNet) as an opportunity to connect with people who would share similar experiences as me. Being the only Black person in a room—let alone the only Black queer person—can feel very isolating. These BRNs provide a necessary space for 2U employees to make connections with others: a place where I feel seen and celebrated.”—Kayani Turner (she/her and they/them), student success manager
- “As a queer, gay, Asian, and white, cisgender male, Pride Month is important because it helps celebrate some of the coolest humans alive: those within the LGBTQIA+ community. Being gay and out is not easy, especially professionally. For me, it’s a time for everyone to celebrate an identity that crosses race, religion, ethnicity, and country borders. Plus, who doesn’t love a little rainbow in their life?”—Nick Ota-Wang (he/him), senior student success advisor
- “Pride month is a time of reflection, learning, and growth. I try to learn as much as I can about the history and evolution of queer culture—everything from other cultures and eras to what’s happening now in our own country. I take this time to reflect and pay homage to the beautiful Black and Brown trans folk who fought with blood, sweat, and tears to pave the way for me to have the rights and liberties I do today.”—Sean Briar Olen (they/them), student success manager
- “I have never worked somewhere quite like 2U. The openness I have with my manager and fellow 2U employees is inclusive, and I feel safe being my true, authentic self. I have never felt uncomfortable discussing my values or concerns, no matter how liberal or conservative they may be.”—Leah Favia (she/her), senior multimedia producer
- “This year, my plan to celebrate Pride is concrete: Educate myself, support where I can, and help educate others. Currently, we are living in very challenging times. Both Black communities and Latinx communities, particularly those who are LGBTQIA+, continue to face discrimination and injustice. That has to change.”—Leo Martinez Davis (he/they or el/elle), content marketing design manager
For 2022, we'll continue to share interviews with 2Q members here on The Latest to highlight their diverse 2U roles and lives worldwide.
Online Programs for Executive Education and Lifelong Learning
These online courses are taught by leading scholars and experts from some of the world’s top educational institutions.
Courses highlighting LGBTQIA+ topics and experiences:
- Health Across the Gender Spectrum, from Stanford University, offers an intimate, story-based introduction to the experiences of six transgender children and their families. Through illustrated stories and short teaching videos, you will gain a better understanding of gender identity and the gender spectrum.
- Gender and Intersectionality, from the University of Iceland, uses examples from popular culture, classical literature, and history to teach you how to analyze topics ranging from sexuality to class, religion, and race through a gendered lens.
- Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society, from the University of British Columbia, brings together globally renowned scholars to teach you how to better understand and apply knowledge about gender and sexuality—a critical first step in addressing social, economic, and cultural inequalities.
- Doing Gender and Why it Matters, from the University of Hong Kong, draws from a variety of perspectives to question the meaning of gender in different cultural settings and historical moments, including such categories such as man, woman, transgender, queer, cisgender, bisexual, and intersex.
- Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology Part 1 and Part 2, from the Smithsonian Institution, explore how the ongoing film and TV franchise’s diverse range of characters has prompted audiences to reconsider their own perceptions of different genders, sexualities, and races, as well as their own place in the universe.
- Psychology of Political Activism: Women Changing the World, from Smith College, explores what motivates prominent women such as Gloria Steinem, Loretta Ross, and others to become involved in activism, including the LGBTQIA+ Movement.
- Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment and Violence, from the University of Cambridge’s Jesus College, helps you learn how to become an active bystander and address sexual harassment and violence—in the workplace, at home, or in wider social relations.
Executive education courses in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):
- Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, from Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, helps you develop your cultural competencies to form a holistic understanding of what DEI means for modern business.
- Inclusive Leadership Through Behavioural Science, from the London School of Economics and Political Science, gives you tools and insights to ensure that the employees in your organization—no matter their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion—are treated inclusively and equitably.
- Leading Workplace Diversity, from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, leads you through developing an action plan to attract and retain diverse talent.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare, from the Stanford Center for Health Education, takes you through understanding and addressing societal biases across social identities and public health disparities to advancing DEI within your own healthcare organization.
- Diversity and Inclusive Leadership, from Tecnológico de Monterrey’s EGADE Business School, explores the way culture impacts team performance, and how diversity and inclusion affect the workplace, to help you uncover ways to interrupt biases and promote behaviors that foster an inclusive organizational culture.
- Rotman Enabling Impact Through Inclusive Leadership, from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, delves into the personal, interpersonal, and organizational dimensions of leadership to help you gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of your awareness and appreciation of each employee’s individual culture.
- Leading Diversity and Inclusion at Work, from the University of Cape Town, helps you create an in-depth DEI plan specific to your organization.
General DEI courses in human rights, community engagement, and more:
- Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Exclusion, from SDG Academy, investigates how the rights of marginalized groups around the world are violated daily.
- Writing for Social Justice, from the University of California, Berkeley, teaches budding wordsmiths how to harness the power of storytelling for personal, social, and political change.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help partners thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.