News | April 13th 2024

CBT Wins BBJ's LGBT Corporate Ally Award!

On the 50th anniversary of the NYC Stonewall Inn Riots (an event considered to be the beginning of the LGBTQ+ equality movement), CBT officially launched “CBT Proud,” a firmwide initiative dedicated to celebrating equality, LGBTQ+ representation in architecture and design. Under the leadership of CBT Associate Principal Rob Hagan and Senior Associate Luke Tanguay, CBT Proud has since expanded well beyond annual Pride Month programming to include a series of workplace policy reforms, intensive training opportunities, design industry-wide leadership, and collaborative partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations in and beyond Boston.

Today, we are honored to announce that, as a result of these efforts, CBT has won a Boston Business Journal LGBT Corporate Ally Award. We are delighted to celebrate the immense growth and impact of CBT Proud and its important contributions to elevating the LGBTQ+ community within our industry.

Since our founding more than fifty years ago, CBT has believed that, as designers, equity and inclusivity should be at the core of who we are and the work that we do. We are committed to providing environments in which LGBTQ+ folks can be treated with respect and dignity – in our office, our designs, our industry, and our communities. CBT Proud represents a real, tangible application of this principle. In just five years since its inception, CBT Proud has brought meaningful changes to our firm’s practice, policies, and community relationships, while playing a key role in paving the way for the firm’s greater equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. It’s actions and initiatives like these, with significant social impact that reaches far beyond our immediate community, that inspire us to design with purpose and push forward towards a more equitable, inclusive future.

From fundraising events to firm-wide educational sessions to inclusive design competitions, CBT Proud has taken several actionable steps and made significant contributions toward creating safer, more inclusive spaces. Here are just a few CBT Proud initiatives to date:

  • An annual Drag Bingo celebration which raises donations for organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Currently preparing for its sixth year, CBT Proud’s Drag Bingo event has thus far raised funds for organizations such as The Theater Offensive, The Home for Little Wanderers, Safe Schools South Florida, The Human Dignity Trust, and Lawyers for Civil Rights. The event has been held both virtually and in person, and attracts more than 100 attendees from both CBT and the general public in a single year.
  • Educational sessions featuring guest speakers from both local and national LGBTQ+ organizations. These sessions have included speakers from the AEC industry, pivotal figures from the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and representatives of local and national LGBTQ+ organizations, such as Bryan Furze representing the Milton Schools Gay Straight Alliance Scholarship Fund, The Home for Little Wanderers/The Waltham House, OUT MetroWest, The Theater Offensive, David Wilson and Robert Compton from GLAD’s first marriage equality lawsuit (and first in the U.S. to win the right to same sex marriage), The History Project, and Safe Schools South Florida, and even a guest appearance from Kennedy Davenport, a contestant in RuPaul’s Drag Race.
  • Customized displays at CBT’s office, which activate the entry and engage passersby with vibrant graphics and artwork responding to current events.
  • Interactive discussions and educational sessions for CBTers, including opportunities to connect with local LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations, to encourage positive and productive dialogue.
  • Production of various educational materials and resources distributed to CBT employees, providing helpful information on topics such as gender terminology and pronouns, the history of the LGBTQ+ equality movement, health and wellness, local LGBGTQ+-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations, family-friendly LGTBQ+ educational materials and media, inclusive design practices, LGBTQ+ design milestones, and more.
  • Firm-wide design competitions to develop new standards for inclusive restroom design as well as universal restroom signage and wayfinding.
  •  Introduction of the first LGBTQ+-inclusive networking group for designers in Boston, “Out in Design.” The group launched its very first event in CBT’s Constitution Wharf office and is led by representatives from some of Boston’s most influential AEC firms. With roughly 100 people attending its inaugural event, each quarterly networking event has included representation from more than 23 different firms in the city.

While we are deeply honored to be part of the Boston Business Journal’s Business of Pride celebration and to be recognized as a Corporate Ally, we believe this marks only the beginning in the effort to provide safe, inclusive, and equal environments for all.

CBT Proud Mission Statement:
CBT Proud is committed to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community; educating the firm and the design community in both the accomplishments thus far and the work yet to be done in the ongoing fight for equality; promoting an open, welcoming, and safe work environment and culture; and advocating for diversity as a source of strength for CBT that enhances and positively impacts firm work, goals, and achievements. We strongly believe that people do their best work when they feel comfortable being their full and authentic selves – and bringing authenticity to the table.