HRC Joins Forces with Tent Partnership for Refugees, More Than 20 Global Businesses to Support over 1,000 Refugees in North America

by HRC staff

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Tent Partnership for Refugees join forces to mobilize the business community in support of LGBTQ refugees.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of over 130 major companies committed to integrating refugees, have joined forces to mobilize businesses in North America to support LGBTQ refugees. Altogether, 23 companies have announced their collective commitment to provide mentorship opportunities to approximately 1,250 LGBTQ refugees over the next three years.

At the North American Business Summit on LGBTQ Refugees, convened virtually by Tent and the Human Rights Campaign, these companies recognized the challenges for LGBTQ refugees as they seek to integrate into their new communities. The businesses have each pledged to mentor at least 50 LGBTQ refugees via their LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups -- preparing refugees to enter the job market, and gaining access to employment opportunities.

Eyewear company Warby Parker has committed to mentoring LGBTQ refugees in New York, whereas Hilton will mentor refugees in Dallas and Washington D.C., and Under Armour will focus its mentoring activities in Austin and Baltimore. Accenture, an HRC Platinum corporate partner, is expanding their commitment to inclusion by mentoring refugees in Toronto.

Other major companies, spanning sectors from healthcare to hospitality and from consulting to financial services, have also stepped up to mentor LGBTQ refugees across North America. They include: Accenture, ADP, AT&T Mexico, Bain & Company, CIBC, CompuCom, GSK, Chobani, Finastra, Hilton, Huron, IBM, Ipsos, Kearney, Medtronic, Nomura, SAP, Scotiabank, Softchoice, TD Bank Group, Under Armour, Von Wobeser y Sierra, and Warby Parker.

Refugees have been disproportionately affected by the economic crisis, with many losing their jobs - and we know that LGBTQ refugees face even bigger hurdles. Especially in the current economic climate, I am incredibly proud of the companies standing up for human rights and dignity - including Chobani. The business community must use its power to build more inclusive communities that protect the most vulnerable among us."

Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and founder of Tent

Mr. Ulukaya was joined at the summit by Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign and a former refugee from Liberia; and Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers are fleeing the same persecution and violence facing refugees across the world. Many are fleeing places where simply being who they are puts them in danger of imprisonment or even death. LGBTQ refugees, like all people, deserve the ability to not only survive, but to thrive as newcomers. Partnering with Tent and the business community on this initiative will impact the lives of countless LGBTQ refugees.”

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

Many LGBTQ refugees have been forced to flee their home countries due to persecution directly related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sixty-nine countries still criminalize same-sex relations, and nine may impose the death penalty. Transgender people face incredible levels of discrimination and violence without legal recourse in countries around the globe. While there are no official figures available, it is estimated that Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. each host thousands of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers.

There are still far too many countries that persecute people for who they love or who they are. While we must do more to provide a safe haven for those who need to flee, we must also do more to help them stand on their feet when they’re resettled in their new homes. Businesses mentoring LGBTQ refugees is a step in the right direction -- and will make a meaningful difference in refugees’ lives.”

Samantha Power, Former U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations, Tent Advisory Council member

Businesses and communities thrive when our teams are inclusive, equitable and diverse. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to ensure that anyone entering the workforce has the opportunity and resources they need to achieve their professional goals. Mentorship plays a critical role in that and our team is honored and excited to support LGBTQ+ refugees through this program. At Warby Parker, we’ve always strived to create an environment where our teams can bring their authentic selves to work. Our hope is that we can provide that support to the LGBTQ+ refugee community as they seek new and continued employment opportunities."

Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker.

As a business founded on the noble premise that international travel can be a bridge to world peace, Hilton is proud to join with Tent, HRC and others in support of LGBTQ refugees. Our Team Members are eager to demonstrate our values of hospitality and offer career guidance and skills development to our refugee partners, empowering them to bring their full, true selves to work each and every day.”

Laura Fuentes, Hilton’s Chief Human Resources Officer

Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email