June 1, 2024 Perspective

I am Proud: Voices of Pride and Unity

At Acadia, we take pride in fostering an inclusive and supportive environment year-round, ensuring that every voice is heard and celebrated as we unite through collaboration and diverse perspectives.

It is crucial that every single person has the opportunity to ‘shine through’ with pride. In fact, one of our core values is based on uniting through collaboration and diverse perspectives. For that reason, Acadians have built places and spaces where they can learn, grow, and unite. Our Rainbow Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG) is one such space.

This year, the Rainbow Alliance has partnered with OUTbio to explore the power of words and the damaging effects of microaggressions. A microaggression is a verbal or non-verbal slight on a person’s identity that can be intentional or unintentional. We’ll be learning about the subtle and insidious nature of microaggressions and how they can be course-corrected. We’ll be understanding the difference between intent and impact, and how all Acadians can use more purposeful language in interactions they can take pride in.

On the topic of pride, our Rainbow Alliance gathered perspectives from Acadians across the business for our ‘I am Proud’ series. Here is what they had to say: 

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that not only helps people fight disease but also encourages me to bring my whole self to the work we do. Although I have been at Acadia for just a short time, the relationships I’ve formed with my colleagues and the quality of leadership I’ve experienced both underscore the company’s commitment to a culture of belonging. I’m proud that Acadia celebrates queer voices not just this month, but every day.”
– Jared Bevills, Associate Director, Compliance Operations

“I’m proud of my mother, who raised me all on her own. When I was a small child, I told her that she was ‘my best friend, mommy, daddy, and teacher.’ To which she said, ‘No wonder why I am tired!’ She was my best teacher indeed, and I’m proud of all she taught me. And on Pride month, I am grateful for the early education on challenging gender norms and supporting loving relationships of all makes and models.”
– Nancy Vance, Sr. Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“These are three things I’m proud of in my life. First, my parents have always been my biggest supporters, encouraging me to be who I am. When I came out to them as gay, they supported me unconditionally, standing by my side through both tough and good times. Second, my friends, both straight and gay, have provided me with a lot of love and support. They have witnessed my ups and downs, failures, and accomplishments, and I love them for who they are. Finally, I am fortunate to work with a group of smart, kind, accepting, compassionate, and hardworking colleagues at Acadia. I do not take them for granted and consider it a gift to be part of this group.”

– Vic Abler, Vice President, Medical Affairs

“I am proud to be surrounded by people in my professional life at Acadia who welcome and encourage me to be my true self: a gay man. I’m proud of my story, which is both uniquely mine and one shared by many others. I married and had a family, two sons who are the joy of my life. I came out as a gay man later in life, and I recently married my partner, Tim. My journey has taught me many things: that inclusion is vital in every setting, that truly seeing those who are under-recognized provides opportunities to learn and grow, and that when acceptance replaces judgment, we create an environment of inclusion. As a leader of Acadia’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Rainbow Alliance, I am proud that my counterparts can be their true selves in all aspects of life.”
– Robert Bell, Associate Director, LTC Field Training

If you’re feeling proud too, consider getting involved with your local chapter of OUTbio by volunteering, donating, or simply staying informed. Together, we can continue to create spaces where everyone can shine with pride and make a lasting impact in our communities. Let’s celebrate diversity, foster inclusivity, and be proud of who we are … every day.