Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, a leading tire and rubber company, will serve its sixth year as presenting sponsor of the Nashville Pride Festival. This year’s Pride Festival will take place on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, at Public Square Park in Downtown Nashville.
“At Bridgestone, we are committed to developing a workforce as diverse as the one we serve, as well as promoting a culture that is representative of this unique and vibrant city in which we live,” said Christine Karbowiak, chief administrative officer and executive vice president for Bridgestone Americas. “We believe that bringing individuals together who come from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives not only helps makes us stronger as a company but strengthens Nashville as a whole.”
Bridgestone employees will lead the Nashville Pride Parade, kicking off the Saturday’s festival at 10 a.m. Walking alongside Bridgestone will be representatives from the Nashville Predators including team captain Roman Josi, team mascot GNASH, and the Predators Energy Team.
“I'm so proud to be able to help represent the Predators alongside our friends at Bridgestone at the Nashville Pride Festival,” said Roman Josi, Captain, Nashville Predators. “Everyone on our team, from players, coaches, staff and front office believe strongly in the Hockey is For Everyone initiative. We have been involved in many ways to support this initiative over the years. I am honored to participate in this event to celebrate, raise awareness and bring our community together.”
A new addition to this year’s Pride Festival will be the Firestone Bigfoot monster truck. The truck will be branded for Nashville Pride, and will be parked near Bridgestone’s booth throughout the festival weekend. Festival goers are encouraged to take photos with Bigfoot using the hashtag #BeBridgestone. Additionally, Bridgestone Tower, the company’s corporate headquarters located at 200 4th Ave. S in downtown Nashville, will be illuminated with pride colors throughout the weekend to celebrate and show support.
“We are thrilled to have Bridgestone’s continued support and involvement in our flagship event,” said Matthew Gann, president of Nashville PRIDE. “As the largest LGBTQ+ event in the state of Tennessee, our mission is not only to educate, but maintain a sense of awareness and pride for LGBTQ+ culture in our city. We are fortunate to have incredible community partners like Bridgestone who understand the great impact we can have on our community when we work together.”
Recently, Bridgestone received a score of 90 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a premier benchmarking survey and report on U.S. corporate policies and practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Bridgestone’s score reflects a continued commitment to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, with respect to tangible policies, benefits, and practices. Additionally, Bridgestone recently established a new Nashville-based employee resource group, BPROUD, which focuses on supporting LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
The Nashville Pride Festival is Tennessee’s largest LGBTQ+ festival and works to increase awareness for LGBTQ+ people and families. According to Gann, 2018 was one of the most successful festivals to date, with more than 35,000 attendees for the two-day event.