The Pride Affinity Group raises awareness and visibility within Bass, Berry & Sims of the firm’s commitment to be inclusive of all forms of diversity, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Membership offers general support, mentoring and networking opportunities, and provides a voice regarding the firm’s policies and practices as they relate to LGBT attorneys.
Membership in the Pride Affinity Group extends to allies and is open to all.
Bass, Berry & Sims was named one of three finalists for the Nashville LGBT Chamber’s Best Business Resource Group award for 2022. This recognition is given to a business resource group who works to support and build a culture of inclusion and acceptance. We’re honored to join the Amazon and Dell Technologies as finalists for this award. Winners will be announced at the Pride in Business Awards on June 3, 2022. For additional details about the Pride Business Awards 2022, click here.
For the fifth year in a row, Bass, Berry & Sims received a perfect score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Bass, Berry & Sims was one of only eight Tennessee-based companies to receive a perfect score for 2022, and is proud to join the more than 840 major U.S. companies that are now labeled as the “Best Places to work for LGBTQ Equality.” Read more about the 2022 recognition here.
The Nashville LGBT Chamber honored Bass, Berry & Sims with its Corporate Diversity award on June 4, 2021 at its annual Pride in Business awards ceremony. The Corporate Diversity award is presented to the corporation with the most policies and practices to protect and engage LGBTQ+ employees, clients, and suppliers. Attorneys David Smith and Zach Baumann represented the firm at the awards ceremony. The complete program was broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn.
Each year, the LGBT Bar recognizes LGBTQ+ legal professionals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and have demonstrated a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. We are proud to have our own Taylor Wirth included as one of the Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40. Taylor’s passion for the LGBTQ community shines when he works with firm leadership to make sure our workplace is inclusive. A direct result of this is scoring a perfect 100 for five years in a row on the Human Right’s Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. Whether it is his work with the Mosaic Institute, the Nashville LGBT Chamber, OutLaw organizations or the youth supported by the Oasis Center, Taylor’s impact is resonating in our local Nashville community. Taylor’s intellectual curiosity, his passion for his community and his proven ability to earn the respect of his peers are all qualities that set Taylor apart as one of the Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40.
Programs and Activities
The Pride Affinity Group and its allies actively participate in a number of events, programs, activities, sponsorships and organizations that connect with and benefit the larger LGBT community.
- In November 2022, as part of the 100 Acts of Service Challenge in celebration of the firm’s 100th Anniversary, members of the Pride Affinity Group packaged over 600 snack packs for the young people served by Oasis Center.
- In July 2022, Bass, Berry & Sims attended the Lavender Law event and career fair. Our representatives included Zach Baumann, Jeff Davis, Greg Maczko, Carter-William Palek and Taylor Wirth.
- On May 16, 2022 AJ Bolan and our Washington, D.C. office hosted a reception for the George Washington Lambda Law Alumni Association. This well attended reception is a welcome event for new alumni.
- On April 14, 2022 our Pride group hosted the Vanderbilt OutLaw group for a movie night. We watched “But I’m A Cheerleader” and enjoyed a night of food and fun.
- In April 2022, members from the Pride ally group supported the Predators at the team’s Pride Night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
- During Pride month, we collected makeup and accessories for underprivileged LGBTQ+ youth in Middle Tennessee so they can express themselves fully and authentically. The Oasis Center serves 150+ youth a year – more than half of whom are transgender or gender non-conforming. The majority have limited financial means; many are homeless. You might be thinking, “Makeup isn’t a necessity.” For these youth, it actually is. Being and loving themselves is a daily battle. Pursuant to a 2020 survey, 85% of transgendered youth had contemplated suicide, and even more alarming, approximately 50% had actually attempted suicide. Access to makeup and beauty supplies is an essential lifeline. We contributed 378 items to the Just Us Beauty Bar including; brushes, beauty blenders, mascara, foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, cosmetic bags, nail polish, and blush.
- During Pride Month 2021, the Pride Affinity Group hosted Dr. Amy Mariaskin, a licensed clinical psychologist who focuses on treating LGBTQ+ youth, and Dr. Kristin Rager, owner of Rager Adolescent Health, a clinic specializing in adolescent health issues, for an introductory program about the transgender community. The program provided a forum to learn more about the transgender community and the issues that most acutely impact the community. The panelists discussed appropriate vocabulary and pronoun usage, health inequities, and the importance of family and community support to the transgender community.
- In February 2020, the Pride Affinity Group hosted members of the Vanderbilt OUTLaw student organization at a dinner. During this annual event, the students and attorneys come together to talk about a career in the legal profession.
- In February 2020, members of the Pride Affinity Group packed 450 snack packs that the Oasis Center will provide to young people after they leave the Center. The Pride Affinity Group donated all of the items that were included in the snack packs. The mission of the Oasis Center is to help young people in Middle Tennessee move into a happy, healthy and productive adulthood.
- In January 2020, the firm hosted Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce CEO Joe Woolley for a lunch presentation during which Joe discussed the Chamber’s plans for 2020 and how they help advance business interests, economic development and equality for its LGBT members, business and allies. The firm is a member and supporter of the Chamber.
- In November 2019, members of our Pride group and members of the Vanderbilt OUTLaw student organization visited Oasis Center for a tour to learn about the amazing work being done involving youth in Middle Tennessee.
- In March 2019, the Pride group participated in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Nashville Equality Dinner. Bass, Berry & Sims employee Emily Harrington donated one of her pieces of art for the silent auction.
- In February 2019, the Pride ally group attended the Predators Pride Night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
- In June 2018, as part of the firm’s celebration of Pride Month, the Pride group hosted Josh Burford, an award-winning historian, archivist and educator with over 20 years of experience creating stronger communities for LGBTQ people across the United States.
- In May 2018, the group sponsored the 2018 LGBT Chamber Excellence in Business Awards.
- In March 2018, Bass, Berry & Sims sponsored the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Nashville Equality Dinner to celebrate the successes of the LGBT Community.
- In January 2018, the group sponsored the Second Annual LGBTQ Youth Summit hosted by GLSEN and Students of Stonewall.
- In 2018, the group attended the 2018 Nashville Predators Annual Pride Night Hosted by the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
- Group members annually attend the National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair.
- The group regularly sponsors or participates in activities of the Stonewall Bar Association of Tennessee, the Human Rights Campaign, the Tennessee Equality Project, the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Oasis Center’s Just Us program, and Nashville in Harmony.
- The group has hosted students from Vanderbilt University Law School’s OutLaw group for a networking and mentorship dinner.