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The inaugural Cedar Valley LGBTQ Workplace Culture
                                                                             Summit took place at Allen College in Waterloo.
























                                   WORKING AT




            INCLUSION











                  LGBTQ summit tells employers courtesy helps attract talent



                                                                  AMIE RIVERS                on her terms.
                                                                  amie.rivers@wcfcourier.com
                                                                                              “She said, ‘What would you do
                                                                         or  many years, Gina   if you weren’t afraid?’” Weekley
                                                                         Weekley felt pressure   said.
                                                                         from all sides — her   Initially, Weekley said, she re-
                                                                         family, her schools and   sisted the “afraid” label. But her
                                                                 F workplaces and from       boss continued to challenge her,
                                                                  societal and cultural norms — to   and Weekley fi nally set goals for
                                                                  hide the fact she was gay.  herself she said were a long time
                                                                    That led the Waterloo native   coming.
                                                                  to fall into a deep depression, and   “I would develop programs for
                                                                  even leave the state, in order to   youth, I would fi nish school, and
                                                                  fi nally feel free to be who she was.  I would speak up for people who
                                                                    “I was operating out of fear —   grew up like I did,” Weekley said.
                                                                  fear of being outed, fear of letting   “And she said, ‘Let’s do it.’
                                                                  my family down, fear of letting my   “This connection she made for
                                                                  community down,” Weekley said.  me was life-changing,” she added.
                                                                    But  Weekley  — who  told her   “I made a promise to myself to live
                                                                  story for the fi rst time publicly   without fear, and unapologeti-
                                                                  Thursday at the Cedar Valley   cally.”
                                                                  LGBTQ Workplace Culture Sum-  Her  newfound  courage
                                                                  mit at Allen College — said it was
                         BRANDON POLLOCK PHOTOS, COURIER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER                  eventually  helped  Weekley
             Leslie K. Wilson, UNI business dean and professor, speaks at the   actually a boss she had in Virginia
             inaugural Cedar Valley LGBTQ Workplace Culture Summit.   who challenged her to live openly   Please see LGBTQ, Page 11



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