Inclusiveness in Practice: Starship Technologies Proudly Deployed in LA | By Reid Zura | Starship Technologies | June 2023


Black starship logo over pastel rainbow gradient
lead zura
Starship Technologies

At Starship Technologies, inclusivity and diversity are more than just words. They are deeply rooted in our values. This year, we are excited to announce that we will embrace these values ​​and participate in the historic and world-famous LA Pride Parade.

For the first time, our team and Starship Robot will proudly march in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. This demonstrates our unwavering support and commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment where all employees can thrive on their own terms.

We aim to make a big statement at LA Pride when our Starship robots take to the vibrant and bustling streets of Los Angeles. This momentous opportunity is fully aligned with the core values ​​we recently launched. “We love that you are different, and that makes us unique.” By participating in the Pride Parade, we are only embodying this core value. We reaffirm our dedication to fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone feels empowered to be their authentic selves.

We have hand-picked three outstanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Ambassadors to lead our participation in this iconic event. These prominent figures provide valuable insight into what Pride means to them personally and why they are so passionate about marching with the LGBTQ+ community.

Through their thoughtful responses, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of our shared motivations and the deeper implications of Starship’s presence in the Pride Parade. Join us as we celebrate diversity, embrace inclusion, and demonstrate our commitment to building a more just and inclusive world.

Meet Quyen Huynh (She/Her), US Human Resources Manager.

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • I march in the Pride Parade every year to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community, voices and history.

2. Why is it important for you to attend this event?

  • Expression is important. As a first-generation student and child of immigrant parents, I identified as a lesbian and decided to push myself into even more minority groups by marrying a deaf wife. I went through so many things for myself when I first started coming out of the closet. Take a trip (even if you can’t tell)! Jokes aside, my story seemed so far from the rest that I was frankly scared and at times overwhelmed not to be able to relate to my three gay buddies from high school. That was until 2012, when I participated in Seattle’s Pride Parade for the first time. Seattle’s Pride Parade was a place where I met and connected with many Asian Americans who share the same struggles (…coming out to their parents, being ostracized by their families). and kicked out of the house, and the list goes on). That was the coming out story sandwiched between the two brackets. Sure, it might not make sense to most people, but it did for us. Thanks to Pride, I found a home I never knew existed. Pride also gave me a voice. It’s important to me (and my wife) to tap into the voices we have, to express our true selves, and to help generations of queer and baby gay people who are still discovering their sexuality. to restore the rights and freedoms that were and still are denied to us. voice. Visibility is very important, which is why our participation in the Pride March is important.

3. What does it mean to you that Starship gave you the opportunity to be the leader of this event?

  • It was an honor to march with Starship at Pride. As a leader, I want to shine a spotlight on civil rights issues. At the same time, we hope to have the opportunity to bring together all kinds of amazing starshippers from all walks of life to celebrate our true nature at this event.

4. What does pride symbolize for you?

  • Pride is a symbol of love and acceptance, giving people identity and freedom of expression, promoting equality, visibility and justice.
Kuen and wife Amy pose for a photo in a white wedding dress after elopement in Northern Cascades
“08/18/2021 — Love Wins! Amy and I are doing our best while chasing the sunset in the mountains. Elopement in North Cascades.”

Meet Elda Velázquez Martinez (She/Her), US Support Manager.

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • People left because of the past and the violence they suffered for being who they are

2. Why is it important for you to attend this event?

  • I can change society, we all deserve the same rights and respect

3. What does it mean to you that Starship gave you the opportunity to be the leader of this event?

  • I feel it is important to make this movement visible and represent companies that support diversity and inclusion.

4. What does pride symbolize for you?

  • Boldly embrace who you really are and be unapologetic about who you are. It symbolizes being content with your identity and seeking acceptance from others.
Elda smiling in front of LA public art
Elda has many adventures!

Meet Global Social Media Specialist Reed Zula (he/him).

  1. What made you decide to participate in the Pride Parade?
  • I join Starship in the Pride Parade to celebrate and embrace my own identity while elevating the voices of people in the LGBTQ+ community around the world. The Pride Parade is a powerful platform for awareness, acceptance and solidarity. This is an opportunity for me to express my pride in who I am and to advocate for equality and rights for LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.

2. Why is it important for you to attend this event?

  • The only Pride event I’ve ever attended was last year’s New York City Pride Parade. For the first time in my life, I felt what it meant to be part of a large community that shared similar experiences, challenges and aspirations. Just being myself has allowed me to connect with others who have been through a series of hardships and celebrate our shared resilience. Secondly, I am honored to be able to participate in this event. We live in a world where queer voices are still silenced or ignored. Although I participate for those who cannot attend, I believe that participating in the Pride Parade will raise awareness and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and contribute to the ongoing fight for equality and social progress. .

3. What does it mean to you that Starship gave you the opportunity to be the leader of this event?

  • March with your colleagues to represent your company and send a strong message of inclusivity and support. This shows that my workplace values ​​diversity and accepts employees for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation. It is a great honor to be selected as the leader of this event. This shows that my company not only values ​​me as an employee, but also recognizes the importance of LGBTQ+ representation and allies. This means the company is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment where employees can be themselves and do their best work. Being entrusted with this responsibility makes me feel empowered and respected, and reinforces my sense of belonging within the organization.

4. What does pride symbolize for you?

  • Pride, to me, is a celebration of reliability, resilience, and progress. It symbolizes the freedom to love and express yourself without fear or shame. Pride is a reminder of the struggle and sacrifice of our predecessors who fought for LGBTQ+ rights and paved the way for greater acceptance and equality. But it also means a call to action that it’s not over yet. It also represents a call to action, urging us all to continue working towards a future where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. .
Reed holding a palm-sized Pride flag at the first Pride held in New York in 2022
Reed attending Pride for the first time at the 2022 New York City Pride Parade!

We are filled with joy, purpose, and a sense of togetherness as we diligently prepare to march on LA Pride. This milestone moment for Starship Technologies symbolizes our unwavering commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion.

Through the voices of DEI Ambassadors, we gain valuable insight into what Pride means to them personally, and their passion for the event is contagious. Their stories and perspectives deepened our understanding of the importance of pride and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

As we take this bold step, please join us in advocating for a world that celebrates diversity, embraces inclusion, and embraces all individuals for who they are. Together, let’s create a future where love, respect and acceptance know no boundaries.

We are extremely proud to be participating in the LA Pride Parade for the first time ever. We also hope that our presence will be a beacon of hope, championing diversity and inspiring others to build workplaces and communities where everyone can thrive.

The journey is just beginning. Together, we will continue to nurture a world where differences are respected and love overcomes prejudice.

Starship is honored to be part of the Pride Parade and we look forward to sharing this incredible experience with you. Let’s make history together and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.


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