Whirlpool joins 'It Gets Better' LGBT effort

BENTON HARBOR, MI: Whirlpool has joined a campaign to fight bullying of LGBT youth.

BENTON HARBOR, MI: Whirlpool has joined the “It Gets Better” campaign to fight bullying of the LGBT youth community.

The company's employees have posted a video to YouTube sharing their supportive messages, joining more than 25,000 other user-created videos, including submissions from President Barack Obama, actress Anne Hathaway, and the staff of Google.

Whirlpool AOR Peppercom is handling media distribution and outreach, including social media, for the company's contribution, said Melissa Vigue, director at the agency. The company has also held screenings of the video at its locations, including its corporate headquarters. Whirlpool has worked with the firm for the last five years.

Syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created the It Gets Better campaign in September 2010 in response to an increase in harassment targeting the LGBT teen community. The project has evolved online as a support hub for the LGBT community, friends, and family members.

Whirlpool's involvement in the global advocacy project is an extension of its values and “every home, everywhere” tagline, said Chris Lacefield, communications specialist at the company.

"We've been in business for 100 years, and during that course of time, we've worked to improve home and family life," he said. "This is a problem that has the potential to destroy family life, and that's what we want to try to prevent. That 'every home' means diversity is an important part of that, and we take that seriously."

Eleven years ago, Whirlpool launched the “Pride Network,” a diversity group to tie its business to LGBT awareness, said Lacefield.

"While this effort doesn't necessarily sit with our CSR initiatives, it's more of an initiative to help us draw top talent, and just do the right thing," he said.

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