Alphonso David is the first person of color and first civil rights lawyer to serve as President of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the world. His priority is to get people invested in the struggle for equality—a goal that is increasingly relevant in today’s times.
On Never Stand Still, David talked to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman about how in his first year in the role, he’s placed an emphasis on liberating those who are “multiply marginalized”—those who are “hit not once, not twice, but in some cases three times by policies that just disregard who they are.” As David explained, “You can’t achieve equality by only focusing on the ‘haves.’ You can only achieve equality by focusing on those who are marginalized, because that is the only way you’ll be able to really understand the underpinnings of oppressive systems and overturn them for long-standing, sustainable change.” To that end, he’s also encouraging people to think about identity in a much more intersectional way, understanding how the various aspects of people’s identities overlap with one another and can compound systems of discrimination.
As Schulman shared during the conversation, PayPal has a history of supporting employment protections for LGBTQ workers. This includes opposing an individual’s right to discriminate based on religious objections and signing an amicus brief in support of LGBTQ workers’ rights—which was recently passed by the Supreme Court. PayPal has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for four years in a row. And, notably, in 2016, PayPal withdrew plans for its expansion into Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state passed its discriminatory “bathroom bill.”
The full Never Stand Still conversation also touches on David’s personal story of perseverance, PayPal’s and the Human Rights Campaign’s advocacy for voters’ rights, and why David believes it’s important to build reserves in order to weather difficult times.
This conversation took place as part of PayPal CEO Dan Schulman’s business and leadership discussion series, “Never Stand Still,” which is now in its third season. The show is available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.