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Commerce Pride and Bringing Cultural Awareness and Inclusion to Commerce

Matt Phan (he/him) is the President of Commerce PRIDE, the Department’s cross-bureau queer employee resource group. He has also been the Librarian with the Commerce Research Library for over five years, helping the Department with its diverse information needs. Specifically, he manages the library’s technology solutions, providing mission-critical information access. Through his proactive outreach, he creates a relevant programming slate that helps staff use resources more effectively. He feels that being a librarian also is a critical asset to Commerce PRIDE.

As President of Commerce PRIDE, he plays a vital role in creating a safe and inclusive environment for all queer employees and contractors within the Department of Commerce. He and his Commerce PRIDE team work closely with the Department to foster cultural awareness and inclusion through various activities, including learning and development opportunities, networking events, advocacy efforts, and knowledge sharing among all members. As President, he believes in attentively listening to members' concerns and interests and advocates for a more inclusive Commerce with senior leadership. Along with the Commerce leadership team, he and his Commerce PRIDE team strive to build a stronger and more cohesive queer community.

To enhance the cultural awareness and inclusion of the queer community in the Department, Commerce PRIDE's Executive Committee identified the need for queer competency training. He and the Commerce PRIDE team collaborated with Commerce’s International Trade Administration’s Office of Global Talent Management for over a year, dedicating more than 400 hours to creating the Safe Zone Resource Center in the Commerce Learning Center. Since its launch in June 2022, employees have consumed over 1600 hours of learning content in just ten months - a testament to the value and impact of the team’s efforts.

Commerce PRIDE also collaborated with the Office of Civil Rights as subject matter experts to help create the upcoming Gender Identity and Gender Expression Protections Handbook. This document will guide the Department on issues of critical importance to transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming colleagues. He and the Commerce PRIDE team also successfully advocated for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility language in all SES, supervisor, and non-supervisor performance plans, setting an institutional foundation of inclusion within the Department, furthering the goal of a more inclusive workplace and contributing to the Department's annual Pride Month observance programming.

Matt believes the queer community is diverse, consisting of people of many sexual orientations and gender identities but also racial backgrounds, disabilities, and experiences. As an out gay Asian-American, he proudly celebrates and empowers the Department's queer community.