Ybarra, a team leader with PayPal, is also co-chair of that center’s PayPal Pride, a group which provides employees with the chance to discuss LGBT issues of importance to them. The success of that group led him to take on a bigger role as a member of the AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore planning committee and a team captain for the event.
Race day is Sunday, May 7th at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. All proceeds from this year’s AIDS Walk & Run benefit Chase Brexton’s HIV and AIDS care services and programs. Registration is open now at Baltimoreaidswalk.org for both individuals and team captains.
We recently sat down with Joel to find out more about his work.
What led you to want to get involved with the AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore?
I am a co-chair of PayPal Pride at the Hunt Valley site. My involvement with that group has made me step out and observe and listen to those around me. It has also made me want to get more involved, not only with making Pride at PayPal the best group possible, but also to give back to the LGBT community. I believe I can be a role model in the community, and I just felt the time was right to do more.
How have you helped advance the causes of diversity and inclusion at PayPal?
I was asked in late 2015 to be a chair for PayPal Pride. Along with two other leaders here in Baltimore, I facilitate meetings and events that allow employees to get together and speak about community or personal issues. These gatherings also allow us to be supportive of each other. I also believe that opening PayPal Pride to straight folks helps us break down barriers and helps them to get to know the LGBT community.
What has the response been among your colleagues about getting involved with the AIDS Walk & Run?
It’s been positive, and building a team has motivated me get back on social media and to speak about the importance of events like the AIDS Walk. I can’t let go of a great cause that educates the community and benefits the less fortunate!
What are you most looking forward to about the event on Sunday, May 7th?
I’m looking forward to showing my support for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and education, and being visible in the community. I’m also looking forward to seeing everyone running and walking for a great cause. Together, we can make a world of difference! t