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Equity Through Knowledge, a Pride Spotlight on Michael Giorgis

Equity Through Knowledge, a Pride Spotlight on Michael Giorgis
  • Sabrina Suzuki

As we celebrate Pride Month, it's essential to honor and uplift the voices, cultures, and histories of our LGBTQIA+ community. At the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that supports LGBTQIA+ rights and acknowledges the contributions of our diverse staff.

Michael Giorgis, Ashlye Wright, & christian h. bijoux of the REDI team.
Michael Giorgis, Ashlye Wright, & christian h. bijoux of the REDI team.

This month, we spotlight Michael Giorgis, a Racial Equity Analyst for the Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Team. Michael's dedication to equity, community, and authenticity exemplifies the spirit of Pride and the values we strive for at the SFPUC. Through his personal and professional journey, Michael shares the importance of creating spaces where everyone can be their true selves.

Michael has worked at the SFPUC for three years and explains the importance of equity through knowledge. “I think there are a lot of resources that we provide that are available to us whether it’s from the SFPUC or the City. It’s important that we share this information with the entire agency.” 

In addition to knowledge, Michael highlights the importance of community. “Creating a community has helped me personally open up to talk about who I am. It’s not just that I am a gay man, or a Black man. It feels very liberating in the sense that I don’t have to compartmentalize what I stand for. It’s important to feel open and comfortable and be your true self.”

For Michael, creating community isn’t something new. He seemingly creates one in everything that he does.

A Dog Rescue Creates a Space for Community

His love for animals led him to volunteer at the San Francisco SPCA. He was asked to take care of a dog in need of critical care and the rest is history. Meet “Tiny,” or Detective Tiny. The five pound terrier/chihuahua mix gets her nickname for her curiosity. Rescuing Tiny has been a way for Michael to create a new community in his neighborhood. He helps his neighbors walk their dogs and vice versa.

Michael and “Tiny”

“I came out here [to the West Coast] for school and ultimately stayed for work. My friends and family network are primarily on the East Coast, so community has been important to me. I make it a point to make connections with individuals who I can help and who can help me. It’s about building a network of support.” 

Playing Tennis Creates a Space for Community

Inspired by Venus and Serena Williams, Michael loves a good game of tennis and joined the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Federation of San Francisco (GLTF). He’s been an active member for nearly 15 years. “It’s really been a network of support for me -- so for that reason it’s really important. Through friendships, I’ve made a community.”

Michael shares his love for his dog “Detective Tiny” and the game of tennis because he hopes to encourage everyone to share in each other’s experiences. “There are a lot of people I see on a regular basis that I haven’t had a chance to interact with. So, this is a chance to connect with others.”

Michael hopes sharing a bit about himself will encourage others to do the same. He reiterates the importance of creating a space where you feel comfortable being who you are. “We have way more in common than we know about. Let’s find similarities and bond over it.”