The “I Am” project started by the brand’s Brazilian operator, SouthRock, three years ago provides transgender partners (employees) with legal and psychological well-being support to amend their names on their birth certificates
São Paulo – In support of Brazil’s National Trans Day of Visibility on January 29, SouthRock, Starbucks licensed retail operator in Brazil, today announced the “I Am” (“Eu Sou”) project to offer free legal support for transgender partners (employees) seeking to amend their names and genders on their birth certificates. This year for the first time, SouthRock will expand its support to partners at their corporate offices and other businesses operated by the company in Brazil.
“Starbucks Brazil is committed to creating an inclusive culture that promotes respect and dignity for all of our partners and customers. Through the ‘I Am’ project, we reinforce our support of the transgender community in particular,” said Sandra Collier, director of marketing, loyalty and categories of SouthRock. “It is very gratifying to know that by offering legal support, we can make a significant and positive impact on the lives of our partners and the communities we serve,” added Collier.
Starting on January 29 – to coincide with the National Trans Day of Visibility – current Starbucks partners in Brazil can receive legal counsel covered by the company to begin the process to amend their names and genders on their birth certificates. All legal and psychological well-being support will be covered by SouthRock. In addition to partners, this year the initiative also supports amending the names of members of the NGOs Casa Florescer and Casa 1, integrating them into the project.
“Participating in the ‘Eu Sou' project really changed my life, mainly because of the freedom I gained to be who I am as I always dreamed and imagined. It was a very big turning point: Jota was born and changed everything that existed before him. Throughout the process, I was always highly respected and welcomed everywhere in the company, by all hierarchies. As long as I exist, I will remember the 'I Am' project,” said Jota Ramos, customer service analyst at Starbucks in Brazil, who had his name amended in the 2021 edition of the project.
Starbucks in Brazil first launched the “I Am” project in January 2020. With permission from participants, Starbucks Brazil documented the emotional journey to give audiences a look at the meaningful impact of the project. The video won the Grand Prix at the 2021 Cannes Lions Festival and, more recently, an Effie Award.
Since 2018, Starbucks in Brazil has worked with local advocacy groups, such as Casa 1 (SP) and Grupo Arco-Íris (RJ), to support LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts through the donation of Starbucks product sales such as the Pride Frappuccino® Blended Beverage and t-shirts, to help those in vulnerable situations due to their sexual orientation.
The licensee operator of Starbucks in Brazil, SouthRock was founded in 2015 with the objective of managing and operating a qualified and multi-brand foodservice portfolioin the Brazilian market. It started operating in 2017 at Guarulhos International Airport managing B.A.R. (Brazil Airport Restaurants), which operates exclusively in the most important airports in Brazil bringing a diversity of brands to consumers, travelers, and tourists. In 2018, the company signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Starbucks and TGI Fridays in Brazil, being granted with right to operate these brands nationwide (model used globally by these brands). The company's expansion process was amplified in 2019, when Starbucks stores were inaugurated in Santa Catarina, the first market outside São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During that same year, SouthRock Lab, a digital branch also started aiming to develop technologies to improve physical x digital experiences and interactions between customers and brands. SouthRock is committed to constantly expanding its business in order to reach more people and more communities with its brands, offering great services, sharing values and positively impacting society, always putting customers and employees first alongside its brands.