Apple CEO Tim Cook and NBA All-Star Dwayne Wade gathered in Utah to back a local LGBTQ+ campaign supporting young adults and families.
Leading celebrities and entrepreneurs Tim Cook, NBA icon Dwyane Wade, Utah Jazz owners (Ryan and Ashley Smith) and Imagine Dragons lead Dan Reynolds all made an appearance at the Silicon Slopes Summit.
Encircle, an LGBTQ+ organisation dedicated to creating safe spaces for vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth and families, kickstarted a fundraising goal in February.
The non-profit organisation sought to raise $8 million to build eight new homes across the US.
On Wednesday (October 13), Encircle announced their target fundraising goal has been reached.
The founder and CEO of Domo and his wife, Josh and Marina James, also donated $1 million to further Encircle’s total.
The Kahlert Foundation, which was established in 1991, also donated $1 million. The additional funding has enabled Encircle to build a ninth home in Salt Lake County.
“Encircle’s mission is very personal to me because I see myself in so many of these young people,” Cook told reporters at a press briefing.
“It’s not easy when you’re made to feel different or less than because of who you are or who you love. It’s a feeling that so many LGBTQ people know far too well.”
Wade, a part-owner of the basketball team Utah Jazz, shared his experience as the parent of a transgender child (Zaya Wade) and vocally backed Encircle’s funding goal.
“I stand here as a proud parent of a beautiful daughter that’s a part of the LGBT-plus community,” Wade said. “I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know everything, but I’m willing to listen.”
Non-profit Encircle currently has locations set up in Salt Lake City Provo and St. George, Utah. Plans to further establish locations in Heber, Logan, Ogden, and Las Vegas have already begun.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox also acknowledged the impact of Encircle’s efforts: “What Encircle has done is provided that piece of acceptance, even if – especially if – there is no acceptance anywhere else,” he said. “There is a place where they can go where they can feel loved.”
Tim Cook also shared a tweet celebrating the opening of Encircle’s first cafe: “Proud to support @encircle2gether’s life-saving work providing resources to LGBTQ+ youth in Utah & surrounding states.”
Proud to support @encircle2gether’s life-saving work providing resources to LGBTQ+ youth in Utah & surrounding states. Great to be with @GovCox, @AbbyPalmerCox, @RyanQualtrics, Ashley Smith, @DwyaneWade, and @stephylarsen as we celebrate the opening of Encircle’s first cafe. pic.twitter.com/E6nN23Uc4m
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 13, 2021
Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Utah today speaking about his support of Encircle at Silicon Slopes pic.twitter.com/L9OWZgc1ba
— Hayley Crombleholme (@HayleyHolme) October 13, 2021
You can watch Apple’s CEO Tim Cook join former NBA star Dwyane Wade voice their support Encircle here or below.