Category Archives: Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day. Did you know that more than 1 in 10 people live with a mental health condition? And likely fewer than half will seek out help or support. As we observe World Mental Health Day, we want to fight against the stigma often associated with mental health. If you’re struggling, we urge you to speak to your doctor to help you find a healthy treatment plan. You’re not alone.

Some additional ways you can care for your mental health are to talk about your feelings with a trusted individual, stay active, eat well, and do something you’re good at or enjoy.

You can read more about World Mental Health Day and find additional resources here.

It’s International Left-Handers Day!

Did you know about 10-12% of the world consists of left-handed individuals? Today we celebrate you!

L&P Recognizes Disability Pride Month

People with disabilities are the largest and most diverse minority within the population, representing all abilities, ages, genders, races, ethnicities, religions and socio-economic backgrounds.

In honor of Disability Pride Month this July, we recognize the history, culture, and unique circumstances that people with differing abilities experience — and celebrate their contributions within our company and our communities.

Happy Pride!

Pride Month commemorates and celebrates LGBTQ+ activism and culture through the years.

We at L&P continue to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity in which everyone is respected, valued, and has an equal opportunity to contribute, thrive, and advance.

Respect and appreciation for what makes us unique grow out of working together, and we encourage all of our employees to be who they are and celebrate their authentic selves. Today and every day, we’re embracing the spirit of pride.

Happy Juneteenth!

June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth – is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

June 19 is a day of celebration of the freedom of African Americans.

At L&P, we’re committed to the values and principles that have made our company strong for 138 years – a belief in respect, integrity, and inclusion. These are the cornerstones of a culture that values every person and every voice – no matter their race.

L&P Brazil Designated as a Great Place to Work

Last month, L&P Brazil completed an employee engagement survey as part of their application for Great Place to Work certification. All employees were invited to participate in the survey anonymously, which was conducted by the GPTW Institute.

Results showed that 83% of L&P Brazil employees have a very favorable opinion about their facility, managers, and our company. These employees responded that they take pride in the work they are doing, feel it is an emotionally healthy place to work, feel supported and appreciated, and can depend on their leaders. Many of the participants also left written comments to further improve the culture at the facility.

We are very proud of their facility and know that it takes everyone working together to drive such a positive working environment. The high score they received on the survey qualified L&P Brazil to be certified as a Great Place To Work company for the second year in a row.

In celebration, all employees received a commemorative t-shirt to thank them for their efforts over the past year. A special lunch was prepared for employees working in the facility and a box of snacks was delivered to all remote workers.

“It’s exciting to work in a company where employees recognize that they are important. This certification was only possible because of the intense effort they give each day,” says Gustavo Lemos, President of L&P South America.

“It’s simple,” he continues. “We are defined by our people.”

We couldn’t agree more.

International Day of Happiness

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness. How will you celebrate?

Community & Culture: Spiva Center for the Arts

Last week, we introduced you to one of the exhibitions currently on display at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts. L&P has a long history of supporting the arts in our community and are a corporate sponsor of their organization. The show, scheduled to run through March 13th, is a perfect representation of the importance of this philanthropy — educating all of us about the history of the Joplin community, while also highlighting the accomplishments and work of African American artists, musicians, athletes, and poets.

Spiva’s Main Gallery exhibit, Route 66: Crossing Cultural Lines, showcases more than 100 works by some of America’s premier painters, sculptors, textile artists, poets, and photographers. These works highlight the significant role that Route 66 played in cross-pollinating cultures throughout our country.

“The artists are presenting their interpretations of the stories associated with the highway,” says curator Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. “These experiences include professional baseball, territory bands, jazz musicians, civil rights crusades, military bases, or hopping in that big red truck to search for that perfect place to go camping and fishing. Art is a powerful tool of the truth, and these artists serve as our custodial documenters of our past.”

Fiber artist and designer, Kim Newton, is one of several artists featured in the exhibit. Kim has been recognized as one of the top 100 African Americans in corporate America, having served as Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience of the Hallmark Brand, where she’s enjoyed a 20-plus year career. She’s also been named to the 2017 class of The Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and serves as a member of The Executive Leadership Council, The Network of Executive Women, African-American Artist Collective, The Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Kim Newton is an accomplished Fiber Artist and Designer. She is featured above with two of her textiles – a depiction of Langston Hughes, a Joplin native and poet, novelist, fiction writer, playwright, and Harlem Renaissance pioneer (left); and a depiction of an African American woman using real jewelry as a 3D element of the piece (right).

Kim’s grandmother taught her traditional quilting when she was 22. She evolved to a modern approach to the craft, putting herself and her experiences into the storytelling. Instantly recognized as unique, she had the opportunity to feature her quilts in her first show at 28, and eventually secured her first solo show in May of 2020. She works almost exclusively with Indonesian batik fabric because of their color vibrancy, symbolic meaning, and workmanship. She believes the variation of the fabric brings movement to and enhances the emotion of her pieces.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Spiva Center for the Arts exhibition.

Community & Culture: Spiva Center for the Arts

This textile by Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin, titled “Outside My Picture Window / Mayfair 33502”, is displayed with a list of the streets of East Town, Joplin. The artwork represents the historic African American community where the artist was raised and nurtured. The exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is open through March 13th.

Anyone who has visited L&P’s Corporate Office has seen the extensive collection of paintings which grace our hallways. Two of our former CEOs, Harry Cornell and Felix Wright, were passionate collectors of fine art. This appreciation led to Leggett & Platt’s long history of supporting the arts within our local community. The current exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is a perfect representation of the importance of this philanthropy — educating all of us about the history of the Joplin community, while also highlighting the accomplishments and work of African American artists, musicians, athletes, and poets.

The show, scheduled to run through March 13th, features three unique exhibits, curated by nationally acclaimed fabric artist and Joplin native, Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Her own work is featured in one of those exhibits, entitled Journey: Legacy, East Town.

According to Ms. Thompson-Ruffin’s artist statement, East Town is an exhibition curated in a mixture of textiles designed to engage the viewer in a visual conversation. Many of these textiles are accompanied by poetry written by Sonia Sanchez, a writer and educator considered by many to be the leading female voice of the Black Revolution.

“This collection is a touchstone of accounts, experiences, and contributions of Joplin’s East Town,” says Sara. “It shares a people’s journey, facing the hardships and adversities of building a viable community during a time when African Americans were not welcomed to live in or around Missouri and its surrounding areas.”

The work also highlights the rich resiliency of Joplin’s historic African American community, where she was raised and nurtured.

“The African American residents of Joplin persevered through all adversities. They used their talents, gifts, and education to build a strong and vibrant community in spite of all the challenges that besieged them,” shares Sara. “We are all the legacy of their gifts.”

Black History Month: Garrett Morgan

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.