Showing pride

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Community colleges are recognizing LGBTQIA+ students, staff and faculty during Pride Month

Holyoke Community College (HCC) celebrated Pride Month on June 10 by raising the rainbow flag over the campus for the first time in its 75-year history.

HCC President Christina Royal, the first openly queer community college president in Massachusetts, presided over the ceremony.

“I’m very excited that at Holyoke Community College we have a very active group of faculty, staff and students who are engaged and interested in continuing to further the progress that we made to ensure that HCC is an LGBTQ-plus friendly campus and institution,” Royal said during the ceremony. “One of the things we’re very excited about this year is to be able to raise the Pride flag on our campus in celebration, not only of Pride Month, but also in recognition of our LGBTQ-plus employees and students.”

The celebration was even more meaningful since so many Pride parades, festivals and concerts were cancelled in 2020 and again this year because of Covid-19.

“We very much feel that diversity is a huge asset to this institution and this region, and we believe very deeply in being able to ensure that we have a wide variety of representation, and that everyone can be seen and heard as they come to HCC,” Royal said.

In New Jersey, Bergen Community College officials, students, faculty, staff and members of the LGBTQ community also raised a ceremonial flag in honor of Pride Month.

Bergen will become one of the only community colleges in the country to offer a course in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer studies this fall. The course will provide a framework for students to explore the biopsychosocial and historical perspectives of voices and experiences of LGBTQ people in the U.S.

Nebraska’s Metropolitan Community College is celebrating Pride Month with five different educational events that began June 14. The events present different stories, experiences and historical actions centered on the LGBTQIA+ community.

The first lecture, conducted via Zoom, was with author and activist Cleve Jones. There also will be a chamber music theatre performance of “Equally Divine: The Real Story of the Mona Lisa,” and a film discussion on “Facing Fear.”

Has your college held events in recognition of Pride Month? Sound off on LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.