Pride Month is a representation of togetherness that commemorates the impact LGBTQ+ individuals have had on society. Stemming from the Stonewall Riots in June of 1969, Pride Month celebrations have taken on a variety of forms from parades and parties to marches and rallies. Iconic figures such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are memorialized for their protests in support of equal justice and opportunity for LGBTQ+ community members. On changing history, Johnson once said:
“History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable.”
It is important to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and to raise awareness of the challenges that they still face. At CCBC, it is especially important to celebrate Pride Month because we can play a critical role in creating safe and inclusive spaces for our LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff.
Maintaining a welcoming environment where individuals feel supported in their identities creates an atmosphere for success. At CCBC, a Committee for LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Support and Inclusion (CLASI) works towards fulfilling the college’s pledge to “welcome, respect, and embrace the differences and similarities of our employees, our students, and the communities we proudly serve.” Their work aids the college to fulfill its broad mission by focusing on issues and policies related to gender identity and expression; archiving and preserving the history of events and people instrumental in advocacy; planning and promoting LGBTQ+ events; and advocating for policies supportive of LGBTQ+ staff and faculty. From documenting LGBTQ+ life at CCBC through oral history interviews to hosting community exhibits in collaboration with student groups, CLASI works to animate the college’s commitment to inclusion. They do important work that resonates with the work in progress with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.
CCBC is committed to maintaining safe and inclusive spaces for the college community regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I encourage all of us to use Pride Month to promote understanding and celebrate the differences that makes each of us unique. We may come from different places and different experiences, but there is one thing we all share: we are human. By raising awareness of the challenges that LGBTQ+ people still face, and by celebrating the progress that has been made, Pride Month can help create a more just and equitable society. That’s the world that we dream of at CCBC, a place where “Every One of Us Counts!”