East Campus Celebrates and Honors Pride Month

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Summer has arrived, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual/Ally (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is celebrated in June. Pride Month honors the 1969 Stonewall Riots and continues to work toward achieving equal justice and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning Americans. The riots took place from June 28 – July 3, 1969, due to police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQIA+ Americans are still subjected to today. This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices toward individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.

It’s hard to believe that June marks the fifth anniversary of the Pulse tragedy. Just last month, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, the U.S. House passed a bill, sponsored and supported by Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, designating the Pulse Nightclub as a national memorial. Rep. Val Demings, D-Orlando, called the nightclub a nexus for the Orlando community and said, “The legislation upheld a continued promise from the city and nation to honor the lives lost and affected by the tragedy.”

Please join me in supporting our students through the recurring theme of “solidarity over silence” during this month with a goal of letting our LGBTQIA+ students know that we see and hear them.

The East Campus Gay and Straight Alliance (GSA) Club will be participating in the 5th Annual CommUNITY Rainbow Run and CommUNITY Festival on Saturday, June 5, 2021, to benefit the National Pulse Memorial & Museum and onePULSE Foundation. Consider participating in this 5K Run to support our Valencia students and peers.

Collegewide, the Student Development Cultural and Diversity Team will host an annual virtual Pulse Remembrance event on Friday, June 11, 2021.

In addition, our students, faculty and staff can participate in multiple community events organized by OneOrlando Alliance in observance of the Pulse Tragedy. Some events include an exhibition at the Orange County Regional History Museum, parades, interfaith reflections and a photo tribute documenting the story of Pulse at the Dr. Phillips Center are scheduled.

The Valencia College Pulse LibGuide contains information regarding Valencia Resources, Florida Resources and National Resources. Many thanks to East Campus Librarian Erich Heintzelman, who provided the following excellent library guides on these topics:

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Implementation Coordinator and Co-Advisor for GSA Club Jennifer Danilowski shared a variety of YouTube videos:

We are fortunate to not only work in an inclusive environment at Valencia but to also live in a city like Orlando, where our leadership has prioritized inclusion, support and celebration of our LGBTQIA+ friends and family.

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