College makes preparations for the annual community Pride Walk

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By Kathryn Evans Contributing Writer Every year in April, Union students, faculty and staff gather with local residents for the Community PRIDE Walk. This year, the sixth annual PRIDE Walk will be held on Saturday, April 29, at noon. The theme is “Embrace the Rainbow,” in order to encourage acceptance of all of the various identities which make up the queer community. The PRIDE Walk celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community. People from all parts of the spectrum and their allies come out in full rainbow clothing attire to celebrate queer life, on campus and off. This gives the Union community an opportunity to learn about the LGBTQIA+ community. This year, flags representing fourteen different identities will be distributed at the walk; this distribution provides participants with an opportunity to ask the people handing out flags which identities they represent. There will also be representatives from local organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Schenectady PRIDE who will be available to discuss what resources and services they provide. The PRIDE Walk is open to people of all knowledge levels of the LGBTQIA+ community. Participants may dress for the parade in any way they choose but rainbow attire is encouraged. Rainbow attire will be provided for those who do not have any. The event will begin and meet in front of Memorial Chapel. Participants can pick up prideful buttons and stickers, and- if early enough- a rainbow boa or hat to wear during the walk. Opening remarks will be made by the Director of Multicultural Affairs, Jason Benitez, and a Modern Languages Professor, Charles Batson. Both are Co-Chairs of the Committee on LGBTQ+ Affairs. The walk will then begin with the route being approximately two miles, beginning and ending at Memorial Chapel and extending to northern Jay Street. There will also be pizza for those who join the walk once it returns to the Memorial Chapel. Additionally, there will be performances from all three Union a cappella groups, the African Dance Club and the Dance Team. Also, music will be provided by WRUC. Many academic and administrative departments are also co-sponsors. The festivities will end around 2:30 pm. Additionally, Union Pride’s Second Annual Queer Monologues provides an opportunity to learn more about LGBTQIA+ life at Union and to hear from Union students. This show is written, performed and produced by Union students to explain what their experiences have been both at Union and beyond campus. The two showings are on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 29 at 3 p.m.. Both will be held in Old Chapel. The show is completely free to attend, but will be accepting donations for the Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQIA+ youth.

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