Attendees at the 2019 Capital Pride Parade can spot American University's LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group marching at the event from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 8.
The group, which formed earlier this year, is made up of LGBTQ+ faculty, staff and allies who promote inclusivity with a focus on strengthening campus climate, culture and community.
“When we announced our plans to march in the Capital Pride Parade at a Center for Diversity & Inclusion event, there were cheers and applause from students, faculty and staff,” said Richard Duncan, a program manager in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and co-chair for the group. “We are hoping that students will want to come and join us as we bring visibility to the LGBTQ+ community at AU and show our support.”
The Capital Pride Parade is an annual event that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, as more than 200 organizations march along a 1 1/2 mile route with floats, banners and more. The march will start at 21st and P Street near Dupont Circle and end at 14th and R Street just blocks away from Logan Circle.
AU’s LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group will march along the path holding flags and playing music. Its participation makes it the only university participating in the Capital Pride Parade, Duncan said.
Duncan works with co-chair Stephanie Bortruex to facilitate opportunities for the LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group to “serve, celebrate, empower and connect with the AU LGBTQ+ community,” he said. This year is especially notable for the LGBTQ community since it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which started the gay rights movement worldwide.
“We envision a campus where LGBTQ+ faculty and staff actively engage in community development through leadership, mentoring, advocacy, volunteering and education,” said Bortruex. “We will achieve this through programming and initiatives that affirm, connect and inspire members in celebration of our diversity.”
Other members of the AU community have also showed their support.
“The Humanities Truck from the College of Arts and Sciences will also be in the parade providing support driving along our marchers with music on the parade route,” said Bortruex. “Additionally, we have received donations of water and granola bars from university librarian, Nancy Davenport.”
The LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group co-chairs welcome students, alumni, faculty, staff and families to march with them to celebrate diversity and act as a reinforcement for the LGBTQ+ community.
“We want to show the DC community how AU creates a culture of inclusion for LGBTQ+ folks and how we strive for inclusive excellence,” Duncan said.