The Board of Child Care (BCC) and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee would like to wish our community a Happy PRIDE Month! PRIDE takes place every June and is a time for the world’s LGBTQ+ Communities to come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. PRIDE celebrations are rooted in a long history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are. The Board of Child Care respects, accepts, and values the voices, lives, and experiences of all our staff, youth, and community partners who are members of this community. We could not do this mission-focused work without your contributions to society and the examples that you set for us all. Thank you and Happy PRIDE, not only in the month of June but every single day!
The original organizers of PRIDE chose the month of June to honor the Stonewall uprising that took place in June of 1969 in New York City, where police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, and began harassing and pulling customers outside. Patrons resisted arrest, and crowds gathered in protest of the officers’ cruel and unnecessary treatment. This event displayed the built-up frustration towards authorities and social systems that discriminated against marginalized groups and were the catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement. Civic organizations formed and held protests, met with political leaders and worked to educate the world on the purpose of the movement. Today, the LGBTQ+ community continues to fight for rights and equality. Nationwide marriage equality is a more recent victory. However, various forms of discrimination still run rampant for the LGBTQ+ community. PRIDE is an opportunity to focus our energy on the history, progress, and future of the LGBTQ+ community.
If you do not know much about the LGBTQ+ community or PRIDE month, don’t worry! There are so many ways to get educated and involved! Check out the list below:
- Hit the Books – Research is the best way to not only understand PRIDE but also become a better ally. Read up on the history of the movement, educate yourself on proper pronouns, watch documentaries on LGBTQ+ issues.
- Walk the Walk- If you are well versed in the LGBTQ+ community, use that knowledge for good. Provide opportunities for members of this community to be heard on various platforms. Create safe environments for colleagues and youth to feel supported. Set the example of what it truly means to be an ally.
- Participate in your local pride events – Attending local events will allow you to network and learn directly from members of this community. Pay attention to social media, local universities, and nonprofits for information about celebrations.
- Door Decorating Contest: The picture above is a great example of the results you can get when you have a team and youth-based PRIDE contest. Thanks, Team West Virginia, for being an ALLY.No matter how you choose to celebrate, the Board of Child Care encourages you to remember those who fought for equal rights and those who still do. As an organization, we are continuing to create safe spaces, bring forth important conversations, and build allyship for all members of our community. We encourage you to join us in this work so we all can engage with joy and purpose and bring our most authentic selves to our community.