Over 100 strong, proudly wearing Emory Pride T-Shirts, the Emory contingent of marchers in the 46th Annual Atlanta Pride Parade on October 9th was truly outstanding. Grandly flying a big blue Emory flag, our Emory group partied fully in the spirit of the beautiful fall day which began downtown, moved through Midtown, and ended at Piedmont Park as thousands of onlookers lined the streets to show their support.
Of course, Pride was celebrated on campus leading up to the Atlanta Pride Festival, and nowhere on campus was this more evident than at our Rollins School of Public Health. You couldn’t miss it. There was an exhibition that featured nearly two dozen posters related to LGBTQ health, a Rainbow-themed photo booth, a Rainbow Road walkway, a bedazzling station (where many students added rhinestones to their Emory PRIDE T-Shirts worn in the Pride Parade), an information table stocked with volunteers and brochures of local organizations, and a series of events and speakers that honored the history of PRIDE and the importance of LGBTQ lives.
In addition to the myriad moments of fun and levity, the Rollins School of Public Health and the school’s LGBTQ Student Association, the Queer/Trans Collaborative, also curated 13 different posters that focused on topics related to the history of PRIDE and a number of public health issues that disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community (e.g., homelessness, discrimination, injection use, intimate partner violence, HIV, etc.). In addition, 11 posters spotlighted Rollins’ faculty members who lead research related to these topics.
Several events took place from October 3rd – 6th, including rainbow popsicle stands, a documentary showing the history of Pride, a keynote Speaker, Khafre Abif, who shared his vision of working with the Obama Administration to prioritize health issues related to bisexual populations, and a memorial service honoring the lives lost in Orlando, summer of 2016.
This exhibition and series of events brought students, staff, and faculty across Emory to look at how one school can celebrate not only PRIDE, but how students and leaders within a school can take action to honor the lives and achievements of the LGBTQ community.
Dean Curran: Co-Presidents of the Rollins School of Public Health’s LGBTQ Student Association, the Queer/Trans Collaborative, Marcel Foster and Lynn Benoit, stand in the 2016 PRIDE Exhibition with the school’s Dean, James Curran.
Khafre: the 2016 PRIDE keynote speaker, Khafre Abif, speak with the Queer/Trans Collaborator’s Co-President (Lynn Benoit) and Communications Chair (Shannon Clawson)
LGBTQ Grad: leaders and member’s of Emory University’s newly formed LGBTQ Grad Coalition, which features a committee of LGBTQ leaders from the Laney School of Graduate Studies, as well as schools of Public Health (Rollins), Theology (Candler), Law, Medicine, and Business (Goizueta). The students take a photo in the PRIDE photo booth!
Rainbow Road: Queer/Trans Collaborative Executive Board members (Lynn Benoit, Shannon Clawson, and Marcel Foster) lay out on the Rainbow Road, a 25’x 6′ rainbow set through the exhibition and created exclusively for this exhibition
Raphiel: Raphiel Murden (PhD Candidate, Rollins School of Public Health and Laney), the Vice President of the LGBTQ Grad Coalition at Emory, brings magic to the rainbow