UM-Flint to host Pride Week events, June 24-28

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A group of people posing for a photo in front of a Center for Gender & Sexuality popup tent
Hilary Murmers, UM-Flint LGBTQIA+ coordinator (center), poses with staff and students during the 2023 Pride Outside event.

With training for faculty and staff, a cookout, a documentary screening and a virtual connection space for students, the University of Michigan-Flint's third annual Pride Week will offer something for every member of the campus community with online and in-person options. UM-Flint's Pride Week events take place June 24-28, leading up to the Flint Pride Festival on June 29. 

Here is the full lineup of programming:

  • June 24: Faculty/Staff LGBTQIA+ Ally Training. This training provides concrete steps for faculty and staff to support LGBTQIA+ students, offers updated information about the community, and helps faculty and staff define their role as allies.
  • June 25: Pride Outside. A rainbow-themed cookout in Wilson Park. Amidst the celebration, the Center for Global Engagement will provide information on international Pride celebrations.
  • June 26: "Before Stonewall" Screening at Riverbank Arts. This screening of the 1984 documentary at 7 p.m. is preceded by the gallery opening at 6 p.m. for the "Queer Resilience: Art as Liberation" exhibition.
  • June 28: Virtual Connection Space for Students. A panel discussion on the topic of "Thriving While Queer/Trans at UM-Flint." Students with a variety of identities and backgrounds will share their experiences of navigating campus. A "Queerness in Color" session will take place after the panel to get to know the experience of LGBTQIA+ students of color. 

These events are hosted – in collaboration with additional campus partners – by the Center for Gender & Sexuality. CGS convened a group of faculty, staff and students to ensure all voices were heard as part of the planning process. 

Hilary Murmers

"It is a priority for us to be highly responsive to student interests and student needs, as well as the large number of faculty and staff who attend this annual celebration," said Hilary Murmers, LGBTQIA+ coordinator. "We are offering a mix of online and in-person events this year, recognizing that many students are not currently on campus. In addition, attending Pride in person is not physically accessible for everyone, whether due to disability or not being out and not feeling safe. The goal is to build community, build togetherness and help cultivate that feeling of belonging."

The timing of UM-Flint's Pride events intentionally supports the wider Flint Pride Festival, which takes place June 29 in Riverbank Park and the UM-Flint Pavilion. Murmers said that the variety of the university's offerings accommodates the diverse interests of those looking to engage with Pride Week. 

"Flint Pride is a huge, beautiful festival with many performers of different identities – it's fun, vibrant and beautiful. But it can also be loud and crowded; not everyone feels like that's their space. I want everyone to feel like there are other avenues to tap into this celebration and this feeling of Pride."

Murmers drew particular attention to the "Before Stonewall" documentary screening in the university's Riverbank Arts space. The 1984 production highlights the LGBTQIA+ community prior to the Stonewall Riots, which spurred the creation of Pride Month. Prior to the screening, attendees will have the opportunity to view the "Queer Resilience: Art as Liberation" exhibition. Featuring creations from LGBTQIA+ artists, the exhibition "explores the LGBTQIA+ community's journey through trials and tribulations, particularly focusing on experiences with addiction and the transformative power of art as a means of self-expression and healing." The exhibition's opening reception takes place from 6-9 p.m., June 14. 

Madox Peterson is a junior biology major from Flint, a peer educator with CGS, and part of the Pride Week planning committee. 

Madox Peterson

"What I valued most about being part of the planning committee was getting to learn more about what others want to see at Pride. I know what I like, but hearing from others has highlighted important factors that I hadn't always considered," Peterson said. "I am most looking forward to the feeling of community and togetherness that comes from being out and about with people who remind us we aren't alone and that we deserve love."

While Pride Week is a marquee event series for CGS, the center provides programming and support year-round for the UM-Flint committee. Peer educators like Peterson provide eight-week certification training in the topics of sexual violence prevention, healthy masculinity, and queer education and advocacy. Other hallmark events hosted by CGS include the Trans Day of Remembrance, the Boss Up Women's Leadership Conference, Take Back the Night and Lavender Graduation. More information about Pride Week can be found on the campus events calendar, while additional details about CGS can be found on the center's webpage.

Logan McGrady is the marketing & digital communication manager for the Office of Marketing and Communication.