On Monday, April 1st LGBTQ+ students and allies at UC Merced kicked off their annual Pride Week festivities with a ceremony by the Native Indigenous Student Coalition (NISC), followed by a march and carnival. The theme of this year’s event is “Year of Growth, Resistance and Expression,” to uplift and celebrate inclusion at the university. The event is planned and coordinated by the Lambda Alliance, the LGBTQ+ organization on campus, established in 2008, completely student-run and student-led.
“The biggest message we want to put out there is that we are all humans and, as such, intersect with one another,” says Ruth Solis, event coordinator.
The drum circle and ceremony with NISC acknowledges tribal culture and the belief in multiple gender identities along with environmental stewardship, welcoming ancestral spirits.
“At UC Merced, everyone is very environmentally conscious,” explains Solis. “We bring together so many different cultural organizations to see how we can better the environment.”
UC Merced Pride Week happenings last from April 1 – 7 and include a variety of events: speakers, workshops, mixers, a dance party and a Fabulosity Drag Show. To participate and learn more about Pride Week, contact the Lambda Alliance or access the schedule of the week’s activities.