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Diversity, Community, Creativity and Self-expression are the Focuses of Pride Week 2023

April 5, 2023

A drag show, open mic night and collaborative coloring are among the fun events slated for this year’s Pride Week, April 10-14, celebrating LGBTQ+ identity and culture at UC Merced.

The Pride Week and Drag Show Committee, the Social Justice Initiatives & Identity Program, the Transfer Returning and Veteran Student Services and Lambda Alliance host the annual event, which takes place across campus.

Each event is free, and all are welcome to join in the fun, find community and celebrate the diversity of UC Merced’s student body.

Monday, April 10, there will be a Chalk and Walk Tabling event on Scholars Lane from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. People will find fun and informative tabling from various local organizations and can unleash their creativity and make their marks on Scholars Lane.

Tuesday is Art Night, where people can see the work of students and faculty and join in by creating their own masterpieces with free painting supplies. Art Night is from 6-8 p.m. in COB 105.

Wednesday features two very different events. The first is a food social called Taste the Rainbow, hosted by UC Merced's Basic Needs. Acknowledge the reality of food insecurity while helping to support the LGBTQ+ community in a delicious way — through free food and great company. The lunchtime social takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in TRV Lounge (Sentinel Rock 150).

In the evening, there is an Open Mic Night from 6-8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center (KL 169). Anyone who wishes can express themselves through poetry, music and other auditory mediums. Performers of all skill levels are welcome to share their talents.

On Thursday, stop by the Pride Center (KL 159) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and help color in this year's stunning Pride Week Banner. It's a relaxed day filled with socializing, snacking and collaborative coloring. All the materials are provided for participants.

In the afternoon, people can get in on a Resilience Webinar led by Cmdr. Blake M. Dremann, president of Servicemembers, Partners and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All (SPART*A), a national LGBT advocacy organization that is focused on transgender military service, and hosted by Basic Needs. The webinar will be held via Zoom from 2-3 p.m.

The week caps off with Friday's big event, the Fabulosity Drag Show, hosted by the Social Justice Initiatives & Identity Programs. It will be a night of glitz, glam, diversity, self-expression and unapologetic fun featuring some of the most talented drag performers in the county, including Sasha DeVaroe, Alanna Pillay, Ryder Moore and others. Volunteers are needed, as well. The show runs from 6-9 p.m. in TRV Lounge (SR 150), and admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

To get the Zoom link for the webinar, volunteer at the drag show or get other information, visit the Pride Week website.