To the MSVU community,
This week marks the kick-off of the 2019 Halifax Pride Festival. Tomorrow, members of the MSVU community will proudly participate in the Pride Parade.
All of our Pride week efforts – from events, to symbols on campus, to stories on social media – serve multiple purposes; they are both celebrations and opportunities for education and advocacy.
Walking in the parade, for example, is both a celebration and a protest. The Halifax Pride website reminds us of the history of the Pride Parade and the issues that drove its development: “Members of the city’s gay and lesbian community organized [the first] Pride Week [in 1988] without the benefit of legal protections. Amidst growing unrest about rampant prejudice and discrimination, that first Pride March was primarily a protest over the lack of legal protection from discrimination, and the all-too-common threat of homophobic violence.” While we celebrate the gains that have been made, we must always strive to do better as a society, a community and a university.
And this is a particularly significant year to recognize Pride, as 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots in New York and since homosexuality was decriminalized in Canada.
If you haven’t yet signed up to join the MSVU parade walking group, and would like to do so, please contact Diane.Piccitto@msvu.ca for information. Alternatively, consider attending the parade to cheer on our community.
If you haven’t already done so, you’re also encouraged to RSVP to join in the President’s Pride BBQ. It takes place at noon on Thursday, July 25 and promises to be a wonderful gathering of the MSVU community – all students, faculty, staff and alum are welcome. RSVP to Michelle.Innes@msvu.ca.
MSVU was founded on a commitment to equity and inclusion – and these principles remain at the core of the university today. We embrace all that makes each of us unique, including sexual orientation, gender identify and gender expression. Our University stands firmly with the 2SLGBTQIA+* community.
Let’s show our #MSVUPride this week and always.
Dr. Mary Bluechardt
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Saint Vincent University
*2SLGBTQIA+ is an acronym for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual, while + stands for other ways individuals express their gender and sexuality outside heteronormativity and the gender binary.