GMercyU Raises Progressive Pride Flag
GMercyU raised the progressive pride flag on campus yesterday to reaffirm the University's commitment to justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people. The flag raising ceremony was held by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Pride Alliance (an LGBTQ+ student organization), and Spectrum (an LGBTQ+ faculty and staff resource group).
After a warm welcome from Tatiana Diaz, AVP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Jen Wade, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, shared three prayers from LGBTQ+ communities of faith, followed by a speech by Daniel Parker, the faculty and staff co-chair of Spectrum.
"We want to celebrate the very fact that we are raising the pride flag for the second annual time at a Catholic institution where our religious community has chosen to support our queer and transgender members as a genuine expression, rather than a contradiction, of its spiritual and virtuous mission," said Parker, noting that recent anti-queer and anti-trans legislation has put the LGBTQ+ community on the defensive. The legislation is meant to intimidate LGBTQ+ youth into silence, submission, and suicide, Parker said.
"Raising this flag means so much to me and the rest of the Pride Alliance," said Natasha Halovanic '24, VP of GMercyU's Pride Alliance and a Digital Communications major, at the ceremony. "It represents not just tolerance but acceptance and appreciation for our identities and our presence here on our campus and beyond."
Jim Gallo, EdD, VP of Mission Integration, challenged everyone - regardless of identity - to embody the love and compassion that Mercy calls us to practice, to help us live up to our mission and become the type of welcoming and inclusive community that we aspire to be.
"Here at Gwynedd Mercy University we cherish and love our diverse community," Gallo said. "All are not only welcome here, but are part of the fabric of this community, and thereby deserve love, compassion, and respect."