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UNF celebrates Pride Month

A number of activities are planned at the university and throughout Niagara during June

Throughout the month of June, the University of Niagara Falls Canada (UNF) will take the opportunity to celebrate and support its vibrant and diverse community.  

To mark Pride Month, UNF will be hosting several events on campus celebrating the Two Spirit, lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) communities, as well as participating in events taking place elsewhere in the region. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to attend.  

“During Pride Month, it is vital to celebrate and honour the diverse identities within our community. Embracing and supporting our 2SLGBTQIA+ community members enriches our academic environment and reinforces our commitment to inclusivity and respect for all,” says Dr. David Gray, UNF’s Provost and Vice President, Academic.   

Things kick off on Tuesday, June 4 with a Positive Space Workshop, part of UNF’s Lunch & Learn Series on campus. This provides low-barrier access for students, staff, and faculty to learn about sex, sexuality, and gender diversity.   

UNF is also a Platinum Sponsor of this year’s Pride Niagara festival, taking place throughout the month of June. It’s an opportunity for the university to show support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, while encouraging students, staff, and faculty to participate in these events.  

“Queer identity is not something inherently visible though a professional and educational lens. The sponsorship of University of Niagara Falls Canada allows Pride Niagara’s initiatives of equitable, sustainable, and accountable thinking to flourish. Through our partnership, together we create new opportunities and safer spaces to develop professional and personal skills,” says Enzo De Divitiis, chair of the Pride Niagara Board of Directors. “Having this increased visibility helps remove barriers to inclusion, and with a positive presence builds an appreciation of community. Education is an ongoing process; education and understanding of not only others and marginalized communities, but ourselves. Equity, diversity, and inclusion can only be successful when working in tangent.  We thank the University of Niagara Falls Canada for helping lead the way!”  

The university will have a booth set up at Pride in the Park, Pride Niagara’s annual outdoor celebration in Montebello Park in downtown St. Catharines on June 8. The day will feature a lineup of 2SLGBTQIA+ entertainment, including live music, performances, and various activities for everyone to enjoy. 

Through its Pride Niagara sponsorship, UNF is thrilled to present the Hieeee Tea event on June 9. Featuring a splash of camp, the high tea will be held at the Travel Café in Fonthill. In addition to foods and treats, guests will also have the opportunity to pose questions to local 2SLGBTQIA+ activists, allies, personalities, and political figures sitting at the head table. Tea master Kyle Miller will act as moderator.  

Students will have the opportunity flex their creative muscles on June 20 during the Queer Crafternoon activity in the Lake Ontario Lounge.  

On Tuesday, June 25 the community is invited to attend the History of Pride in Canada: Proud Niagara Voices Workshop. Part of UNF’s Lunch & Learn Series on campus, this event will start with a presentation about the history of Pride in Canada from Dr. Raquel Benitez-Rojas, Associate Dean of the Master of Arts in Digital Media and Global Communications program and will be followed by a panel Q&A with LGBTQIA2S+ leaders within the Niagara region to speak on their personal experiences. Advance registration is required to attend.  

To learn more or register for an event, visit unfc.ca/events.