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UNB celebrates NB Pride Week

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jul 13, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

The Pride flag was recently raised on our Fredericton and Saint John campuses in solidarity with all 2SLGBTQIA+ people and communities. This year, Pride organizers in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton have chosen to come together for one united province-wide celebration. Now more than ever, at a time of global uncertainty and unrest, it is important that we join in celebration of this significant occasion.

The updated Pride flag, known as the Progress flag, prioritizes Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) and transgender members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. In addition, it shows solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and reinforces the reality that ALL Black Lives Matter; BLM and Pride share histories of being founded to fight against systemic discrimination and intolerance. Pride would not exist without the bravery of queer, transgender women of colour.

Our differences – be they gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or background – contribute to the richness of our university environment and experience and we are stronger because of our differences. The perspectives and contributions of UNB’s BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ students, staff and faculty are immeasurable and impactful; their experiences and stories reveal our collective history and prompt all of us to reflect critically in learning to be a better, more understanding, compassionate, and tolerant community.

Pride is a meaningful celebration of diversity, equality, dignity, visibility and evidence of the progress that’s been made. But, despite how far we have come, there is so much further to go. Pride has been, and remains, a social movement towards inclusivity and safety for all 2SLGBTQIA+ people. While the Pride flag will wave proudly, for us, in the sky this week, we must acknowledge the difficulties many in the community still face and the struggles that continue.

Our university has a lot to be proud of, including the outstanding research into 2SLGBTQIA+ topics, the advocacy of organizations on campus such as The 203 Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, and our institutional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. However, there remains work to be done. For our university, and society as a whole, we need to be honest and aware of the hurdles and roadblocks that prevent individuals from being themselves in our spaces and from reaching their full potential.

For UNB, the way forward is together. It is our responsibility to continue working towards equality and uplifting the voices that need to be heard. We must be united in standing with and for marginalized people in our practices and purpose – we must be resolute in a collective commitment to evolve and change. We know that our campuses are not immune to discrimination and intolerance, but we are dedicated to doing better.

At UNB we endeavour to create a culture where everyone feels empowered and encouraged to learn, grow and contribute as their authentic selves. I thank all of you for your contributions – big or small – as we walk this path together.

My best wishes to all for a Happy Pride Week.

Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle
President and Vice-Chancellor