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Celebrating Pride Month

June 4, 2020

UNF students posing with flags and posters at a pride celebration

June is Pride Month and is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the positive impact that people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning have made throughout history.

This annual celebration honors the LGBTQ movement that started more than 50 years ago with the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City that helped spur the modern gay rights movement.

At UNF, Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate the impact LGBTQ people have made not only on our University campus, but also locally, regionally and globally. UNF is consistently ranked among the top choices for LGBTQ students and named a Best and Most Affordable LGBTQ-Friendly Online College. The University has available resources in its LGBT Resource Center (LGBTRC) and staff that are committed to advocacy, equality, community and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and allied students, faculty and staff.

The LGBTRC provides valuable education and resources for the campus community with a commitment to advocacy, equality, respect, and support for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff, and provides safe space and pronoun training workshops to faculty and staff as well as to the greater Jacksonville community.

The LGBTRC welcomed a new director in January, Manny Velásquez-Paredes, an experienced marketing and personal branding manager, with nearly a decade of experience working in professions focused on multi-cultural diversity and LGBTQ communities.

His experience includes training and education to organizations, communities, and government agencies on gender identity, advocacy, and how to serve the LGBTQ community. He has years of experience working with and mentoring young people, as well as developing programming and workshops to help students with gender identity issues, coming out, bullying, financial literacy and selfcare.

"We hope that Pride Month serves as a platform to educate, raise awareness and elevate important conversations about LGBTQ identities and experiences to members of our Osprey community,” said Velásquez-Paredes.