Hamline News

Pride in the Air

Main-Pride_Bishop

The 2019 Twin Cities Pride Festival kicks off on Friday and ends on Sunday with a parade that will include a contingent of Hamline students, alumni, staff and faculty. On Saturday and Sunday, during and after the parade, Pipers will staff a booth during the Pride gathering and concerts in Loring Park.

Hamline has had a booth at Twin Cities Pride festival in Minneapolis since at least 2011 according to Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs Director t. aaron hans.

Hamline has also had a presence at many of the regional Pride events since at least 2014 thanks to Dr. Wallace Swan, who teaches in the School of Business. This year Hamline will be attending some of the bigger regional Pride events with additional staff support from admissions and other Hamline staff and faculty. Most recently, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Marcela Kostihova joined Dr. Swan, and Erin Derwin from admissions at the Golden Valley Pride Festival.

“It is important to have a presence and outreach at the Pride events for our current students, alumni and most importantly prospective students to see that we are welcoming and supportive of diverse sexual and gender identities,” said hans.

Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs coordinate Pride outreach and events on campus too.

This campus work is especially important to the twenty percent of students who identify as LGBTQIA. Hamline sophomore Parker Reindahl credits visible support for LGBTQIA-identified prospective students as a key reason for his enrollment.

“A big reason I chose Hamline was how accepting it felt, I came out to my family the day before I visited campus for the first time and when we arrived we saw the rainbow flag tied around the bishop,” Reindahl said. “These visual representations of support mean so much!”

More importantly, Reindahl notes, is the fact that Hamline University manifests inclusion and support for LGBTQIA students throughout the campus in a natural and organic way.

“Hamline is naturally inclusive,” Reindahl said. “There’s pride for all people and the diversity of LGBTQIA students is not forced here.”

That inclusion showed up in Sociology Professor Valerie Chepp’s Youth Activism Class. In the class, Reindahl and his classmates collaborated with Hamline Elementary students to create videos on social justice topics that were important to them. His group produced “Pride in the Air”, a video featuring an interview with Principal Kristin Reilly, information about LGBTQIA youth, and a montage of pride symbols and a video clip from a past Pride Parade.

Reindahl is working in Wisconsin this summer but returned to the cities for the Pride festivities.

“I wouldn’t miss the celebration,” said Reindahl.

For Hamline, the Pride events are significant outreach opportunities not just to LGBTQIA identified individuals, but others that care about these issues as well.

“Being known as a supportive and welcoming community makes a significant impact for our students,” said hans.

Hamline is Contingent 102 of the Pride Parade. The Hamline booth is in the yellow section, Y88 at the Pride Festival. To join the group, sign up or email queer@hamline.edu.

6/20/19
Written by staff.