LGBTQA Initiatives in the Office of Social Justice and Inclusion (OSJI) has been renamed Pride Center at FIU to better represent the department’s commitment to improving diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
“The Pride Center name change better reflects our unit’s mission,” said Erica Friedman, associate director at the Pride Center. “Our programs seek to uplift and include the voices of all FIU students with marginalized gender identities, sexual identities and romantic identities as well as their allies with a special emphasis on centering students whose identities intersect with additional experiences of marginalization.”
The Pride Center serves and empowers more than 4,000 FIU students each year with programming centered on inclusion, kindness, growth and the celebration of all Panthers to ultimately ensure student success.
“I’m a big fan of the name change,” said Joseph Cusco, the vice president-elect of the Pride Student Union. “Seeing new changes happening means that we are taking a step forward for LGBTQIA+ students at FIU.”
The unveiling of the department’s new name coincides with FIU’s Pride Week, an annual tradition celebrated in conjunction with the Miami Beach Pride Parade. Although this year’s beach festivities have been postponed due to COVID-19, the Pride Center and multiple campus partners have collaborated to help Panthers safely celebrate Pride with a creative lineup of events.
“While Pride is something we celebrate every day in our community, it’s still important to have this one time of year to express our authentic selves and celebrate all we have overcome and achieved as individuals and as a community,” Friedman said.
FIU’s Pride Week events will take place virtually beginning April 5 and will culminate with an in-person, socially distant SPC Pride Drag Show on the GC Lawns on April 10.
For Panthers attending in-person, there will be individual food boxes, salty donuts, cookies and Pride giveaways. The Drag Show will also be streamed live on the LGBTQA Initiatives YouTube Channel for those wishing to join virtually.
“Just because the Miami Beach Pride Parade [isn’t] happening doesn’t mean that FIU Pride is cancelled,” said Cusco. “Pride lives in our hearts and even though we can’t all be together in person doesn’t mean we can’t be loud and share in our pride of being LGBTQIA+.”
For the up-to-date details on Pride Week festivities follow @fiupridecenter on Instagram.
Monday, April 5, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. In Our Bodies—Panelists will lead a discussion on how their bodies and identities impact the way they navigate life, relationships and the language they use. go.fiu.edu/InOurBodies
Tuesday, April 6, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. gENDer —A conversation on the benefits and hindrances of ending gender in society. go.fiu.edu/PrideGender
Wednesday, April 7, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. That’s So Queer: Latine/x La Familia—A discussion on increasing understanding about sexual and gender diversity in Latine/x communities. IG Live - go.fiu.edu/prideonig
Thursday, April 8,12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Out in the Military —Out and proud veterans share their stories of personal sacrifice and determination to keep our country safe while ensuring equality for all. go.fiu.edu/PrideVeteran
Thursday, April 8, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. That’s So Queer: Drag—Join a special pride that’s so queer where we talk about what drag is, the history, and who our favorite performers are in preparation of the SPC drag show on Saturday. IG Live - go.fiu.edu/prideonig
Friday, April 9, 1 p.m.- 2 p.m.Finding Your Voice: LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in the Workplace —Join a panel of FIU community members and learn ways to incorporate LGBTQIA identities, work, and service into our career and job searches. go.fiu.edu/CTDPride
Saturday, April 10, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. SPC’s Pride Drag Show— Claim your spot on the lawn (first come, first served!) and get your fix of food and giveaways as you watch the drag show in person. Alternatively, tune in to the live stream on YouTube go.fiu.edu/pridedragshowlive.