Fresno State celebrated its LGBTQ+ community with its second annual pride week on campus. From Oct. 7 to Oct. 11, there was an event each day to promote diversity and to celebrate the community.
The first day there was an information center with resources for LGBTQ+ members and for allies. Then on Tuesday, they held a safe zone training; the next day was a pronoun politics workshop. Thursday was a day to show your pride on Instagram and Facebook. Finally, on Friday, a pride party was held for the LGBTQ+ community along with allies to make some new friends and get to know each other better. The week was led by Kiana Medina, teaching credential student who works for the Cross Cultural and Gender Center.
“Our overall mission is to ensure that students feel belonged, they have a sense of belonging on campus as well as inclusion,” Medina explains. “So, having an increased sense of diversity, inclusion, and belonging on Fresno State’s campus. So, being able to come on to campus and say,’ I am represented here, I belong here, I am included here, my identities are respected here.’”
Medina says that both years pride week have been a success, with a decent turnout for the events. For the information fair, there were a number of students stopping by to learn more about resources. For the pronoun politics workshop, Medina says over thirty people came. It wasn’t only students who showed up, but also faculty members as well.
Dr. Francine Oputa, director of the Cross Cultural and Gender Center, spoke on the first day to welcome people to a week of fun events. Also speaking at the event was Vice President of student affairs, Dr. Frank Lamas. President of the University, Joseph Castro, also made an appearance and spoke about how he was pleased with this event for being able to showcase the LGBTQ+ and to raise awareness of the diversity Fresno State has. Medina was excited to have President Castro speak at the pride week event.
“I know they’re very busy people, but they really tried their hardest to come to our event, to participate especially within our center.”
Overall, Fresno State made an effort to show its support for the events, the Henry Madden Library was represented at the information fair by the Anne Nixon center and by the Library Diversity Community (LDC). Sarah Pech, library specialist, was there on the behalf of the LDC, showcasing the different LGBTQ+ literature, movies, and CDs.
“The entire library, all of our materials, we really try to be inclusive and diverse as possible,” Pech explains. “You know, regarding subjects for school, regarding, I think really any matter. We really just want all students to feel comfortable in all parts of the library.”
Although pride week has come to an end, Medina wants to let people know that the Cross Cultural and Gender Center is there all year to help the LGBTQ+ community.
“You can come to the center and meet me or anyone on my team,” Medina says. “So, it’s exciting to have a week that solely focuses on our identities and our experiences but we’re always here for you.”