Members of the UB LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Association:
This week marked the beginning of Pride Month and under other circumstances we would be preparing to celebrate Buffalo’s annual Pride Parade and Festival this weekend. While disappointing, it was to be expected that our normal June festivities would be altered, just as our new tradition of celebrating UB Pride Week in April with students on campus was. We know that we will be back to campus eventually, that we are #UBuffaloStrong together, and that there will be plenty of opportunities to virtually celebrate Pride now and physically together in the future.
What we did not anticipate are feelings of shock, dismay, anger and despair as we grapple with the murder of George Floyd and the violent reactions to peaceful protests across our country that followed. Our hearts are heavy as the rioters of today are reflections of those who raged against police brutality at the Stonewall Inn. Fifty-one years later, the multi-night siege of Greenwich Village, led mostly by trans folks and People of Color, is the reason we commemorate LGBTQ+ pride in June.
We stand with communities of color and we mourn for George, Breonna, Ahmaud, and the countless others who have been victimized by broken systems and the influence of white supremacy in our society. We have to acknowledge it and fight to change it. Black Lives Matter. We must say it. Say it again. Again. And again.
Let this Pride Month be your call to action. While this message cannot come close to exhausting opportunities for social justice work, here are a range of offerings gathered by our group:
Contribute to the Black Lives Matter/Pride Fundraiser for the MOCHA Center of Buffalo, a local organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ communities of color in WNY.
Sign the Human Rights Campaign Call to Condemn Racism, Police Brutality, and Racial Violence.
Consider local activist organizations like Showing Up for Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals with a Buffalo chapter working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice, and Black Love Resists in the Rust, a local collective of organizers and artists who identify as Black, Brown, and People of Color who believe in and work towards Transformative Social Justice.
Learn more about Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations like:
After a few months of hiatus in response to COVID-19, the LGBTQ FSA leadership will return to the plan that has been strategically driving our Association. In August we will be in touch about virtual ways to engage in the postponed Buffalo Pride Week and we will plan for the upcoming academic year. The impact of this moment will not be lost on us as we seek to pursue the most welcoming and inclusive community at UB and beyond.