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AU Pride and Beyond

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“Pride Month, every month, is the opportunity to resist division, recharge our spirits, and respond to our call for equality,” says Walker Sands, Kogod/MBA ’14, co-chair of AU’s Pride Alumni Alliance 

The Pride Alumni Alliance continues its community engagement and programming, which aim to amplify and celebrate the rich mosaic of identities and experiences of the alumni community. Sands believes that having dedicated PAA volunteers actively involved in alumni engagement is a reason to celebrate during Pride Month. Pride Month, he says, also is a call to action for connection. 
“This month, let’s practice connection,” Sands says. “Connect each other to resources for care and mental wellness. Connect with our belief in humanity across different lived experiences. Connect our love of culture to showing up for human rights and affordable housing. If you live for Drag Race, learn the history and how you can lean in as an advocate.” 

In the spirit of building greater connection and community, the PAA hosted three major programs during the spring, bringing together students and alumni and amplifying the voices of AU’s LGBTQ+ community. 

The Creating Real Belonging community panel discussion focused on how to foster belonging, both individually and structurally, for underrepresented groups. Bijan Moore SIS/BA ’21, was a featured panelist who discussed his passion for working with youth and his experiences as an alum to help LGBTQ+ find a sense of belonging at AU. 

In partnership with University Advancement, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the annual Pride affinity graduation celebration honored more than 60 students. Brett Zongker, SOC/BA ’03, SOC/MA ’04, joined the celebration, sharing greetings from the AU Alumni Board and guiding the students through the “donning of the stole” ceremony. 

On June 6, the Pride Alumni Alliance hosted its long-standing summer social event at the Washington Nationals Night OUT, where more than 75 alumni and guests gathered. 

In the coming year, the Pride Alumni Alliance looks to continue its work to strengthen community connections and use the PAA platform to amplify voices and push for representation and celebration 365 days a year. 

Email to get involved.