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Message from Pride Alumni Alliance Chair

Pride Alumni Alliance leader Shawn Richardson at event

Dear Fellow Eagles,
We are halfway through the year and what a year it has been. With all that’s going on around us from a pandemic to racial injustice, spirits are low and emotions are understandably high. I encourage you to stay hopeful. While Pride month might be celebrated differently this year, we should continue to live our lives as bold and fearless as we have been as a community - just as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Harvey Milk did.
On the upside of recent events, the LGBTQ community celebrated a historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that said the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination in the workplace. The ruling prohibits employers from firing someone because of their sexual orientation. This was indeed a victory for the community and one worth celebrating.
The Pride Alumni Alliance also celebrated some achievements over the past few months. Most recently, the PAA partnered with the Latino Alumni Alliance for a successful virtual panel, ¡Latinx Orgullo! Self-care in the Time of COVID-19, to discuss the Latinx LGBTQ+ community, self-care, and mental health during these tough times. We also added two new members, Martin Valderruten, SOC/BA '17, and Michael Kaye, SOC/MA '17, to the Pride leadership circle. PAA is always looking for alumni volunteers to serve on the leadership circle to help provide direction and programming. If you’re interested in joining the Pride leadership circle, please send an email to Maya Graham at
The university has transitioned to virtual engagement programming, which will continue through the end of 2020. Many of our signature events like the Spring Happy Hour and Night OUT at the Nationals were postponed, but we encourage everyone to stay engaged via the many online events that the Alumni Association is hosting. We are seeking volunteers interested in leading a program for the “At Home with AU” series. If you’re interested, please send a message to I look forward to the day that we can all gather in-person again.
If you haven’t already joined the AU Pride Alliance Facebook page, please take a moment to do so. We are looking to grow the alliance,so please share our membership form with AU LGBTQ alumni or allies who are not already involved.
Shawn Richardson SOC/MA ’08