Fanshawe College raises the Progress Pride flag to recognize Pride Month

Flags flying outside Fanshawe College. CREDIT: MAURICIO PRADO
Fanshawe College raised the Progress Pride flag on its main campus to signify support and celebration.

On June 1, Fanshawe College raised the Progress Pride flag on its main campus to kick off Pride Month. According to Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) student life coordinator, Basia Boron, Fanshawe aims to provide an inclusive community for everyone, a community where everyone can be themselves and feel welcomed. The celebration was held outside the H building, and it included speakers like Joseph Pazzano, Fanshawe’s Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, as well as Boron.

“Pride is as much about resilience as it is about protest, as much about the past as it is about the progress that we have made and the progress still to come; as much about celebration as it is about speaking the truth,” Pazzano said. “There is nothing to fear in the Progress Pride flag; it is only beauty, resilience and power.”

Boron said that the flag is a reminder that everyone is part of the same community and has a role in creating and supporting a welcoming environment for everybody.

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“We are raising the flag to say loud and clear to the world that Fanshawe College is where everyone is welcomed and valued,” Boron said. “We are saying we would not tolerate discrimination or hate speech of any kind, and we are also saying that we will work together to create a safe and supportive environment for all the members of the Fanshawe community.”

Pazzano stated that this is a sign that every community deserves to be treated with respect and acceptance, no matter the circumstances. He added that the flag is also for those who have struggled and felt lost.

“We know this journey can be scary and sometimes confusing, but you are seen, respected and welcomed, we see you,” Pazzano said. “You are in this flag, your stories, hopes, and dreams are rounded up in every fibre of this flag.”

Boron said that this ceremony is a catalyst for change and acceptance. It is to celebrate the unique differences every human has.

“Let’s listen to each other’s stories and experiences from our peers, friends and families and support each other regardless of the beliefs, needs, interests and values,” Boron said. “In this flag, we feel represented, and our identities feel secure. This flag has helped me find myself and connect with friends.”

Boron and Pazzano agreed that the end goal of this is not just to celebrate and commemorate but to make communities stronger and more united and incentivize progress.