Emerson College is marching in the Boston Pride Parade once again, and organizers want this year’s turnout to be bigger than ever.
Registration is open until 2:00 pm, Thursday, June 9, to march with Emerson in the Saturday, June 11, parade. Sign up at connection.emerson.edu/pride2016, but even if you forget to register, you're still welcome to join Emerson in the parade. Participants must be at the Hynes Convention Center, 890 Boylston Street, by 11:40 am on June 11.
Last year, nearly 90 Emersonians marched, including President Lee Pelton, whom organizers hope will join them again.
“Each year, [the parade] gets bigger and bigger, with more groups participating,” said Eric Glaskin, an associate director in the Financial Aid office, and an Emerson Pride Parade organizer.
While Emerson students have long marched in the parade, this will be the second year that the College as a whole—students, alumni, faculty, and staff—has participated through eQual, a campus organization for GLBTQ faculty and staff and allies.
“I think that because Emerson is such a GLBTQ-supportive, friendly place for students, faculty, and staff, it’s really important to show that to the Boston community as well, and to let the Greater Boston community know what a special place Emerson is for GLBTQ folks,” Director of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Robert Amelio said.
One of the ways the College is hoping to do that is by handing out hand fans to people along the route. One side of the fans feature an Emerson lion with a rainbow mane; the other side lists contact information for the Admission, Human Resources, and Diversity and Inclusion offices.
“We definitely see it as a big recruiting vehicle, as well as a unity-type of effort for all of us…” Amelio said.
The Pride Parade route begins at Boylston and Clarendon streets in the Back Bay, goes down Clarendon into the South End, comes up Berkeley Street back to Boylston, cuts between the Public Garden and Common, runs along Beacon Street, and ends up at City Hall. It can take about three hours to march, Glaskin said, and will happen rain or shine.
Glaskin said that participants should dress for the weather, wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes, and bring plenty of water.
T-shirts will be provided if you register in time—crew necks or tank tops, but the tanks are going fast, Glaskin said. This year, eQual swapped out the Emerson purple for charcoal grey with white writing, but last year’s purple shirts are more than welcome.
“We’re hoping that if we keep going and change up the color every year, then eventually, two or three years [from now] there will be multiple colors showing up,” he said.