Miami Dade College Pride, an organization at Wolfson Campus aimed at encouraging students to educate each other about issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation, is expanding to the North and Kendall Campuses.
The organization has committed itself to providing a place where students can let their guard down and be completely open without feeling judged or discriminated against.
“We don’t want it to be your normally structured organization,” said MDC Pride President Jamesly Louis. “We want to create a social environment where people can feel open and comfortable enough to talk about absolutely anything.”
MDC Pride currently holds 80 members and functions as a support group that provides safety and confidentiality to students struggling with their identities such as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ).
“This club provides a really inviting atmosphere and it’s nice to know there’s a place where I can be completely open and feel comfortable,” MDC student Ruth Gonzalez said. “I’m not gay, but I am a huge supporter of equal rights so I’m definitely proud to be a member of this group.”
Pridelines Youth Services, a nonprofit organization that began in MDC in 1982 and was created by gay youth in support for the LGBTQ, has teamed up with MDC Pride to provide a comprehensive system of services for the club.
“In exchange for a certain number of community service hours, we have been able to provide our members with complimentary y tickets to shows at the Arsht Center, the Lady Gaga concert, picnics, proms and many more events all thanks to Pridelines Youth Services,” Louis said.
The organization’s most recent activity was promoting safe sex practices in affiliation with Care Resources, which is part of the Miami-Dade County Health Department. In March, the organization will start fundraising in a Mardi Gras-themed event that will help toward building a new school in one of New Orleans’ most damaged areas.
“Before it is my time to depart from MDC Pride, my goal is for all campuses to have MDC Pride and for it to be the biggest and most known organization within the school,” Louis said.
MDC Pride meetings are held every Wednesday at the Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 2313 at 12 p.m. A schedule for meetings at the North and Kendall campuses has not been set yet.