Smile Politely

Uniting Pride of Champaign County needs our help

Two hands make a heart, on the wrist is a rainbow sweatband and there is a blurry crowd and a rainbow striped flag in the background.
Uniting Pride of Champaign County

We’ve previously written about the state of LGBTQ+ rights in our community. While it is far from perfect, Champaign-Urbana is a fairly safe space for the LGTBQ+ community. Recently however, a Florida-based extremist group has been targeting local LGBTQ+ groups (including Uniting Pride) with hateful messages, bigotry, and threats of violence and harassment. With C-U’s biggest LGBTQ+ celebration, Pride Fest, happening soon. The UP center is reaching out to ask for help. They need volunteers to serve on their peace team. According to their website, “The Peace Team is a group of volunteers who get expert training in violence de-escalation and bystander intervention in order to help keep Pride Fest events safe for everyone.” The training, which normally costs $65, will be offered for free to community members on September 16th and 17th and you must attend both days. They plan to have peace team volunteers present at two events, the Youth & Family Party at the Phillips Recreation Center on September 29th and the parade and fair on September 30th. Volunteering is such an impactful way to show up and support the LGBTQ+ community. All the information is below. I’ll end with this quote from The Uniting Pride board and staff,

“We will be busy protecting our community. We will be busy reaching out more deeply in love and safety, and with kindness and caring for those who need it most. We will be busy banding together with whoever wants to help us build a wall of tolerance and acceptance and humanity and community. We will be busy finalizing plans for the biggest Pride Fest we’ve ever had in the history of this community.”

CU Pride Fest Peace Team volunteer training
Online via Zoom
September 16th + 17th
1 to 5 p.m.
Free but registration is required

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