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Showing Pride in our progress

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Published on 21 July 2021

Progress Pride Flags at City Campus
Progress Pride Flags at City Campus

As we begin to return to our working and social lives, the campus is changing to welcome us all back, and to celebrate some of the progress we're making towards a more equal, diverse and inclusive society.

From this week you can see our new Progress Pride Flags on City and Sir Tom Cowie Campus.

Justine Gillespie, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Manager at the University of Sunderland, tells us more about this colourful new addition: "The crossings, which have been completed ahead of Sunderland Pride in August, are a symbol of the University’s commitment to inclusivity and celebrates the diversity of all its staff and students.

"The Progress Pride Flag includes all the colours of the Rainbow Pride flag which is widely recognised as the symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) communities, as well as the black and brown stripes to represent marginalised LGBTQI+ communities of colour, along with the colours pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Trans Pride Flag. In addition, the black and brown stripes also represent those living with AIDS, and those no longer living.

"Professor Jon Timmis, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Commercial) and Executive Lead on EDI, suggested the installation of a new inclusive crossing after seeing one installed at York University. Once we had discussed the idea with our AII Identities Included Staff Network (For LGBTQI+ staff and allies), our Estates and Facilities team were enthusiastic allies in supporting the installation and we are grateful for their support.

"The crossings are a public representation of the University's commitment to LGBTQI+ equality. It sends an important message to all members of the University that LGBTQI+ people belong and are valued in our community. It is a permanent reminder to us all that promoting equality, and challenging discrimination, are daily actions that concern us all. I hope that the new crossings will signify the University’s commitment to our value of inclusion and showing that we are a welcoming and accepting community."