True Colors: UHD Shows Up Loud And Proud At Houston Pride Parade
By Mark Kramer
The University of Houston-Downtown Community made its presence known at the Houston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 25. The 44th Annual Official Houston Pride LGBT+ Celebration® was once again a live event after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
UHD’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Student Affairs, and other departments, students, and faculty walked in the parade alongside a University vehicle proudly displaying the UHD banner.
“Our reception as the UHD banner entered the parade route with the giant UHD flag waving from the back of a UHD Facilities truck was incredible,” said Dr. John Hudson, Director of UHD’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion. “Chants of ‘that’s my school’ and ‘go Gators’ could be heard as we made our way down the route. Hearing people cheer and claim us as their school – and doing so proudly – was incredibly gratifying.”
The celebration kicked off outside Houston City Hall with a festival, followed by the parade. The events are organized by Pride Houston 365 (formerly Pride Houston), a nonprofit that works to celebrate Houston’s LGBTQIA+ community, raise critical funds for youth scholarships, and offer ongoing health and wellness education.
Hudson said the University’s participation in the parade-related events, including UHD volunteers hosting a tent at the event, was monumental in terms of visibility and representation.
“We made a clear statement that we are a welcoming, inclusive institution, and that we have a place for all as we celebrated Houston’s first Pride Parade since the pandemic began,” he said.
Hudson added that UHD will continue to be visible in the Pride events for years to come.
“This was only the beginning,” he said. “Next year, I would expect us to have two to three spaces in the parade, a UHD van or bus, a UHD float, and 100 or more marchers. We are the University of Houston-Downtown, and we all felt like we made a powerful statement as we made our way through the parade route.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.