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 more than 15,000 students, boasts more than 64,000 alumni, and offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences & Technology. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.