COLORES to host socially-distanced Pride Fair in place of Pride Prom

COLORES will be hosting a Pride Fair to celebrate queer students and allies on May 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Hall Green. They will be collaborating with the Lawrence University Native American Organization, the Pan-Asian Organization, Alianza, the Committee on Diversity Affairs, the Student Alliance Against Sexual Harassment and Assault, the Black Student Union, the Lawrence University Disability Working Group and the Diversity and Intercultural Center. Each organization will host an activity table at the fair.  

According to junior Ezra Marker, the president of COLORES, the Pride Fair will be held in place of Pride Prom, an indoor event that was typically hosted by COLORES during Spring Term. Marker said that they wanted to host a COVID-19-safe gathering this year, and since Pride Prom has had over 150 participants in the past, they didn’t feel comfortable hosting an indoor event.  

As a result, the Pride Fair will consist of a variety of activities for students to participate in: tie-dye, finger painting, friendship bracelet making, origami flowers, queer flag door decorations and more. The Diversity and Intercultural Center will have a table with information about on-campus resources for queer students. Additionally, students will be able to paint their hands and put their handprints on a banner that will hang outside of the Wriston Art Center to show solidarity with queer students. Students will also be able to write down what being queer means to them on a piece of paper that will be placed in the windows of the Diversity Center.  

Assistant Director of the Diversity and Intercultural Center Yeng Lee, who Marker reached out to for organizational assistance with the Pride Fair, said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students haven’t had many opportunities to interact in-person this year. Lee explained that they hope to provide a space for all the diversity organizations and students to have fun together outdoors. The goal of Pride Prom, Marker said, was to celebrate the existence of queer people without having to emphasize the difficulties they may face, so they wanted Pride Fair to provide a similar space for students.   

“We want to create a space where queer students and allies—but especially queer students—are welcome to enjoy arts and crafts and are reminded that they’re welcome and supported here at Lawrence,” Marker said. “We really want to foster a feeling of welcoming and community for queer students on campus.” 

Lee also said that COVID-19 guidelines will be followed; the tables will be spaced out and social distancing and masks will be required throughout the event. In preparation for the fair, Marker said that they have purchased hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.