BMCC Celebrates Pride Month With In-Person Opening Brunch and Presentation

image of rainbow flag and Pride flyer

October 12, 2022

Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY kicked off its annual Pride month with a brunch and presentation by author and LGBTQI advocate Cindy Rizzo, who shared insights on writing and publishing with students, faculty and staff on October 11 in Richard Harris Terrace.  BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe attended the event as did other members of the Cabinet.

Students with President Munroe
Author Cindy Rizzo and BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe with BMCC students

BMCC’s Pride 2022 brunch, which is the first of several Pride events scheduled throughout October, featured a full buffet that included eggs, bacon and pancakes. Because of previous Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, this was the first on-campus Pride opening event in more than three years.

Although New Yorkers typically celebrate Pride month in June, BMCC’s Pride was moved to October more than ten years ago so more students could take advantage of on-campus events.

During his welcoming remarks, Dean of Student Affairs Michael Hutmaker encouraged students to attend this year’s Pride events and use the opportunity to not only learn about the LGBTQI community, but also meet fellow students.

“Celebrating PRIDE month is a great way to bring together the BMCC community. BMCC prides itself on welcoming and celebrating the different members of our BMCC family. The events planned by faculty, staff and students are an example of how we join each other to celebrate as a community,” said Hutmaker.

Rizzo also shared insight into the creative process for her most recent book, “The Papercutter.”  The book, Part I of The Split Series, is a crossover, young adult speculative fiction novel and was released by Bella Books in June 2021.

After Rizzo’s presentation, BMCC’s Rainbow Panthers Club president, Gender Studies major Ashley Monegro, shared information about the LGBTQI student and allies club that meets each Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.

“We want to include the entire BMCC community and maybe beyond,” said Monegro.  “We hope to make BMCC an even more inclusive and friendly LGBTQI environment.”

For example, Monegro hopes to see the return of the BMCC Lavender Graduation to celebrate LGBTQI graduates and allies in upcoming semesters including when she graduates in Spring 2023.  Monegro, who grew up in Harlem, says she has always been an advocate LGBTQI social justice issues.  She says we are living in the perfect time to further and raise awareness around issues impacting the LGBTQI community.

“People seem to be more open about other people’s sexuality,” said Monegro. “I also believe it’s important for students to read the news or listen to podcasts and keep themselves informed about current events and other issues impacting the LGBTQI community.”

After she graduates BMCC, Monegro plans to continue her education either at New York University or a four-year CUNY college.  After that, she plans to go to medical school and pursue a career as either an OBGYN or as a plastic surgeon.

Other Resources and upcoming events available to BMCC Students

As part of BMCC’s (pilot program) Social Justice & Equity Center, the college is home to the Pride Center, which fosters a supportive environment for all students, faculty, and staff focusing on the experiences and identities within the LGBTQI community. The Pride Center offers events, programs and services focused on supporting and celebrating the LGBTQI community and the role of allies.

The Pride Center also oversees BMCC’s SafeZone Training, which explores how to be better allies and create a safe and inclusive space for the Queer Community at BMCC and beyond.

Find out about upcoming BMCC Pride Events here.

BMCC’s Pride month and Pride Center support the BMCC Strategic Plan including Strategic Goal 5, Strengthening Our Culture of Care for Students, Faculty and Staff.