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Pride Kicks off at UM, celebrates new mural with artist Patrick Hunter

May 28, 2024 — 

A mural, by artist Patrick Hunter, is part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded project and illustrates and shares knowledge on 2SLGBTQ+ social and legal history.

Pride celebrations at UM kicked off with a special event on Friday, May 24, not only celebrating the start of Winnipeg’s Pride week and formally unveiling a new mural commemorating 2SLGBTQ+ history that will be housed in the Faculty of Education.

Hunter’s mural incorporates an eagle feather and vibrant floral designs, creating a visually engaging experience for all who encounter it. Hunter’s woodlands-style mural uses bright pastel colors to accentuate the floral motifs and draw viewers’ eyes to the feather, anchoring this powerful piece of art. Through art and education, the project looks to illuminate the past and build a more inclusive society.

“I think the intention of a piece like this is to inspire people to do more,” said artist Patrick Hunter. “To including the entire history of our people, we’d need a lot more wall space. We are standing on the shoulders of the people that came before us and who fought for our right to be who we are.”

In addition to Hunter, President Michael Benarroch, Dean of Education Dr. Jan Stewart, Dr. Robert Mizzi, Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community, and Diversity Education, UMSU President Divya Sharma and Alex Rana from the Rainbow Pride Centre also spoke at the event.

“Right now, my team and I are working to strengthen partnerships with Pride Winnipeg and other organizations to build a society in which two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and people with other sexual or gender identities—as well as allies—enjoy the freedom and dignity to live openly, authentically and safely,” said President Benarroch.

“I learned this past year that community advocacy is still needed,” said Alex Rana. “We are facing a rise in misinformation, hate marches and attacks upon our community. I was so glad to see UM recognize and celebrate Trans Day of Visibility this year outside of Pride week. It’s essential that we have allies that show up for us all year round.”

“We need to hear more from queer voices. And that’s why we come togethers on days like today. Here in Canada, we stand at the forefront of progress, celebrated globally for our inclusive policies and rights, but beneath this veneer of acceptable lies a crucial void – a lack of awareness among our queer youth and our allies and about the struggles and triumphs that paved the way for our progress today and how more work is necessary,” said Dr. Robert Mizzi.

Join the UM community at Pride events on campus this week. We hope to see as many UM students, staff, alumni, family and friends join us once again on June 2 in allyship and celebration with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and proudly show your pride at this year’s Pride Winnipeg parade with UM. Get your new look UM pride t-shirts, bubbles and fans at the parade (while supplies last). 

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