SALFORD Pride and the University of Salford are partnering to campaign for better rights and safe spaces for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) community and their allies.

The partnership will seek to challenge discrimination, celebrate Salford’s diversity and collaborate on awareness campaigns within the city.

The University’s involvement will be managed through its popular staff and postgraduate student network, Salford Proud, which has become an active voice for its diverse LGBT+ community since it formed last year.

The University of Salford will also become a key partner of Salford Pride’s summer event, known as The Pink Picnic, which takes place in Peel Park every July.The annual event, run by a team of volunteers, seeks to create a safe and inclusive space for self-expression, building social cohesion and raising awareness of LGBT+ issues.

Student campaigns 

Salford students will play an active role in developing the partnership by campaigning around key issues like hate crime awareness. They will also be showcasing their skills via a Pink Picnic talent contest in the University of Salford Students’ Union, with the winner ultimately performing on stage at Salford Pride 2019, and a special performance during LGBT History Month in February in the University’s 350-seat New Adelphi Theatre.

The University of Salford is a long-standing member of Stonewall, a national charity that promotes equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

Student Jon-Connor Lyons said:“I’m proud that my university is really proactive when it comes to advancing equality and being an inclusive place to study. I’m excited to champion this partnership through my work as a Sabbatical Officer at Salford Students’ Union.I’m also eager to work with the staff network Salford Proud in our LGBTQ+ campaigns this year as we go from strength to strength in supporting students and staff from LGBTQ+ communities.’

Dean of Students at the University of Salford Professor Neil Fowler said: “We’re committed to being a truly inclusive organisation and our LGBT+ network works hard to ensure the University is a welcoming and accepting place to work and study. By joining forces with Salford Pride I hope we can continue to fight against discrimination, empower our staff and students to be their authentic selves, celebrate diversity within the Salford community and become unstoppable.”

Survey concerns

The partnership comes after a recent Government Equalities Office’s National LGBT Survey* revealed that 23% of those questioned had experienced a negative or mixed reaction from others in the workplace due to being LGBT, or being thought to be LGBT. Furthermore, when asked about the most serious workplace incidents, 77% of respondents said it had not been reported, the main reason for which was that they had thought that nothing would happen or change.

Jack Lister, Community Inclusion Manager at Salford Pride, said: “We hold our annual Pride event, now in its eighth year, in Peel Park at the heart of the University’s campus, so we’re delighted to cement our partnership with the institution. Their LGBT+ network is gathering momentum which is great to see and I’m excited to work with them on awareness raising events that inspire, educate and celebrate our diverse community in Salford.”

Graham Rimmer, Co-chair of University of Salford’s LGBT+network Salford Proud, said: “There’s definitely more that can be done to raise the bar when it comes to promoting LGBT+ equality, both in the workplace and wider community. At the University of Salford we are passionate about celebrating diversity; fundamental to this is the belief that everyone has the same rights and should be treated fairly and with respect. I hope by working with Salford Pride we can fly the flag for inclusivity in the Salford area and beyond.”

Read more about Salford Pride here: http://pinkpicnic.org.uk/

To find out how you can support Salford Proud email G.A.Rimmer@salford.ac.uk

*National LGBT Survey Summary Report (July 2018)https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/722314/GEO-LGBT-Survey-Report.pdf

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