Rutgers-New Brunswick is set to wave its Pride flag in the most visible way possible
The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities (SJE) is commemorating its 30th anniversary, as well as more than 50 years of LGBT organizations on campus at Rutgers University. It starts this fall with a colorful pride wrap that will appear on a campus bus on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
The pride bus will be unveiled at launch event during LGBTQIA+ Welcome at the beginning of the fall 2022 semester. Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway will be on hand at the launch, which will include free food, music and tours of SJE. It’s the first-ever bus of its kind at Rutgers, which has the second-largest bus system in the state.
The bus will be covered with a design inspired by the 2017 Philly Pride flag, which includes black and brown stripes to be inclusive of all communities alongside the slogan “Rutgers Rides with Pride” and a link to SJE’s website. SJE’s assistant director of programming, Lindsay Jeffers, discussed the flag choice. The artwork for the wrap was envisioned by SJE and executed by a design consultant.
“It’s important to note that the Philly Pride flag on the bus includes a black and brown stripe,” she said. “First of all, this acknowledges the contributions of communities of color to the queer and trans community and, second, it speaks to the ongoing struggle for racial justice within the queer and trans community.”
It’s been a longtime dream for SJE Director Keywuan Caulk to bring the Pride bus wrap to Rutgers-New Brunswick, which is ranked among the nation’s most LGBT-friendly schools by Campus Pride Index. The goal of the bus ad is threefold, said Caulk: elevate the presence of the center, show the value of queer and trans identities, and attract potential students to Rutgers.
Recently the LGBTQ community has faced an uptick in discrimination, including proposed book bans and legislation such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. It restricts discussion of LGBTQ identities and content in schools said Caulk. It’s even more important for this show of pride to start rolling through the greater New Brunswick and Piscataway communities to celebrate diversity and inclusion at Rutgers.
“I hope that our queer and trans community will feel seen and celebrated. This act of visibility shares Rutgers’ commitment to queer and trans inclusion,” he said. “There is a lot of great equity work done behind the scenes in policy advocacy, programming and community building. It’s time to share that in more high impact and public ways.”