The Intersection of Juneteenth and Pride Month

Black background, with seven color rainbow on left side and red, yellow and green arch on the right side.

Published June 12, 2023

Dear Jacobs School community,

As you drive around the city this June, it is obvious from the burst of rainbow flags that Pride Month is in full bloom. These symbols remind us of our solidarity and support of our LGBTQIA+ community in its pursuit of dignity, equality, and acceptance every day. 

Many of us had the pleasure of attending the inaugural LGBTQIA+ Education and Inclusivity in Healthcare conference hosted by the Jacobs School's OUTPatient Student Medical group that kicked off Pride Month. I hope to see more events like this that engage us all in important conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

Pride Month reminds us of our responsibility as health care professionals to ensure the protection of all members of our community, and to recognize with appreciation the important contributions of our university’s LGBTQ+ family. 

On June 19, Pride Month intersects with Juneteenth – a day that recognizes the end of slavery in the United States and commemorates the hardships endured by subjugated Black Americans. It celebrates their freedom and achievements, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all communities, people and cultures.

The Jacobs School is proud to be participating in the Buffalo Juneteenth Festival again this year. Through collaborations with several departments and student groups, our presence at the festival on June 17 and 18 will include walking in the parade and engaging the community in various activities. 

These activities include learning about CPR and the microbiome, distribution of screening kits, providing youth with information about careers in medicine and biomedical sciences, and so much more. To learn how to get involved, contact the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement.

It is fulfilling to see how June has become an incredibly significant month in America, as we bring to the forefront awareness, acknowledgement and education about these two occasions that are linked by a history of hard-fought battles for justice.

Let us remind ourselves that this is a time for reflection on where we have been and of the work still to be done to fight the racial and identity-based trauma that continues today. 

To learn more about the University at Buffalo’s dedication to acknowledging and celebrating diversity, visit the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement webpage.   
 In solidarity, 

Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President for Health Sciences and
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences