This month, we celebrate Pride Month and the many ways LGBTQIA+ folks have contributed to our world. Pride was originally focused on securing basic rights and later confronting the AIDS epidemic. Pride continues to be about creating and affirming spaces where LGBTQIA+ people can exist freely, without persecution.
Across our country, LGBTQIA+ students face rampant bullying, violence, rejection, bigotry, and discrimination, which leads to higher rates of depression and suicide. 4.2 million youth experience homelessness every year, of which 40 percent are LGBTQIA+. This number is even more jarring considering that LGBTQIA+ people make up only 7 percent of the youth population. LGBTQIA+ also experience higher rates of anxiety and mood disorders.
Da Vinci’s Aspirational Values actively acknowledge our responsibility to eliminate systemic bias and exclusion. We aspire to carry these tenets forward in our daily interactions in the pursuit of educational equity for all students. This reminder comes against the backdrop of a pandemic that has disrupted the world and disproportionately ravaged communities of color.
This Pride Month we recognize the valuable contributions and accomplishments of our LGBTQIA+ community and embrace diversity, equity and inclusion for all.