Chief Justice John Greaney, Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, Chief of Staff Tom Ashe, Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi, Veterans Services Deputy Director Joe DeCaro, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judy Crowell, City Council President Jesse Lederman and Ward 1 Councilor Maria Perez, State Representative Jacob Oliveira, and Ayanna Crawford from Representative Orlando Ramos’s Office and Kristen Elechko, Regional Director for US Senator Edward Markey were also in attendance.
The Springfield Pride Parade will kick off their inaugural parade on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 9:00 am from the campus of Springfield Technical Community College and end at Court Square. The event will feature music and fun with speeches delivered by the parade organizers and city officials to support this hallmark event in support of our LGBTQ+ community.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Attorney Talia Gee and I are looking forward to joining with Taurean Bethea and our Springfield LGBTQ+ community in support of our first and inaugural Springfield Pride Parade. A good person is a good person, no matter what creed, color, background, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As a longtime member of Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination, I am proud to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community to remind all that each of us deserves the same level of equality and respect. This month in particular, we honor those who have fought for equality for our LGBTQ+ community and recognize that respecting the rights of all makes for a better city and community.”
The mission of the Springfield Pride Parade (SPP) is to support LGBTQ+ youth through resources, understanding and fundraising. To help promote care for Springfield’s LGBTQ+ community and youth, SPP founded the Safe Space Initiative – a commitment from local businesses to disavow hate speech, hateful actions, or aggressions targeting the LGBTQ+ community in their establishments. The movement is marked by a public facing decal affirming that their business is a safe space. Businesses that have signed on as safe spaces include Dewey’s Lounge, TD Bank, Focus Springfield, White Lion and the Ethnic Study.
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “The City of Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services is proud to join with MassMutual, Baystate, Mass Live, and all of our community supporters as key sponsors for the Springfield Pride Parade. The City of Springfield is proud to sponsor and support Springfield’s first Pride parade. I am also heartened that MassMutual’s Pride business resource group is nearly 450-employees strong. We plan to tap their enthusiasm and energy when we come together in June to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in partnership with Springfield Pride.”
For more information on Springfield Pride Parade, please visit their Facebook page @SpringfieldPrideParadeOrganization