Photos by Jerry Green, staff reporter
Story by Audrey Callaway Scherer, staff reporter
Participating in the Pride Parade was one of the ways that QCNM and the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee wanted to raise visibility and create more equity in the CNM and Albuquerque communities, said Brian Rasmussen, an organizer for both CNM groups.
The goal for this year’s participation in the parade was to be bigger and more colorful, he said. In addition to most of the things they had last year, like the CNM vehicle, the giant rainbow flag and the banner, this year would also include a second banner, beach balls, a lot of flags and fans to hand out to spectators.
“Just to get our name out there so that people would see that CNM is an inclusive place,” he said. “And that there are people in the institution who are actively working to change policies to create a safer and more welcome environment.”
As the CNM group marched in the parade, one of the most gratifying aspects was hearing the love shown by many in the crowd as they would shout, “We love CNM!” and “Thank you CNM, you gave me my education!” said Erica Barreiro Volkers, another organizer for the two groups.
“It is so wonderful to have such a personal opportunity to know how we have touched the lives of so many in our community,” she said.
2018 was CNM’s first year in the parade and it was wholly organized by the two groups, but after its success, the events office offered to take it on as an official CNM event, starting in 2019. This allows the committee and QCNM to focus on their other projects, said Rasmussen.
“We were putting it out to the entire CNM community, just saying come on out,” he said. “Just show up and show the community how awesome CNM is.”
Barreiro Volkers said that CNM’s president, Kathryn Winograd, marched with them, as well. “I am so proud that we are now part of the Pride Parade,” said Barreiro Volkers. “I think it is an important way in which we are able to show our CNM and ABQ community that we value and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community members.”