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Morris County Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Raising Awareness

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MORRIS COUNTY — On Saturday, June 22, Morris County Pride held its annual pride festival at the County College of Morris, located at 214 Center Grove Road, Randolph. This family-friendly event aimed to support visibility and local LGBTQ+ programming and care.

The festival, produced by Morris County Pride, featured a variety of entertainment-based activities designed to foster visibility, acceptance, inclusion, education, and resources for the LGBTQI+ community in Morris County. By participating, visitors contributed to a meaningful cause, as all donations and funds raised directly supported the specialty programming and services at EDGE New Jersey, New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ and HIV+ community center.

EDGE New Jersey is dedicated to responding compassionately and responsibly to those living with HIV, those at risk, and the LGBTQ+ communities. The organization provides a range of supportive services, including housing opportunities, prevention strategies, and education, all aimed at enhancing the community they serve. Their vision is to empower individuals to achieve healthy, safe, and self-sufficient lives, thereby enabling them to positively influence their communities.

This family-friendly event aimed to support visibility and local LGBTQ+ programming and care.

The Morris County Pride festival exemplifies EDGE New Jersey’s mission and vision by creating a supportive environment where community members can come together, celebrate diversity, and work towards a more inclusive society.

Out NJ Magazine, a prominent voice for the LGBTQ+ community in New Jersey, participated in the Pride Festival, sharing inspiring stories and celebrating diversity. Their presence highlighted the importance of visibility and representation for the LGBTQ+ community.
Parsippany Pharmacy was one of the many exhibitors at the Pride Festival held at County College of Morris, demonstrating their support for the LGBTQ+ community and commitment to inclusive healthcare services.
Zulfal Health, known for its comprehensive healthcare services, played a significant role at the Pride Festival held at County College of Morris. As a dedicated participant, Zulfal Health provided wellness information, and resources specifically tailored to the LGBTQ+ community.
Homeless Solutions, an organization dedicated to providing shelter and services for those in need, took part in the Pride Festival at County College of Morris. Their booth offered information on housing assistance, support services, and resources specifically designed to help the LGBTQ+ community facing homelessness.
Mimi Sashimi, a well-known advocate and vibrant personality within the LGBTQ+ community, made a significant impact at the Pride Festival held at County College of Morris. Known for her dynamic presence and dedication to promoting inclusivity, Mimi engaged with festival attendees, sharing her experiences and spreading a message of acceptance and love. Her participation underscored the importance of visibility and support within the LGBTQ+ community.
The United Methodist Church of Mt. Tabor joined the Pride Festival at County College of Morris, showcasing their commitment to inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Their booth provided a welcoming space for festival-goers to learn about the church’s open and affirming stance, as well as the various programs and services they offer. By participating in the event, the United Methodist Church of Mt. Tabor reinforced their dedication to fostering a loving and accepting community for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the Pride Festival held at County College of Morris, attendees could visit the Navigating Hope van. This mobile outreach unit provided invaluable assistance, allowing individuals to:

  • Apply for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, and other essential assistance programs
  • Get connected to health and wellness resources
  • Receive support for issues related to domestic violence, aging, WIC, and EITC
  • Access a wide range of other vital services

The Navigating Hope van ensured festival-goers had access to the support and resources they needed, reinforcing the event’s commitment to community care and inclusivity.

This family-friendly event features a variety of activities, entertainment, and educational opportunities designed to promote visibility, acceptance, and resources for LGBTQ+ individuals. By participating in the festival, attendees contribute to important local programs and services provided by EDGE NJ, ensuring continued support and advocacy for all.

Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which was a pivotal event in the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The uprising began as a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

The Presbyterian Church in Morristown joined the Pride Festival at County College of Morris, showcasing their commitment to inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Their booth provided a welcoming space for festival-goers to learn about the church’s open and affirming stance, as well as the various programs and services they offer.
PFLAG of Sussex County stands for “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” in Sussex County. It is a local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families and friends. The mission of PFLAG is to create a world where diversity is celebrated, and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. By providing support groups, educational resources, and advocacy efforts, PFLAG of Sussex County helps foster a more inclusive and understanding community.

Zulfal Health, known for its comprehensive healthcare services, played a significant role at the Pride Festival held at County College of Morris. As a dedicated participant, Zulfal Health provided essential health screenings, wellness information, and resources specifically tailored to the LGBTQ+ community.

The County College of Morris exemplified the values of EDGE New Jersey by creating a supportive environment where community members could come together, celebrate diversity, and work towards a more inclusive society. It highlighted the importance of community support, visibility, and education in fostering a culture of acceptance and equality for all.

Pride Month is a time for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate their identities and experiences. It provides an opportunity for the community to express pride in who they are, free from stigma or shame. It highlights ongoing issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community, advocating for equality, legal protections, and societal acceptance. Events and activities during Pride Month often focus on educating the public about LGBTQ+ rights and history.

The first Pride marches were held in 1970, on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Over the years, these marches evolved into broader celebrations and protests, incorporating a variety of events and activities designed to support and uplift the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride Month is celebrated in many countries around the world, although the timing and form of celebrations may vary. In some countries, Pride events may face legal or social challenges, but they continue to symbolize the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights globally.

By celebrating Pride Month, communities around the world work towards greater acceptance, equality, and recognition for LGBTQ+ individuals, while remembering the significant historical events that laid the foundation for these movements.

The Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), located in Morristown, is a premier arts and cultural institution that offers a diverse array of performances and events. Established to enrich the community through the arts, MPAC hosts a variety of shows, including concerts, theater productions, dance performances, comedy acts, and family-friendly events.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ), located in Madison, is one of the leading Shakespeare theaters in the nation. Dedicated to producing classic and contemporary plays, STNJ offers a rich array of performances that celebrate the works of William Shakespeare and other playwrights. The theatre aims to bring the timeless power of theatre to life through professional productions, educational programs, and community engagement.

For more information on EdgeNJ, click here.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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