The first Virtual 5K Pride Run for the Acadia 2SLGBTQ+ community takes place this Sunday, June 27, 2021. The initiative of education student Adrien Lewis (he/him) (’20), and organized with the help of Residence Life Coordinator Brent LeGrow (he/him) (’19), this Pride Month event is intended to celebrate and support both past and present students, faculty, staff and alumni who are part of the community and have shared their personal journey with Acadia.
“I believe it is incredibly important for those who may not identify as part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to learn, to educate and to be supportive allies,” LeGrow says. “We need communities and organizations to create safer spaces and show support for people who have been marginalized.”
Lewis, who enrolled in Acadia’s BEd program following his Bachelor of Kinesiology degree, grew up in Annapolis Royal. When in Grade 11, in a high school of about 300 students, Lewis was the only openly gay person in their school, identifying as lesbian. He is proud to be participating in this year's pride run and for the first time as a transgender male.
“I sincerely hope this event continues in Wolfville beyond this pandemic,” he says. “I cannot begin to express how crucial representation is within small towns, especially for people trying to figure themselves out.”
Lewis believes Pride Month is an unmatched time of year. “The acceptance, positivity, and love are contagious,” he says. “To this day, my favourite part is the 5K race before each parade. Participants complete the route of the parade dressed in anything that gives them pride, while spectators cheer them on. How powerful is that?”
The run is virtual to protect the health and safety of our communities from the spread of COVID-19. Participants can choose their own start and finish lines and complete the run at their own pace, whether it's on a treadmill, in their neighbourhood, or on the track at a nearby school.
The event will be advertised and promoted as #AcadiaPrideRun. The organizers hope to generate and celebrate (with photo consent) the participants and memories captured from the run on the event’s Instagram and Facebook pages. As a way to encourage people to use the hashtag, they are looking for partners on and off campus who are willing to contribute a tangible item as a prize for the “most proud” runner (decorated in Pride gear).
Willow Park in Wolfville will serve as a public “finish line” and organizers are offering lawn games and prizes from Tim Hortons, Subway, and the Independent. Organizers and participants will be in the park on June 27 from 12-3 p.m. Those outside the Wolfville area who may not wish to walk or run are encouraged to use the #AcadiaPrideRun campaign to highlight people, allies, and resources as part of the Acadia community.
“This run is for everyone,” LeGrow says. “Adrien and I may have kicked off the planning, but it should truly be representative of the community of people we have at Acadia. That is why we encourage anyone and everyone who wishes to get involved with the event to please do so.”
Support: If you’re interested in helping, have ideas to include, or you need support or resources, please email LeGrow at email@example.com
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/116718173850749/
Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/acadia.pride.5k/