The University of California Office of the President, or UCOP, will participate in the Oakland Pride Parade Sept. 8.
UCOP has not previously participated in the parade, according to UCOP spokesperson Elisa Smith, though UC Berkeley has participated in the Oakland Pride Parade in the past. This year, UC Berkeley and UCSF will march in the parade, and UCOP will be lining up with them.
“It’s a family-friendly, diverse, joyful Pride, and I think that’s important for staff involvement and a celebratory event,” said Melissa Warlick, a UCOP business systems analyst and one of the organizers for UCOP Pride.
The Cal Alumni Association and the Gender Equity Resource Center marched in the 2018 Oakland Pride Parade. Both UC Berkeley and UCSF have also marched multiple times in the annual San Francisco Pride Parade.
The group will be meeting at 10:30 a.m., an hour before the parade starts.
Internally, UCOP Pride is composed of volunteer staff and is categorically a “staff affinity group,” which is an interest group for those who work in the Office of the President, according to Warlick. Aimee Chang, executive assistant to the vice provost of academic personnel and programs and an organizer for UCOP Pride, said it is important for staff members to “get involved in our own neighborhood, and it’s a nice way to build a community with others in this area.”
Warlick added that the diversity and engagement department at UCOP sponsored the group’s registration for the parade, along with assisting in marketing and organizing the event. Chang also added that she hopes “staff, other students, UC alumni, friends and family” attend the event and “show a different side of who they are.”
“We want to participate again next year,” Warlick said. “Hopefully, after we work out some kinks this year, next year will be a smoother process.”
Contact Sakura Cannestra and Isabella Sabri at [email protected].