East Los Angeles College Shines Bright With First Ever "GAYPRIL"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 24, 2019
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EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE SHINES BRIGHT WITH FIRST EVER “GAYPRIL”
Monterey Park, CA – Leading the movement on LGBTQ awareness, East Los Angeles College (ELAC) sponsors the first ever Gaypril. “This awareness effort steering committee is comprised of a diversity of students, staff and faculty from a number of departments such as Child Development, English, Life Sciences, Student Services, Social Sciences and the ELAC Foundation. All centered around student participation which includes the Gender and Sexual Alliance club with generous support from the Associate Student Union”, stated Dr. Marcelino Morales, Chair of the Social Sciences.
“We are proud of our community here at ELAC” says Marvin Martinez. In 2015, ELAC was the first college to offer Safe Zone training in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). Throughout 2019, ELAC continues to lead the way with Safe Zone training, and now does so for all the LACCD colleges, including Glendale Community College and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“ELAC was the first to celebrate the first LGBTQ Pride week in all the nine sister colleges within LACCD”, stated Felipe Agredano, inaugural committee chair. “Thanks to equity funds and the visionary leadership of Dr. Vanessa Ochoa, together with Joe Gama, an ELAC student who helped organize with strong support of First Year Experience. This year, ELAC now celebrates “Gaypril” the first LGBTQ+A Pride month within LACCD, which also falls on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
ELAC will host California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the first ever LGBTQ person elected statewide to a constitutional office. During Gaypril, Elans will also be able to attend numerous social events, a health fair, academic lectures and theatrical performances for the ELAC community organized by students, faculty, and staff, with the generous support of the Associated Student Union (ASU).
The first LGBTQ LACCD Trustee David Vela will present during Gaypril, he is leading the district wide LGBTQ Bill of Rights, for which the LACCD Board of Trustees will entertain a motion this June.
Paul de la Cerda, Dean of the ELAC Foundation stated, “ELAC was also the first college to create the ESTEC business incubator with strong support from JP Morgan Chase which heavily reaches out to LGBTQ, veterans, women, foster youth, the formerly incarcerated students to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs”. Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Development Director with the ELAC Foundation, explains, “ELAC’s Transforming Lives Campaign, TLC, is also a first amongst all LACCD colleges and provides hungry and homeless students with food and shelter in a caring and dignified manner.” The LGBTQ youth of today experiences homelessness and suicide at alarming higher rates than those of their heterosexual peers because of the increased likelihood and higher number of people who are stigmatized and kicked out of their homes.
“ELAC plans to shed a bright light on the accomplishments of LGBTQ Americans and allies by celebrating Gaypril,” stated Felipe Agredano, inaugural committee chair. “Our students should feel welcomed at ELAC and proud of all the contributions made by all Americans, specially the LGBTQ heroines, heroes and allies of the movement. We hope to share historical examples and current leadership shaping our college, our state and our nation.”