July 18th, 2016

Rochester PrideFest 2016 Highlights Diversity and Community Solidarity

By Justin Fiala, M.D.

Last weekend, Rochester PrideFest, “… the annual celebration of love, acceptance, and freedom,” was held in Peace Plaza, in the heart of downtown Rochester (1). The gathering was part of the larger Rochester Pride celebration, which is put on each year by the Gay and Lesbian Community Services of Southeastern Minnesota group, and includes several days worth of community activities around Rochester.

 

roch pride 2

Mayo Clinic had an official presence at the event, with an information booth for the LGBTI Mayo Employees Resource Group, which advocates for LGBTQIA causes within the Mayo organization and organizes various community-friendly events for employees and trainees throughout the year.

The PrideFest event was well-attended by individuals and families alike, including staff and trainees from the Department of Medicine and across Mayo Clinic at large. Dr. Pritish Tosh (pictured below), an ally of the LGBTQIA community and one of the associate program directors for the Internal Medicine Residency Program, was in attendance at the festival and took a break from the fun to speak to us about Mayo’s commitment to creating an accepting and safe atmosphere, noting that:

“Mayo Clinic and the Internal Medicine Residency Program celebrate the diversity of our trainees which enriches our culture and allows us to provide outstanding care to all of our patients.”

tosh pride

In the wake of the recent tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida last month, events like PrideFest are more important than ever, serving as symbols of community solidarity and resilience. As the largest PrideFest to date, this year's event also sends a strong message that Rochester is a welcoming and inclusive place for people from all walks of life to visit and call home.

 

1. Lund, Bryan. "Pridefest to Kick off July 14." 507 Magazine. Post Bulletin, 6 July 2016. Web. 18 July 2016.

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