Jun 26, 2024 1:25 pm

Happy Pride, Raiders!  

Pierce College is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our community feels valued, respected and inspired to achieve their goals. We provide a brave space for Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA2S+/QTPOC, students with disabilities, and all students and staff to seek refuge, and an opportunity for them to cultivate their strengths, intelligence, resilience, and creativity.  

As the largest community college in Pierce County, Pierce College represents a wide variety of students, faculty and staff from different cultures, identities and backgrounds. Our college has been and always will be a welcoming place for all.  

Pierce Pride Year Round

Pierce College celebrates all our students, faculty and staff year-round with events, clubs and resource groups to help honor their unique identities and create a welcoming and supportive environment for all.  

Students who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ may find community in our Gender Sexuality Alliance student club – who meet on our Puyallup campus. Staff and faculty looking to become involved with fellow LGBTQIA2S+ employees are welcome at our Queer Employee Resource Group.

Each year in June, the Office of Student Life holds a Lavender Graduation ceremony to celebrate LGBTQIA2S+ graduates and present them with lavender cords to wear during the Pierce College Commencement Ceremony.  

Although new to Pierce College, Lavender Graduation has a rich history in American educational institutions. In 1995, the first Lavender Graduation was created at the University of Michigan by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, an activist and educator, to recognize the unique struggles that LGBTQ+ individuals face in higher education.  

Growing as a Community

During the 2023-2024 academic year, the Pierce College District launched a Bias Incident Response Team, to provide those who have witnessed or themselves become a target of an act of bias an opportunity to be heard and supported. The team collaborates with campus and community partners and resources to provide services to targeted individuals, witnesses, bystanders, offenders, and members of the community. In situations that affect the larger community, the team responds through education about current and historical issues surrounding bias.  

“Pride month holds a special significance for all of us as a time to celebrate our identities, express our authentic selves, and honor the bravery and resilience of those who have fought and continue to fight for LGBTQ+ rights,” said Pierce College Chancellor and CEO Julie White. “At Pierce College, we continue our dedication to amplifying the voices and stories of our diverse community, past, present and future.”

The Pierce College District is growing and changing every year to make our campus more welcoming and accessible to all – including adding gender–neutral restrooms to new and renovated buildings across our campuses, creating space for members of our community to speak up when they experience prejudice, and eliminating barriers that prevent students from achieving their educational goals – making it easier for our students to realize their possibilities.