Pride Month: Celebrating the strength and diversity of our community

Dear Colleagues,

As June draws to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on the lessons that Pride Month offers, lessons that are especially valuable in our current moment. As we wait for this long period of isolation to end, Pride Month reminds us to support one another and to celebrate the strength and diversity of our community. As we wonder how national protests will change our country, we remember that half a century ago at the Stonewall Inn, the Pride movement started as a protest. As we applaud recent milestones in LGBTQ-plus rights and equality, we honor those whose came before us, who imagined and fought for a country where these successes could be possible.

An enormous thank you to the Smithsonian Pride Alliance for their leadership at this time. Founded in 1988, the Smithsonian Pride Alliance is one of the oldest such affinity groups in the Federal Government. For decades, this group has supported LGBTQ-plus staff at the Smithsonian and challenged us to increase LGBTQ-plus representation in our exhibitions, programming, and planning. Whether it was the exceptional Project Pride event that kicked off June, or the dedication and creativity we felt across the Smithsonian this month, we know our LGBTQ-plus colleagues make this Institution better.

Pride Month asks us to honor what we know to be true year-round. We are strongest when our employees bring their full selves to work. We are strongest when we value and learn from our history. We are strongest when we embrace the full range of what it means to be American.


Stay safe and stay healthy,

Lonnie Bunch


Posted: 29 June 2020
About the Author:

Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and is the first historian to be Secretary of the Institution.

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