August 1, 2017
More than 80 students, staff, and faculty marchers represented all of UI Health’s seven health science colleges and the hospital at the Chicago Pride Parade on June 25. While UIC personnel have joined in the parade in the past, this was the first time UIC or UI Health was officially a participant.
An estimated one million spectators lined the parade route. The Pride Parade is Chicago’s largest annual parade.
The UIC Pride Parade Planning Committee featured nine students, including Timothy Ng from the College of Dentistry, and two staff members, Elizabeth Harmon Miller, Director of Marketing and Public Affairs for the College of Nursing, and Katja Tetzlaff, Program Coordinator, College of Applied Health Sciences.
Ng’s role was to communicate with the other committee members about any possible ideas and suggestions for lowering costs. “I also acted as a liaison between the College of Dentistry and the committee,” Ng said.
There were six individuals representing the College of Dentistry in the parade.
"Katja really made it all come to life by captaining the implementation of all the group’s good ideas, arranging for our uniform t-shirts, overseeing poster designs and production, and just generally knowing how to prepare to take part in the Pride Parade,” said Miller, who came up with the idea of UI Health officially participating.
Rebecca Ruhlman, Graphic Designer, Marketing and Brand Management, donated her time to design the banner held at the front of the UI Health delegation.
“Overall, I was satisfied and impressed with UI Health’s participation,” Ng said, noting that while he was asked to join the committee after the planning process was well underway, “we had a significant presence and turnout in the parade, and all our marchers were enthusiastic.
“UI Health agreed that we will plan this much earlier for next year so we can have an even bigger turnout and possibly garner enough funding for a float,” Ng said.
Ng noted that the parade, “seems like it’s getting bigger, which has its pros and cons. A con is that the parade has become more of a tourist trap and marketing tool for companies rather than an empowerment of the LGBTQIA community. However, a pro is that it is good to see more and more companies and people being accepting of the community. More money and business for companies isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
See photos here.