After a lot of effort, Salt Lake Community College employees MaryEtta Chase and Shellie Jo Enscoe were able to fulfill a project they envisioned last year.
Faculty, administrators, student leaders and others collaborated with Chase and Enscoe to establish “pride crosswalks” at SLCC campuses. The first crosswalk was unveiled June 13 at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
The new rainbow-colored crosswalk helped show support for the LGBT community during a difficult time. 49 innocent people were shot and killed inside a gay nightclub in Orlando the day before.
For Chase and Enscoe, the unveiling was bittersweet.
“It was a time when we as a community needed something to lift our spirits,” says Enscoe, who is the director of multicultural affairs at SLCC.
Chase and Enscoe were looking for a way to let LGBT people know they are accepted and supported by the campus community. They pulled inspiration for the crosswalk from several places.
The first rainbow flag representing the LGBT community was designed in the 1970s. The flag originally had eight colors, each representing something important to the community and to mankind.
The idea for a pride crossing originated in 2012 when the first crosswalk was painted during gay pride celebrations in West Hollywood, California. Since then, rainbow crossings have appeared at various places across the nation, including other colleges and universities.
Chase and Enscoe hope the crosswalk remains as a symbol of solidarity.
“If we stand up for one group, it’s a reminder to stand up for all groups,” says Chase.
The project is another example of the college-wide inclusivity effort, which encourages everyone at SLCC to become better human beings and more accepting of others.
“I am so thankful to every person and entity that came together to make this possible,” says Enscoe.
Pride crosswalks will also be painted at the Jordan and South City campuses later this summer.