Celebrating Pride Month: A Message from Dr. Frederick

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Dear Howard University Community,

Our goal as an institution is simple: To cultivate a society where all people are free to explore, discover and display their true selves; where all people feel represented and included in business and industry, in culture and media, in art and academia; where all people have an equal opportunity to pursue their fullest potential without structural limitations or restrictions based on prejudice or intolerance; where all people can live happily and healthily and unapologetically take pride in who they are.

As we celebrate Pride Month this June, let us recognize the LGBTQ+ members of our society and our University for their immense contributions in pushing our society closer to attaining this ideal. We should be wary of generalizing or universalizing the experiences of people who identify as LGTBQ+; the struggle of one person will always be distinct from that of another. But as a community, LGBTQ+ people have embraced individuality over conformity and insisted that society embrace people’s authentic identities.

The act of social justice – where we bend the structures of our society to benefit the disadvantaged and eliminate the systems that unfairly favor some while relegating others to the margins – must be predicated on tolerance for people as they are. If people must conform to some perceived norm in order to receive aid, then the help they are given will not be the help they need.

Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery