Big turnout present for annual Davis Pride Run downtown
For the third year, the City of Davis held its annual Davis Pride Run/Walk for Equality in Central Park on Sunday, May 21. Around 200 participants gathered on the grassy area and under the canopy, which are spaces that are typically occupied by residents enjoying the farmer’s market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There, vendors’ booths informed the public about supporting the LGBTQIA community and fighting for equality.
At the end of the 5K and 10K runs, Mayor Robb Davis gave a speech to recognize the LGBTQIA community and show his unwavering support for equality.
“Today is a trophy day,” Davis said. “We value people in the LGBTQIA community.”
Davis also stressed how important he felt it was for himself to take measures to ensure that LGBTQIA community members feel important.
“Do not allow me to become inattentive,” Davis said.
The Davis Pride event was first started by Gloria Martinez, the co-chair of the Davis Phoenix Coalition, in honor of her now 36-year-old son who had been the victim of a hate crime. The mission of the Phoenix Coalition is prevention of hate and violence. The coalition also puts on an anti-bullying carnival and works with city police and the school district to promote inclusion.
“We started this organization after my son was the victim of a hate crime,” Martinez said. “He’s a long distance runner. After the hate incident, he couldn’t even walk. Once he recovered, we decided that we would do a 5-10K run.”
Martinez’s son ran the 10K this year; among him were around 200 other runners and 30 volunteers. Sierra Chapman, a second-year volunteer, helped to organize the event.
“I’m in support of it, I volunteer here and am on the committee that organizes it,” Chapman said. “I think it’s a great, fun event that supports the LGBT community, which I think is especially important right now.”
Even in the 90-degree heat, people were smiling and sporting their rainbow flags and attire.
“We really think it’s important for people to come out to festivals like this to meet people that they wouldn’t normally interact with,” Martinez said. “The biggest part of it is being visible and providing a safe place where people feel comfortable and celebrated.”
After Davis’s speech, the UC Davis Band-Uh! marched onto the grass field of Central Park. The band performed pieces that were upbeat and positive in order to celebrate the community coming together to make sure that all of its members are included and accepted for who they are.
“If we fall, we will fall together. No one will catch us, so we will catch ourselves!” Band-Uh! members sang in between stanzas.
Community members in attendance clapped and cheered for the band as it performed. The Davis Phoenix Coalition successfully provided an inclusive environment for community members who were present; Davis expanded on this sentiment.
“We are a sanctuary city,” Davis said.
Written by: Kaelyn Tuermer-Lee — firstname.lastname@example.org