HomeMoorestown News‘Just the beginning’

‘Just the beginning’

Township celebrates diversity at its Pride flag raising

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: “Together we are striving to create a community where everyone feels valued, respected and loved for who they are,” Deputy Mayor Quinton Law said to residents who gathered for the township’s Pride flag raising.

Moorestown held its second annual Pride flag raising earlier this month, an event made for residents to celebrate diversity, equality and inclusivity together.

Deputy Mayor Quinton Law described it as a testament to the collaborative spirit that exists in the township.

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“Together we are striving to create a community where everyone feels valued, respected and loved for who they are, and together we’re going to raise this flag to celebrate Pride Month, but to also reaffirm our pledge to stand as allies in this fight for equality here in Moorestown,” he said at the event.

Hosted by the Moorestown Better Together Advisory Committee, the flag raising included speeches from community leaders and the symbolic raising of the Pride flag.

“As the chair of Better Together Moorestown, this is just the beginning of our journey,” noted committee member Richard Hinchman.

According to its website, Better Together Moorestown is a citizen-led, government-supported advisory task force. Its objective is to explore how Moorestown can better protect and celebrate diversity and ensure inclusion and equity among residents, businesses and visitors.

“Going forward in the future we want to make sure that this is the kind of thing we do for all of the people, all of the underserved communities that represent Moorestown, and celebrate them, give them a voice, and hear how we can make lives better for everyone in Moorestown,” Hinchman said.

He joined Better Together Moorestown not only because he’s experienced love and acceptance living and working in the community for nearly 40 years, but also because he knows there is still work to be done.

“It’s just a blessing to be here, yet that being said, there’s still people in Moorestown who are experiencing biased treatment,” he noted. “We want to acknowledge that that does exist, and one of the things about joining Better Together is to address these things realistically, honestly, and figure out how we can move forward better.”

According to adl.org, LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, plus), Pride Month is celebrated each year in June to mark the day of the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, when patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged a protest to resist police harassment and persecution.

The event marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans. Today, those celebrations include Pride parades, workshops and concerts.

Moorestown Pride, a peer and family-run group that helped organize the flag raising, seeks relationships with other groups in town, not just LGBTQIA+ related, but any marginalized members of the community.

“It is my own personal mission to be the representation that I needed when I was a younger child,” said Kimmie Smith, co-chair of Moorestown Pride. “We are visible, and we will not hide who we are any longer.”

“Moorestown Pride stands with and beside you if you ever feel like your voice is not being heard.”

Other guest speakers at the flag raising included students from Moorestown High School and Friends School, and Munira Wells, a member of MooreUnity. Councilwoman Sue Mammarella read a proclamation that declared June 2023 as Pride Month in Moorestown, followed by a moment of silence and closing remarks from Rev. Jennifer Bradley, associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Moorestown.

“Our silence will be for just a moment, (but) I hope that it speaks so loudly,” she noted.

“As we witness this flag soaring high today, let us continue to reflect on the progress that we’ve made, because we have come a long way,” Law said. “But there is still so much more to do.”


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