A proclamation declaring June LGBTQ+ Pride Month will be read at the June 22 Brookings City Council meeting. The proclamation aligns with the City’s vision of a welcoming and inclusive community — encouraging all residents to “Bring Your Dreams.”
Each June, colorful flags are flown for a week in Brookings to celebrate Pride Month. The flags are an initiative of the Brookings Human Rights Commission (BHRC). Commission member Jason Meusburger stated, “BHRC was honored to be able to fly the pride flags from June 4 through June 11 in support of Pride Month and to coincide with the Brookings Pride event. We appreciate the community’s support and commitment to increasing our awareness and inclusion for our LGBTQI community to promote equality in the Brookings area. The flags symbolize our effort with values that promote equality, respect, courage, justice, and love. With the support of the wonderful Brookings community, the Pride flags will be presented each year to come! Thank you for your continued support ~ BHRC.”
Public artwork celebrating equality is also a fixture in Brookings thanks to a collaboration of the Brookings Public Arts Commission and the Brookings Human Rights Commission. The artwork which was added in 2019 consists of a rainbow of colors gracing the pavement at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 5th Street. The multi-colored stripes, which are not painted but made from a thermoplastic inlay with a white border to define the edges, will last about five years and then be refreshed. The artwork is symbolic of the community’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The City of Brookings has received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the U.S. for three years in a row. In fact, to date, Brookings has been the only community in South Dakota to achieve a perfect score. This year and in the future, the City of Brookings and the Human Rights Commission will continue efforts to achieve greater equality and inclusion within the Brookings community.