Civil Rights

Woonsocket Pride 2022 an occasion for joy and resilience

“Woonsocket Pride 2021 was a beautiful, powerful, historic day. Hundreds of people gathered for the first-ever pride celebration in our city’s history,” said Alex Kithes, Rebuild Woonsocket’s Executive Director and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “In a city where our community is almost never represented at decision-making tables, this event is really significant – not only as a celebration, but as a statement.”
Photo for Woonsocket Pride 2022 an occasion for joy and resilience

Published on June 14, 2022
By Steve Ahlquist

After the temper tantrum thrown by some members of the Woonsocket Town Council and Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, organizers of Woonsocket’s second annual Pride celebration were prepared for a backlash that never materialized. Instead, the 250+ people who attended the event celebrated without incident.

The event was organized by Rebuild Woonsocket, in partnership with the Rhode Island Queer PAC and other community organizations. It began in Woonsocket’s River Island Park and proudly marched through Woonsocket to World War II Veterans Memorial Park.

Alex Kithes, an organizer with Rebuild Woonsocket, introduced the march by recapping some of the language used by the Mayor and the city council at last Monday’s meeting to approve a permit for the event.

“Woonsocket Pride 2021 was a beautiful, powerful, historic day. Hundreds of people gathered for the first-ever pride celebration in our city’s history,” said Alex Kithes, Rebuild Woonsocket’s Executive Director and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “In a city where our community is almost never represented at decision-making tables, this event is really significant – not only as a celebration, but as a statement.”

“I’m angry… that the aggression towards LGBTQ people in this country has exploded,” said Leia Fifer, a Woonsocket Pride Committee for 2022. “Politicians here in our own city … are saying with their actions and their words that we should not exist. They are taking our rights away, right now, in their Senate and in their little town council meetings, as we speak…”

The mile-long march took about 35 minutes.

On the stage at the WWII Park, Leia Fifer emceed the speaking/entertainment program.

Alex Kithes:

Ken Barber from the Rhode Island Queer PAC:

CJ Miller, communications director of the RI Queer PAC:

United States Congressperson David Cicilline:

Rhode Island Gubernatorial candidate Luis Daniel Muñoz:

Singer songwriter Vi Jewett:

Poetry from AJ Delsignor:

Donna, with a question for the Mayor:

Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Matt Brown:

Candidate for Woonsocket City Council, Marlene Guay:

A performance from Chloe Savage, blocked from viewing here by YouTube because the music used in copyrighted:

Historian Kate Monterio with an LGBTQ history of Woonsocket before Woonsocket Pride:

Dr. Nithin Paul:

A performance from Blacc Brandi, blocked from viewing here by YouTube because the music used in copyrighted:

Candidate for Rhode Island Senate Jennifer Rourke and her son, Valentino Rourke:

Chloe Savage:

Candidate for Rhode Island Senate Lenny Cioe:

Candidate for Senate and Executive Director of the Black Lives Matter RI PAC, Harrison Tuttle:

Vi Jewett:

AJ Delsignor:

Candidate for Rhode Island House of Representatives, Damián Lima:

Community organizer and Rebuild Woonsocket board member Nwando Ofokansi:

Blacc Brandi:

Wrapping up:

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