By Philip Van Slooten 

Throwback jams and rainbow colors brightened Duvall Field as the City of College Park celebrated Pride Month on June 27. Mayor Patrick Wojahn, State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy and former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez all addressed the crowd that gathered for the occasion. 

Tom Perez, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Maryland with the LGBTQ Dignity Project at Duvall Field in College Park June 27.
Courtesy of Nina Smith

“Civil rights, worker rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights have been my life’s work,” said Perez, who was appointed Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and U.S. Secretary of Labor during the Obama Administration. 

The event was organized by The LGBTQ Dignity Project. Co-founder of the project, Cassy Morris, introduced Perez, who lives in Takoma Park. Perez is seeking the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 2022 gubernatorial contest. 

Perez told the crowd that his parents, who were first-generation Dominican Americans, instilled in him the belief that “every single person has dignity” and should be allowed to realize their highest potential. 

Tom Perez, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Maryland with the LGBTQ Dignity Project at Duvall Field in College Park June 27.
Courtesy of Nina Smith

Braveboy, who was introduced by Wojahn, spoke of the importance of community. She echoed Perez’s view that everyone deserves respect and support.

Wojahn thanked everyone for joining the celebration and said he was pleased and surprised by the robust turnout. This event closed out a busy month of celebration and activism for Perez and The LGBTQ Dignity Project.

A version of this article was published in the Washington Blade.