Community Journal: Alameda celebrates Harvey Milk Day

Community Journal: Alameda celebrates Harvey Milk Day

Laura Rose

Photos by Laura Rose.

More than 100 dancers from Alameda and Encinal high schools glided, stomped, and twirled across the gym floor at Alameda High School on May 21 in celebration of the sixth annual Alameda Harvey Milk Day Celebration. The event, originally spearheaded by community activist Seah Cahill, has been held each year since 2010, when California declared Harvey Milk’s May 22 birthday a state holiday.

Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer was on hand to present the City of Alameda Harvey Milk Day Proclamation, while Alameda schools Superintendent Sean McPhetridge was honored for his enthusiastic support of the school district's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning roundtable as well as his dedication to making Alameda schools more inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

Winners of the Harvey Milk Day Poem and Poster contest were announced. Azhar Dahri and David Robledo won the poster contest, while Linnea Arneson and Jessica Collins won the poem contest.

Students read their poems, and the all the poster entries were on display.

Attendees at the event included community leaders, parents, teachers, students and faith community members, who had the opportunity to reflect on how far Alameda has come as they listened to keynote speaker Victoria Forrester. Forrester is a former Alameda school teacher who endured parent protest and a lawsuit after responding to students' questions the day after Ellen DeGeneres came out as gay on national television, in 1997.