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Cobbers collaborate with FM Pride Center

Front of Pride Center building. Submitted photo.

Concordia students are collaborating with the Fargo Moorhead Pride Collective and Community Center to put on a “Take Pride in Your Health Day” event this Saturday.

The event aims to promote health education for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their allies in the community. It will feature various health-related events including free same-day STD testing, smoking cessation assistance, family empowerment education and free yoga and Zumba classes.

The students are collaborating with the Collective, which aims to foster community for LGBTQ individuals and their allies among other initiatives, as a part of their public relations class in the Communication Department. As a final project for the class, the students have been assigned to collaborate with nonprofits and offer public relations assistance.

Kirsten Theye, the professor of the public relations class, said that she created the assignment because she feels it benefits both students and local nonprofits. Students are able to apply the theories and strategies they learn in class to help nonprofits — who do not have budgets — to hire public relations professionals.

Inside the Pride Center. Submitted photo.

Students were divided into groups and then allowed to pursue which area nonprofits they wanted to collaborate with. Cate Bruns, one of the students collaborating with the Collective, along with Haley Anderson and Rachel Zhu, said their group looked to collaborate with a lesser-known organization in the area, which would more likely benefit from the students’ assistance.

“(The Collective was) one of the organizations we felt most passionate about,” Bruns said.

When the students approached the Collective in mid-February, they were not sure how the organization would respond. But the Collective was receptive of their interest, and asked the students to help publicize their upcoming health event.

The students came with ideas to contact news media, generate buzz via social media and create posters to hang around the community.

An LGBTQ-themed bathroom. Submitted photo.

Kendra Brosy, a volunteer for the Collective who is spearheading the event, said she was happy collaborating with the students.

“They took a lot of weight off my shoulders,” she said. “They asked a lot of questions I hadn’t even thought about.”

She said the most successful partnerships between students and nonprofits are those in which the values and passions of the students overlap with those of their chosen nonprofit.

“The students are then extremely committed and motivated to help the nonprofit make a positive impact in the community,” she said.

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