Clarion University’s first ever Allies Week kicks off April 13. The week will be filled with open mic nights, a discussion panel with President Karen Whitney and the annual Drag-Talent Show.
President of the Allies, junior graphic arts major Katie Ellinger, wanted to create Allies Week in order to spread more awareness.
“Allies Week itself is a whole new thing. In the past, the Drag-Talent Show was the only reoccurring thing. As president of an organization that has a lot of potential, I really wanted to get Allies on the radar,” Ellinger said.
Allies is the gay/straight alliance on campus. It promotes understanding and cooperation amongst all sexual orientations.
“We promote equality across campus for everyone. Allies’ mission is to promote a supportive environment, to promote equality and give support to those who don’t know who they are, or who know who they are and are scared of what people are going to think,” Ellinger said.
Allies Week will have an open mic night throughout the week and allow anyone to perform.
“I feel as if music and other forms of artistic expression hold a big part in people’s lives, and having an open mic will allow voices to be heard,” Ellinger said.
On April 15, Allies will hold a discussion panel with President Whitney, Dr. Peggy Apple, the Lift Every Voice Gospel Choir and a mixture of community and Allies members. The panel members will shed light on the fight for equality by sharing personal stories with the audience.
The Allies will show the film “The Kids Are All Right” on the evening of April 16. The movie centers around a lesbian couple whose children want to meet their biological father.
April 17 will lighten the mood with Clarion’s fourth annual Drag-Talent Show. The show will mix things up by featuring three drag queens from last year and two fresh faces.
“I think my favorite part of Allies Week will be the Drag-Talent Show. I know last year it brought in over 350 people and I know people are already talking about it this year,” Ellinger said.
April 18 will close Allies Week with music by Greane and Magdalen.
“Greane and Magdalen speak of finding your true colors and self-identity and how to smash the ceiling of expectations, which I think is a good way to end the week with a casual discussion and some music,” Ellinger said.
All students are invited to take part in Allies Week. Drag-Talent Show auditions will be held in Gemmell 250/252 March 24-26 from 5-7 p.m. The Allies will have a merchandise table before and during Allies Week. The table will sell T-shirts, bracelets and stickers.
Ellinger encourages all students to come out for Allies Week and make memories while also educating themselves.
“Allies Week is important to celebrate because we’re all human although we might have some differences. It’s important to celebrate who we are and I think Allies Week will do just that,” Ellinger said.
For more information about Allies Week, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.