Check Out the MorningPride Streetlight Banners in Morningside Heights

As Pride Month begins this June, there's no better time to celebrate Uptown LGBTQ+ history. 

June 03, 2024

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated across the country each year during June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, and nowhere is it more vibrant a celebration than in New York City itself. There are events all month to mark the celebration, including Harlem Pride (June 29) and the NYC Pride March (June 30). 

During this month, Columbia Neighbors encourages you to look up while walking around Morningside Heights to see the "MorningPride" streetlight banners hanging on Broadway and around the neighborhood, leading passersby to a landing page filled with stories about LGBTQ+ individuals and institutions who have and are making a difference. 

A collective of institutions known as Morningside Area Alliance (MAA), which promotes the wealth of arts, spiritual, and academic programs that are a hallmark of life in Morningside Heights, is behind the banners. Columbia University, Barnard College, and Teachers College are all members of the alliance. 

"In 2023, MAA institutions came together to help mark this neighborhood with MorningPride banners," said Jenn Beisser, executive director of MAA. "The banners help celebrate all LGBTQIA+ members and put a spotlight on the research, teaching, cultural programming, and activism of community members and allies. As a neighborhood that also serves as a global stage, streetlight banners can educate and elucidate shared community values."

MorningPride Banners sponsored by Columbia

"The streetscape of Morningside Heights is an expression of the neighborhood's vitality that is unlike any other in the city or perhaps the world," Beisser continued. "With landmarks at every corner, music drifting from apartment windows, the bustle of busy neighbors of every age, and park bench exchanges among an incredible diversity of people from across the world, Morningside Heights has a strong sense of place. Streetlight banners also mark a place and as part of the public realm, can help strengthen the feelings of belonging and connection to the neighborhood. For MAA, streetlight banners remind us not just about where we are, but how we live in Morningside Heights."

The flag featured on the banners is the Progress Pride flag, which features black and brown stripes to portray LGBTQ+ communities of color and baby blue, pink, and white to incorporate the transgender flag, as well as the intersex flag (yellow and purple circle). 

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Columbia University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Manhattan School of Music, The Riverside Church, Teachers College, and Union Theological Seminary all contributed as part of the MorningPride project. 

This is not the first time MAA has embarked on a banner project. In 2016, responding to the travel ban, immigration, and affronts to student visas, the alliance sponsored an "All Are Welcome Here" banner campaign to "reflect the feelings of inclusivity experienced in Morningside Heights," Beisser said. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date:

* indicates required