In the Name of Pride

MMA at Pride Parade

MMA cadets, faculty, alumni, and parents at the Pride Parade

 

This past weekend marked the end of Pride Week in Boston as thousands marched in the annual Pride Parade. And, for the first time, Massachusetts Maritime Academy was there to “represent” on the 50th anniversary of an event recognized as the beginning of the gay rights movement, the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City.

With this milestone, celebrations worldwide have taken on greater significance in terms of achieving those essential human attributes regarding community, dignity, equality, and promoting diversity and inclusion. Yet, it is possible MMA would not have been a part of such an historic event but for one cadet, whose efforts in organizing not only MMA’s participation in the parade, but a myriad of initiatives during her tenure that have been recognized by the Governor.

Westford, MA native 1/C Hannah Harm is MMA’s 2019 recipient of the Commonwealth’s “29 Who Shine” Award, given annually to a student at each of the state’s colleges and universities who “...shows exceptional promise as a future leader in civic affairs or in business or professional activity in Massachusetts.” The award is the culmination of a few years of grassroots work that has increased the on campus visibility of issues that higher education institutions across the country have been promoting.

During her sophomore year a faculty member noticed Hannah attended the various speaking events on these subjects, and invited her to become involved. She did, and in a big way, dedicating herself to community service with MMA’s Big Brother/Big Sister program, and as a member of the MMA President’s Task Force on Diversity. Hannah played a pivotal role in bringing an annual Pride Week event to the campus, helping the administration organize special events and speakers in support of the LBGTQA+ community at MMA.

Recognizing that she could not have done it all by herself, she credits MMA’s administration for getting these programs instituted. “It was through their support that Pride Week and many other Cadet Alliance of Safe Harbor events were able to get off the ground. Without their encouragement, I would not have had the courage and ability to make the changes that I have seen at the Academy.”

Real leadership is not only about doing the right thing...it's doing it when it's the only thing.