Raising the Rainbow Flag

Dear community member,

Next week, the Santa Cruz COE will be conducting our 3rd Annual Rainbow Flag Raising ceremony on May 9 to celebrate Harvey Milk’s birthday and show our support for our LGBTQ+ students, families, and educators.

The ceremony will feature student and community speakers, and the raising of the Progress Pride Flag. It will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9, at the Santa Cruz COE office at 400 Encinal St in Santa Cruz. 

We have a fantastic lineup of student and community speakers, and invite you to join us in person or via live stream on YouTube at youtube.com/user/SantaCruzCOE. We also encourage you to raise your own rainbow flags during the week of May 8 and post a photo or video on our shared Padlet with the hashtag #SCRainbowFlag or #SCHarveyMilkDay. Related curriculum activities are available online

Harvey Milk Day, falling on May 22, was designated as a day of special significance in California in 2009. The day is recognized in State Education Code, which encourages observance and commemoration at public schools and educational institutions.

In a moment when some other states are passing legislation to silence LGBTQ+ students and their families, we feel it is especially important to uplift LGBTQ+ voices and celebrate their contributions to our community. The rainbow flag raising is not only a recognition of the legacy of Harvey Milk, it is a reflection of our commitment to creating safe, equitable, and inclusive spaces for all members of the Santa Cruz County school community.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools