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Helen Johnston ’22 was able to reconnect with her hometown friends when she unexpectedly spent her spring semester at her home in Utah, due to the pandemic. Being able to talk with them so openly and comfortably about her sexuality made her realize that Greek life at UNC-Chapel Hill was lacking this sense of belonging. 

“With the rise of Black Lives Matter movements this summer, I realized as a white woman I can work to be more actively anti-racist, and as a queer woman I can make my sorority and others more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community.” 

Helen has been working tirelessly since this realization to turn her passion into action by starting “Panhel Pride.” The campaign within the newly created Panhellenic Diversity and Inclusion Council aims to create a more queer-inclusive space. The plan is to create intra-Panhellenic support groups and host safe-space trainings specific to Greek life, modeled after Georgia Tech’s Greek Ally system. The Panhel Pride team is also currently surveying more than 2,000 Panhellenic members on sexual identity, comfort level of speaking about sexual identity and general demographics.

Reach out to McKenzie Thomas to learn more about how you can help support Panhel Pride.

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