Northwestern’s Institute for Sexual and Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) came out to support the LGBTQ+ community at the 2024 Chicago Pride Fest on June 22-June 23 at the landmark North Halsted neighborhood. During the two-day event, Northwestern staff interacted with thousands of attendees who were excited to learn about ISGMH’s research including HIV/AIDS prevention, adolescent sexual health, and intervention evaluation. 

For this year’s Pride Fest, ISGMH worked in collaboration with the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC CFAR), ACTG, and Northwestern University’s Out Network Chicago to establish a booth stocked with branded flyers and merchandise. 

“So many people loved that Northwestern was there and were interested in all the research that we offer,” said Jill Dispenza, director of community engagement at ISGMH, TC CFAR, and ACTG. “Since this was the first time in my new position putting the booth together at Pride Fest, it was great to see all the enthusiasm from the community, Northwestern students and faculty, and the people and organizations who wanted to partner with us. We were also very appreciative of the Northwestern staff who work in various departments who helped us and who came by the booth.” 

The 2024 Pride Fest featured live music on three stages, a youth pride space for teens, best of Chicago drag performance, dance exhibitions, Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, guest speakers, and over 150 food and merchandise vendors. There were an estimated 100,000 attendees at the event. 

“Thanks to Jill for organizing and to everyone who helped out at the booth,” said Brian Mustanski, PhD, director at ISGMH and the TC CFAR. “I know how much it means to Northwestern alumni, patients, and the community that we are a part of this event that provides so much energy and positivity.” 

Established in 2001, Chicago Pride Fest has been an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ pride and community in North Halsted. 

Want to learn more about Chicago Pride Fest? 

Visit the Chicago Pride Fest website