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INTERVIEW: Angie Sewalson of "Free Mom Hugs" Iowa - Northwest Iowa

Angie Sewalson from Free Mom Hugs
Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer
Angie Sewalson from Free Mom Hugs

June is Pride Month, and a few events are planned for this week and weekend, including a parade in Sioux City on Thursday, June 1st. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reached out to a local advocate who took the initiative to bring a national organization to Iowa and Siouxland. Angie Sewalson is the Regional Coordinator for “Free Mom Hugs of Northwest Iowa.”

Submitted news release:

Siouxland Pride Alliance Names Parade Marshal for the 2023 Pride Parade

Treyla Lee has been named the parade marshal for the 2023 Pride Parade which will be held on Thursday, June 1st, at 6:00 p.m. in downtown Sioux City.

Ms. Lee was chosen to honor her mother, Flora Lee, a long-time community leader, passed away suddenly on April 27, 2023. Flora served on the Sioux City Community School board for 12 years, she headed the local NAACP chapter for over a decade and was an educational consultant with Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) for 20 years. Flora also worked with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Sioux City Human Rights Commission. Flora was a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.

The parade will begin at the Long Lines Family Recreation Center parking lot at 6:00 p.m. The parade will progress north on Pierce Street before turning right on 4th Street. The parade will end at 4th and Iowa Streets.

Siouxland Pride Alliance was formed in 2012 to connect and protect the local LGBTQ+ community as well as to educate the broader Siouxland community about LGBTQ+ issues. The Alliance also hosts support groups for adults and youths, manages a free lending library, assists individuals to navigate community resources and provides educational opportunities on LGBTQ+ issues.

This is the tenth year that Siouxland Pride Alliance has hosted free, family-friendly events to celebrate Pride Month. The theme for this year’s events is “#StillHere” to acknowledge the tenacity of LGBTQ+ people in the face of discrimination.