On July 16, Mayor Miro Weinberger issued an official proclamation, declaring Mad Pride Day in the City of Burlington. With the mayor stuck in Italy after contracting COVID-19 while on vacation, MadFreedom founder Wilda White read the proclamation in his absence. Its full text follows.

WHEREAS, all people, from all walks of life and age groups, face difficulties and challenges in their mental health at some time during their lives; and

WHEREAS, people with mental health challenges experience stigma, discrimination, and disparate health outcomes; and

WHEREAS, there are Vermont organizations run for and by individuals with mental health challenges who support and advocate with and on behalf of others with mental health challenges; and

WHEREAS, these organizations fight against discrimination, injustice; and advocate for rights to improve the quality of life for psychiatric survivors, service users, ex-patients, neurodiverse and Mad people, and folks the world has deemed “mentally ill;” and

WHEREAS, every human being has intrinsic worth and is entitled to dignity and respect, and therefore should have pride and live without shame or in silence; and

WHEREAS, Mad Pride Day is celebrated annually in cities and countries around the globe, beginning in 1981, when the New York Mental Patients Liberation Alliance selected July 14, Bastille Day, to mark Mad Pride Day. Bastille Day is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in Paris, France in 1789 to free prisoners, including two individuals with psychiatric labels who were being held there for that reason; and

WHEREAS, Mad Pride Day emerged out of many historical movements for self-determination and dignity, including Black Liberation, Women’s Liberation, Mad liberation, Gay Rights, anti-psychiatry, ex-psychiatric patient, self-reliance, anti-poverty, consumer survivor, service user and other movements;

NOW THEREFORE, I Miro Weinberger, Mayor of the City of Burlington, do hereby proclaim July 16, 2022 to be MAD PRIDE DAY in the City of Burlington, and commit our City to delivering the protections, safety, and equality to all so that everyone can realize their full potential and enjoy the full promise of America.

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