'The Legacy Wall,' a traveling, interactive LGBT history exhibit, coming to IU Bloomington

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- “The Legacy Wall,” a traveling, interactive LGBT history exhibit, will be on display this month at Indiana University Bloomington's Indiana Memorial Union.

The double-sided exhibit, created by Chicago-based nonprofit The Legacy Project, aims to raise awareness of the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in our history. The exhibit features mini biographies of 125 international and multicultural figures -- including Alfred Kinsey, founder of the Kinsey Institute, and Indiana songwriter Cole Porter -- across 20 subject fields.

The exhibit -- sponsored by IU’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center, IU's Union Board, Kinsey Institute and the IU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni Association -- will be installed in the East Lounge of the IMU from Jan. 23 through Feb. 3, with a reception at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in the East Lounge. The reception will include a presentation on Kinsey Institute by local activist Michael Bedwell, who helped bring The Legacy Wall to IU, at 8 p.m. in the IMU University Club’s President’s Room.

During this time of political upheaval and uncertainty, it seems to me that knowing our history as queer people is essential,” said Doug Bauder, director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, a program within IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. “The Legacy Wall will educate and inspire a new generation of students to see that LGBTQ+ individuals have made significant contributions to all aspects of culture, and the display will remind all of us of the need to stand up for our rights as individuals.”

Each component of the wall includes a QR code so visitors can access more information via smart phone. In addition to featuring those who have made a significant difference in the world, such as computer pioneer and World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, the wall also marks milestones such as the don’t ask/don’t tell repeal, the Stonewall riots and the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.

Launched in 2015, The Legacy Wall has been exhibited at the Illinois State Library, the University of Illinois Springfield, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Chicago State University and the National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference.

“The Legacy Wall is important to the campus community because it allows IU students the opportunity to further educate themselves on the LGBTQ+ movement,” said Charlie Schraw, Union Board member and former director. “My hope for the exhibit is that anyone walking through the East Lounge will take a few minutes out of their day to learn something new about the key figures in the movement. Ultimately, the presence of The Legacy Wall will aim to cultivate the welcoming environment that Indiana University, the Indiana Memorial Union, the LGBTQ+ Culture Center and Union Board all strive to uphold.”

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