BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Legacy Wall, a traveling exhibit featuring stories of LGBT
individuals who have made a significant impact in the world, will be coming to The
Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University Jan. 31 through Feb. 13. An opening reception
is scheduled for Jan. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
The interactive Legacy Wall features biographies of people who have made contributions in a number of fields.
Some of the individuals featured include author Oscar Wilde, U.S. Congresswoman Barbara
Jordan, British mathematician Alan Turing, and Father Mychal Judge, a chaplain to
the New York City Fire Department who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The Legacy Wall exhibit was created by the Legacy Project, a Chicago-based nonprofit intended to inform, inspire, enlighten and foster an appreciation
for the role LGBT people have played in the advancement of world history and culture.
Victor Salvo, the founder and executive director of the Legacy Project, will present
remarks at the Jan. 31 opening reception. Other speakers include IWU Provost Jonathan
Green, Equality Illinois Field Fellow Marcus Fogliano, Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner
and Rev. Kelley Becker, associate pastor of First Christian Church, Bloomington, representing
Not in Our Town, one of the sponsors of the exhibit.
The Legacy Wall is brought to Illinois Wesleyan as part of the “Queer Lives” Speaker
and Performer Series at IWU funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Other Illinois
Wesleyan sponsors include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, IWU Pride Alliance,
and The Ames Library. Organizers said awareness of the roles LGBT people have played
in shared human history helps boost the self-esteem of LGBTQ youth who are raised
without the benefit of historically significant role models. The goal of the Legacy
Wall exhibit is to use the lessons of history to spark conversations and to promote
a feeling of safety and belonging in the classroom. The exhibit includes data linking
the teaching of LGBT-related content in schools with lowered incidences of bullying
The exhibit may be viewed on the entry-level floor of Ames, which is open Sundays
12 noon to 1:30 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Friday 7:45
a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.