In their nominating materials, organizers noted that one of the obstacles for LGBTQ+
student persistence is the lack of visible and available role models through which
students with marginalized sexual identities can see their future potential and successes
The series provided opportunities for all students, but especially for LGBTQ+ students,
faculty and staff to connect with role models whose lives model ignited passion, democratic
citizenship and social justice activism, according to Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall.
In Illinois Wesleyan’s application for the award, Carney-Hall noted that she believes
the Queer Lives Series is deserving of the award because it was “empowering, collaborative,
and impactful” for Illinois Wesleyan’s campus climate.
The six programs included a documentary film God Loves Uganda; an appearance by spoken word poet Katie Wirsing; Pride Alumni Community speaker
Jason Dennis ’00; selections from the Off-Broadway musical Witness Uganda, which were presented live at Illinois Wesleyan; a presentation on middle sexualities;
and a two-week display of the LGBT Legacy Wall. Organizers said the LGBT Legacy Wall,
an exhibit depicting dozens of queer individuals from history representing disciplines
from the sciences to religious figures, was one of most well-received programs in