October is LGBTQ+ History Month, dedicated to highlighting and celebrating the history and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. The observance was founded in 1994 by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson.
Indiana University is celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month with several events designed to spark thought-provoking conversations and provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ students, allies and others to collectively engage, discuss and strategize ways to build a stronger community.
You can view these and other events scheduled throughout the month at events.iu.edu.
“Indiana University has a long and proud history of supporting LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff on all campuses and regional centers, across academic programs and at the highest administrative levels,” says James C. Wimbush, vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership.
“This commitment is one of the many reasons IU Bloomington has ranked as one of the nation's most LGBTQ-friendly campuses for many years,” he adds.
Additional achievements and milestones include:
- Establishing the Kinsey Institute in 1947.
- Opening the LGBTQ+ Culture Center in Bloomington, now more commonly known as a “home away from home” for LGBTQ+ students, in 1994.
- Creating the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association (GLBTAA) in 1997.
- Launching the GLBTAA Student Scholarship Campaign in 2013 to ensure LGBTQ+ students do not have to choose between their education at IU and living openly and honestly. The scholarship also provides funding opportunities for students who combine classroom achievement with leadership on LGBTQ+ and diversity-related issues.
- Opening the LGBTQ+ Culture Center at IUPUI in 2016; four years later, unveiling the IU Kokomo LGBTQ+ Culture Center.
- Adopting IU's Domestic Partnership Benefits Program by the Board of Trustees in 2002. At the time, only five schools in the Big Ten had embraced such a groundbreaking program.
And in 2019, IU announced the creation of the Queer Philanthropy Circle (QPC). As the second affinity-giving circle established in partnership between the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Indiana University’s Foundation, the QPC utilizes programs, resources and other services to improve the recruitment, retention and degree attainment for LGBTQ+ students and the quality of professional life for faculty and staff on all IU campuses.
“The QPC speaks to the power of possibility—and to what can transpire when all of us work together to improve the college path for new generations of students,” notes Jessica Wootten, director, LGBTQ+ Philanthropy, IU Foundation.
Since its launch in 2019, the Queer Philanthropy Circle has committed $629,088 in grants for projects throughout the university.
Visit diversity.iu.edu and learn how to build community while celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month.