Rigney Activism Projects Funded for Spring 2012
Two student-led LGBT activism projects were awarded Diane Rigney Student Activism grants for the Spring 2012 semester. Grants are awarded by the Office for LGBT Services through a fund created by generous donor Diane Rigney. Rigney is a lifetime civil rights activist who participated in many social justice events throughout her life, including marching for civil rights in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama in the 1960s and advocating for domestic partner benefits in the company where she served as a senior vice-president for human resources.
Second year student Molly Eames will utilize her grant to create a “zine” for University of Louisville students. “This “zine” will focus on stories of identity from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum—comprised of fiction and nonfiction writing and/or artwork,” explains Eames. “By putting names and faces with identity-related terms, the newest members of the UofL family will be well-equipped to make campus an informed, safe space,” Eames continues.
Eames intends to seek support from other organizations, including the Queer Writers Group and T2.
First year student Dave Lingerfelt will utilize his grant to create a group focusing on service, specifically on opportunities relevant to LGBT communities. “The goal of the [group] is to encourage and educate young queer students on activism [and service opportunities]. We will work to educate University of Louisville and provide a safe atmosphere for queer students living on and off campus,” Lingerfelt explains.
“I know that given the right tools, students too could make great contributions to the queer communities—each semester group members will be required to perform at least 20 hours of volunteer work/activism.” Lingerfelt will work closely with student organizations and the Office for LGBT Services.
The fall 2011 semester was the first round for funded projects, including the start of a group for straight allies called “Straight Against Hate” and an campaign to raise awareness about the lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men.
The grant program provides undergraduate students with funding to implement their ideas and a seasoned mentor with experience in social justice activism. The mentor will provide valuable coaching and feedback to make the project a learning experience. Throughout the process, from developing the grant proposal to evaluating the success of the project, students will learn what it takes to be active in social justice efforts and make a lasting change in their community.
For more information about the Diane Rigney Student Activism Grants, click here or contact Anthony Ooley at 852-0696.