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Ole Miss Orgs Kickstart LGBTQ History Month with Opening Ceremony Tonight

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Photo via Facebook

In honor of October recognized as LGBTQ history month, the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement (CICCE) have joined together to celebrate a month full of activities, lectures and engagement opportunities.

The two Ole Miss organizations, along with the LGBTQ History Month Planning Committee, hosts an opening ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Bryant Hall Gallery.

Photo via CICCE’s website.

Alex White, interim director for the CICCE, said the focus of the ceremony will be the keynote speaker, Jessie Wilkerson, an assistant professor of history and southern studies.

She said it is important the LOU community hosts an event like the opening ceremony to showcase the contributions of the LGBTQ community.

“I think it should be celebrated because it reminds the community of the impact of LGBTQ history and celebrates the richness of the community,” White said.

OUTGrads Secretary Hooper Schultz will greet guests and introduce Wilkerson, he said. OUTGrads is an Ole Miss organization that promotes and fosters community for LGBTQ identified graduate and professional students and their allies.

“We are not a new phenomenon,” he said. “Our place in history is one of significant contributions. We should strive to learn more about the diverse backgrounds of queer people.”

Ole Miss’ celebration of LGBTQ history month shows the importance of the month to the university community, said Kevin Cozart, operations coordinator for the Sarah Isom Center.

“It shows the university’s commitment to making LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, students, alumni and their allies feel welcome,” he said.

Throughout the upcoming week, those who are interested in celebrating LGBTQ history month can find a plethora of activities to attend. Off Square Books will host several different speakers, and Water Valley will celebrate its queer art crawl Saturday, Oct. 6, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For a full list of LGBTQ History Month activities and events, visit the CICCE website.

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