If you have been following the latest news in Windy City Times, GRAB and ChicagoPride you know a LOT has been happening with THE LEGACY PROJECT. Last July we announced that the nominations for the 2012 Induction had closed. Shortly afterwords the delicate process of Inductee Selection began. For our Selection Committee ( legacyprojectchicago.org/Selection_Committee.html ) we assembled an impressive group of 14 long-time community activists and GLBT Historians and set them about the task of gleaning the 159 biographies of the people who had been nominated. In late July we tallied their votes and The Legacy Project Board compiled a list of 36 names (plus multiple alternates) and forwarded it to the City of Chicago for review. The list was approved by the Commission on Human Relations, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, and representatives of the Mayor Emanuel's Office and Alderman Tunney's Office.
The Legacy Project Board formally adopted the 36 Inductees in September, just in time for us to begin preparing for our October Kick-Off Luncheon where the 2012 Inductees were revealed for the first time. Our event at Chicago's Palmer House Hilton was a smashing SOLD-OUT success!!! If you missed it, fear not; just go to ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/Luncheon_Highlights.html ) to experience the "Virtual Luncheon" featuring dual slide shows, multiple embedded videos of all the speaker presentations, including the keynote address by NAMES Project Founder Cleve Jones, and to view the letters of endorsement from Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn.
Full-size mock-ups of the 18" x 24" plaques, each featuring a likeness of an inductee and a 300-word paragraph describing their life and contributions, were on display at the luncheon along with a full-scale replica of one of the "Rainbow Pylons" that define Chicago's Northalsted Corridor in "Boystown" as the nexus of the local GLBT community. THE LEGACY WALK's 2012 Dedication will include thirty-six (36) bronze plaques for individuals as diverse as Italian sculptor Michelangelo, U.S. Social Justice advocate Jane Addams, British mathematician Alan Turing, Transgender activist Christine Jorgensen, WWII French Underground Resistance-Fighter Josephine Baker, Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, Chinese-American patriot Dr. Margaret Chung, U.S. Gay Rights martyr Harvey Milk, Civil Rights pioneer Bayard Rustin, Mexican nun and feminist Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Russian Ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev, and Native American GLBT forebears known as 'Two Spirit People.' Be sure to check out all of the Inductees at ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/2012_INDUCTEES.html ). This dedicated portal brings all of the 2012 Inductees' plaques together with individual links on each page to reading materials and web-resources for further exploration.
Another important new feature on the website is the HD video "THE LEGACY WALK: Bringing GLBT History Home" ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/Bringing_GLBT_History_Home.html ) which explains the origins of The Legacy Walk, the reasons why public education about GLBT historic contributions is so important, and the mechanics of the installation and plaque sponsorship. If you have friends or colleagues who want to know more about The Legacy Walk please send them the link to this video.
Our newly revamped website has a number of additional features that you need to check out. These include...
A special page dedicated to young people, centered on an educational presentation entitled "The Legacy Walk Through History for GLBT Youth." This page also includes a message for youth at risk with a dozen links to resources for Crisis Intervention… ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/Message_to_GLBT_Youth.html )
A special page with a message for the parents of GLBT Youth with parental support resources… ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/Message_to_Parents.html )
A special page geared toward teachers and advisors explaining the Legacy Project Education Initiative (LPEI), which will be a high school course module about GLBT History that is integrated with the website and The Legacy Walk. The LPEI is being developed by teachers and historians with an eye toward introduction into Illinois high schools with Gay-Straight Alliances when The Legacy Walk is dedicated in the fall of 2012… ( www.legacyprojectchicago.org/Message_to_Teachers.html )
The changes that have been implemented will enhance the exploration and research experience while furthering our goal of making GLBT History accessible and interesting for everyone — especially GLBT youth and their families. As we move forward with securing plaque sponsorships from private donors and corporate underwriters the website helps to illustrate The Legacy Project's importance as a teaching tool and its potential to inspire and nurture GLBT youth who desperately need every positive message we can give them — all of which only bolsters The Legacy Walk's significance as the only outdoor 'walking museum' in the world created to celebrate the contributions GLBT people have made to world history and culture.
The Legacy Project — whose nominees come from over 30 countries, represent over 20 fields of interest, and hail from every walk of life and era — has been endorsed by dozens of educators, historians, community activists, business leaders and elected officials including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. It is the only GLBT History endeavor to integrate a website portal, an outdoor exhibit and a classroom education initiative into a seamless interactive whole.
Opportunities to sponsor a plaque are open to private individuals, groups of friends, organizations, and businesses/corporate foundations. Every plaque installed on The Legacy Walk will come with a metal plate recognizing the donation which made that plaque possible. Of the 36 plaques available, ten are already reserved for donors who have come forward to tell us how important it is for them to be part of this most unique - and historic - undertaking.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - SET YOUR DVRs
If you are in the Chicago area please check out
The Legacy Walk Luncheon on "GLBT History Month" on CAN-TV
Wednesday December 7, Noon on CAN-TV Channel 21
For more information, to volunteer, to make a tax-deductible donation, or to discuss opportunities and options for plaque sponsorship, please contact Victor Salvo at 312-608-1198 or visit www.legacyprojectchicago.org . The Legacy Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to creating public memorials recognizing the contributions of GLBT people to world history and culture, beginning with the dedication of The Legacy Walk on October 11, 2012.
Thank you for all of your support!!! Look for some MAJOR announcements in the near future.
Victor Salvo, Founder and Executive Director
THE LEGACY PROJECT
"When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him."
-- Bayard Rustin (1910-1987), Dr. Martin Luther King's Speechwriter, LEGACY WALK INDUCTEE (2012)
"The answer to the problem must not lie in suicides that look like accidents... but rather in life and the freedom to live it."
-- Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989), Transgender Activist and International Spokesperson, LEGACY WALK INDUCTEE (2012)
The Legacy Project intends to inform, inspire, enlighten, and foster an appreciation for the many roles Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) people have played in the advancement of world history and culture through the dedication of the only outdoor International GLBT History Museum in the World - "THE LEGACY WALK" - in Chicago on October 11, 2012.