Equality Rally to raise awareness

Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

A history course has left students inspired and determined to bring awareness to gender equality and gay rights.

Associate Professor of History Leonard Ortiz’s Social and Cultural Evolutions of the 1960s class is leading an Equality Rally and other events focused on equality during the week of April 19.

“The whole focus of the class is on changes of the 1960s with equality and women’s rights,” sophomore Caylea Siler said.

Members of the class have learned about many equality movements, and recently they have focused on the Civil Rights Movement and how it changed America. Students decided to focus on gender equality and gay rights for their semester project.

“It seems to be an extremely relevant issue for our generation,” junior Michelle Critchfield said.

The class will kick off the week of festivities with a “Chalk the Walk” event on April 19 for people who want to spread awareness about gender equality and gay rights.

On April 21, the students will set up tables in the Long Student Center to share information about the LGBTQ+ community and gender equality. Visitors will have the option of writing their thoughts and opinions on paper.

“We’re going to post them so it makes this more close to home,” senior Kelli Gamel said.

Gamel has helped organize a guest speaker on equality. Sandra Moran, an anthropologist and author, is scheduled to talk about the subject of equality as well as her perspective on sex and gender.

The Equality Rally will be on April 22 from 5 to 7 p. m. in the Rotunda, weather permitting.

“We want it to be an open space for discussion, opinions, thoughts, and feelings in relation to equality,” Gamel said.

Siler said awareness and education about equality are important, especially with gay rights being debated in Kansas.

“Bringing awareness to the campus will hopefully help us to better understand these issues and how to get involved,” Critchfield said.

Gamel is hoping to get the new campus organization called the Total Equality Alliance on board for the Equality Rally. She hopes that the group can help promote its events to its members.

“This is going to be a fun event and a safe place,” Gamel said. “… Everyone is welcome.”