AIDS Memorial Quilt display returns to Franklin Pierce University

Published: 04-07-2023 3:21 PM

A collaboration between Franklin Pierce University (FPU), the Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at FPU and Keene Pride will feature a display of six 12- by 12-inch sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt for the first time since 2010, when quilt founder Cleve Jones spoke on campus.

It will be available to students, faculty, staff and the public beginning on Thursday, April 13, from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Spagnuolo Hall, located in the Emily Flint Campus Center at40 University Drive in Rindge.

On April 14 from 3 to 4 p.m., a special public event will be held to recognize the occasion. Speakers will include FPU President Kim Mooney, FPU Chief Diversity Officer Pierre Morton, Keene Pride President Adam Toepfer, Susan MacNeil, former Executive Director of AIDS Services for the Monadnock Region; and keynote speaker Roger Barraby, who is participating in the 11th Gay Games this November in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Morton will present stoles to graduating LGBTQ+ seniors at the conclusion of the event. Refreshments will be served.

Barraby is sponsored by the LGBT National Help Center, which provides care through free and anonymous peer-support programs via hotline numbers about sexuality, gender identity and expression, coming-out issues, bullying, discrimination, isolation, fear and anxiety, relationships, HIV/AIDs questions and suicide prevention.

A resident of Cornish, Barraby graduated from high school in Windsor, Vt., where he set track and field records. He attended Franklin & Marshall College, where he continued his athletic prowess and won the 2017 Faust Prize for Humor Writing. He is a full-time staff member at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich Vt., and continues his LGBTQ+ activism as chair of Windsor’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee.

Barraby also has a personal interest in FPU, as his good friend Cece Telfer graduated from Franklin Pierce and became the first openly transgender person to win an NCAA title in 2019, taking first place in the 400-meter hurdles. She gained national recognition for her accomplishment when she was vilified by then-President Donald Trump, calling her win a “grave injustice” for women.

Sponsoring campus organizations include A.L.A.NA (African, Latinx, Asian, Native American) and the Gender & Sexuality Club. Quilt panels of local interest will be included with the exhibit. They are Bonnie White (Block No. 5949), Baby Simbiso (Block No. 5753), Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell (Block No. 5145), the Rev. Deane Starr (Block No. 5057) and William Thrasher (Block No. 1107). To search the quilt online, visit aidsmemorial.org/interactive-aids-quilt.

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The public is welcome and there is no charge to attend the exhibit or the April 14 event. People may take photos,

For information, contact the office of Pierre Morton at 603-899-4000 or visit the Keene Pride website at keenepride.org.

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