As a student at Gettysburg College, Joe Derrig ('83) was creative, artistic, and fun. He introduced his friends to the newest and coolest things. He was also an entrepreneur, being the first person to deliver pizza on campus. When he died of AIDS in 1994, his friends created a memorial fund in his name to bring more awareness about HIV and AIDS to Gettysburg's campus.
Twenty years after Joe's death, much has changed in both public awareness and the effectiveness of treatment of AIDS. Much has also changed in the fight for LGBTQ rights. There has been progress, but great challenges and struggles remain, as gay youth continue to take their lives as a result of bullying and gay couples continue to fight for their right to marry and receive spousal benefits.
Participants on the NYC Immersion Project will have the opportunity to get to know the history of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, the continued challenges, and some of the organizations and individuals who are making a difference to those who have HIV, those who are bullied, and those who are dealing with other issues related to their status. Participants will get to know both providers and clients in a very direct way. They will have an opportunity to reflect upon their experiences and bring those reflections back to campus.
Day 1: Travel to New York; Settle into housing at East Village apartment; Visit Stonewall Inn for history of Stonewall Riots
Day 2: Meeting with alums who work on LGBTQ advocacy; Attend Broadway show
Day 3: Work shift preparing meals with God's Love We Deliver; Tour Greenwich Village; Dinner at Lips (drag cafe)
Day 4: Advocacy Training at Hetrick-Martin Institute; Understanding issues facing LGBTQ youth; Assemble "Safer Injection Kits" at Judson Memorial
Day 5:Visit LGBT Center; Tour and discussion; Afternoon free to explore NYC (Central Park, Theater District, etc.)
Day 6: Discussion with VOCAL-NY on advocacy work; Work shift delivering meals for God's Love We Deliver; Meeting with Public Policy workers
Day 7: Work shift preparing meals with God's Love We Deliver; Evening cultural activity
Day 8: Travel home
I’m Kaiden Krueger, I’m a senior, and I’m a sociology major with a writing minor. I am one of the co-leaders of CHEERS (Gettysburg’s peer education group) and I am also a program coordinator for The Office of LGBTQA Advocacy and Education. One thing that interests me about this project is learning about LGBTQA issues first hand. I am excited to work within the community in New York and I’m also excited to foster a dialogue for the people who join the project to enrich their learning.
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