Historian selected for Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame
Jennifer Brier, director of gender and women’s studies, is one of 15 people selected for the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame is overseen by the nonprofit Friends of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in partnership with the City of Chicago.
Brier will be honored for more than a decade of contributions to the city, including her co-curating of the Chicago History Museum’s “Out in Chicago” exhibition in 2011-12. The exhibition, which highlighted 150 years of LGBT history in Chicago, won several awards, including the 2013 Excellence in Exhibitions Award with special distinction in community service from the American Alliance of Museums.
Brier, associate professor of gender and women’s studies, studies the historical intersections of gender, race and sexuality. Her current research focuses on community engagement and public history.
Her 2009 book, Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Responses to the AIDS Crisis, shows how the AIDS epidemic influenced health care and foreign policy, reproductive health, gay and lesbian rights and racial justice.
She is the lead investigator of the UIC-based project History Moves, a mobile gallery that displays less-explored aspects of Chicago’s history as it travels around the city. The project, in its second stage of prototyping, received funding last year from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Other individuals selected for this year’s hall of fame include the late Joffrey Ballet co-founder Gerald Arpino, Ill. Rep. Kelly Cassidy, president and CEO of Personal PAC Terry Cosgrove, transgender sports writer and Baseball Prospectus co-founder Christina Kahrl, lawyer Edward Mogul, activist Lisa Marie Pickens, commissioner Debra Shore of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, physician Ross Slotten and the late community organizer Bennet Williams.
Honored as “friends of the community” are HIV/AIDS counselor Lucretia Clay-Ward, Ill. Sen. Heather Steans and human rights advocate Clarence Wood. The organizations named are the WTTW-TV initiative “Out & Proud in Chicago” and the Chicago theater project Silk Road Rising.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Nov. 12 at the Chicago History Museum. The event is free and open to the public.