Seminole State remembering Stonewall riots with yearlong series of events

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Written by: Tyrone Law

Seminole State College of Florida will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a series of events throughout the 2018-19 academic year.

The Stonewall riots were successions of violent confrontations between police and members of the LGBTQ community, when a police raid sparked resistance from patrons and led to several days of demonstrations outside the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village section of New York City.   Many people believe that the present-day LGBTQ civil rights movement in the United States was born as a result of the events that took place at Stonewall in the summer of 1969. 

“The Stonewall riots are important to commemorate because the events of the summer of 1969 represented a significant part of the overall civil rights movement of the 1960s and marked a turning point in the march towards civil rights for LGBTQ Americans,” says Dr. Stephen Summers, associate vice president of the School of Arts and Sciences at Seminole State.

Seminole State’s yearlong schedule of Stonewall-centered events will begin with a free concert featuring the Orlando Gay Chorus in the Concert Hall (building G, room 118) at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. Seminole State alumna and City of Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan will attend as a special guest. The performance will be followed by a community discussion.

Other highlights include participation at the Come Out with Pride Orlando event and parade, and two LGBTQ-related theater productions, as part of Seminole State’s 2018-19 cultural arts season. The commemoration events will also include a presentation from Judy Shepard, in conjunction with the Seminole State College 2018-19 Speaker Series. Shepard is a renown human rights advocate and founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

“We believe that the series of events we have planned not only commemorates the Stonewall riots, but also serves as an important educational endeavor for our College and for Central Florida about the LGBTQ community and its history,” says Summers.

Largely funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Stonewall commemoration events are sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Humanities, History and Modern Languages; the Office of Student Life; the Center for Fine and Performing Arts; Seminole State’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP); the Office of Equity and Diversity/Title IX; and the Library.

For more information, and a full schedule of events, visit the Stonewall events webpage, or call 407.708.2058.

About Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit
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