The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is collaborating with Project Suicide Prevention Intervention Now (SPIN) in a partnership to develop a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-inclusive curriculum in high schools.
The ONE archives, which are affiliated with USC, include the world’s largest research library on LGBTQ history and interests.
The ONE archives contain collections ranging from personal papers by activists, books, periodicals, art, photography and posters. The ONE archives are also a part of USC’s digital library, which includes audio and video recordings as well as visual media.
The ONE organization itself started in 1952 as a magazine. In 2000, it moved into its current building on West Adams Boulevard. In October 2010, the ONE Archives became a part of USC Libraries.
SPIN is an organization that works directly with the Los Angeles Unified School District in order to support LGBT students by strengthening the tie between different programs throughout Los Angeles County.
Jamie Scot, the project and development manager to the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, said the idea of the project is to fill in the holes of classes that leave LGBT people out of history.
“Researchers are taking textbooks and mirroring them with our own curriculum, which is very similar to what teachers are teaching in regular history classes,” Scot said.
The collaboration will provide an in-depth curriculum change based on history from 1940 to the present. The ONE archives will provide resources for the curriculum. Teachers will have the opportunity to use the new material and incorporate them into the curriculum they currently use.
“We have our own history and people who have contributed to history but are gay and books never mention them,” Scot said.
Other projects that collaborate with the archives include the independent non-profit organization ONE. It functions in conjunction with the ONE archives at USC.
“Both ‘ONE’ organizations function side by side, however, they are independent of each other,” said Loni Shibuyama, an archivist at the ONE archives.
Many students were excited about the new project. Eliza Asherian, a senior majoring in biological sciences, believes teaching LGBTQ history in the school system is an opportunity to further equality.
“I think this is beneficial because it definitely promotes equality among all people, something that should be reflected throughout history textbooks,” Asherian said.
Others see both benefits and drawbacks in the new program.
“One part of me wants to say that this will help and that everyone should have someone to look up to and then the other part of me says, why should people have to be defined by these groups?” Edwin To, a senior majoring in theater, said. “Why can’t they just be seen for their achievements?”
A goal of the archives is to source new collections and continually develop the archive, in addition to including current events and finding new ways to bring history out and educate people about the LGBTQ community.
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