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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Oct. 13, 2011

Intercultural affairs office raising awareness of LGBT rights with book club

By Brittany Keithley, media relations assistant

Northwest Missouri State University's Office of Intercultural Affairs will sponsor a book club reading from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Meeting Room B of the J.W. Jones Student Union.

The club will read the book "The Meaning of Matthew," which discusses the life of Matthew Shepard and the struggles people face when growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The club invites anyone to bring lunches and join in the discussion.

The event is free and open to all faculty, staff, students and community members. "The Meaning of Matthew" is available at the University Bookstore for $15.

The Office of Intercultural Affairs hopes the book reading will raise awareness in connection with Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender History Month and hopes to continue the discussions with a new supplement each month related to culture and diversity.

"My goal is that it opens up people's minds to things they haven't thought about," said Steve Bryant, director of intercultural affairs. "We each lead our own lives through our eyes, and we don't always see how other people live. The author does a great job telling this story and letting the reader see through his eyes to help them realize that Matthew was a real person who was working through struggles in his life and trying to persevere."

Other events in connection with LGBT Awareness Month and Disability Awareness Month include "Safe Zone training" from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in the west meeting room of The Station. The training is meant to help foster safe environments for LGBT students and assist students in learning basic terminology, how to be a communicator and ally of LGBT students.

Also, "Spread the Word to End the Word" will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, on the second floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. The day-long campaign is aimed at raising awareness regarding the r-word as people pledge not to use it. For more information about the campaign visit

For more information, contact Bryant at 660.562.1367 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468