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* Documentary “Stonewall Uprising” Screening April 26

Documentary “Stonewall Uprising” Screening April 26

Members of the campus and local community are invited to attend a special screening of an American Experience Episode of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) film titled Stonewall Uprising, on Tuesday, April 26. The event will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m., with a panel discussion to follow in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Auditorium.

“The landmark documentary, which highlights the Stonewall riots that took place in the Greenwich Village section of New York City in 1969, served as a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world,” said Amy Pettengill, class dean for the Class of 2013. “We hope to see Rensselaer students, staff, faculty, and community members in attendance so that they can provide their candid reactions to the screening, and share how this monumental event affected their lives then, and has resulted in cultural changes still apparent today.”

The overall program is based on the book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, by David Carter. The book will be available for purchase in the Rensselaer Union Bookstore.

The screening will culminate with a panel discussion. Featured panelists include Bill Puka, professor of philosophy and psychology in the Department of Cognitive Science; Ulysses deArmas, assistant director of admissions; and Rensselaer student Julia Sundell-Thomas, president of the Rensselaer Pride Alliance.

The event is free, but seating is limited, so tickets are required to attend the screening. Members of the campus community and alumni may pick up tickets in advance from the First-Year Experience Office located in Academy Hall, suite 4226, on Friday, April 1.

“Fifty years ago, homosexuality was illegal nearly everywhere in the United States,” said Sundell-Thomas. “According to historical references, in most places, a person could be sent to jail if they were not wearing at least three ‘gender appropriate’ articles of clothing, and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning community gatherings were regularly raided by the police. In 1969, at a night club in New York City, a group of courageous individuals fought back and the modern ‘queer rights’ movement was born. The documentary, Stonewall Uprising, explores this event, and the panel discussion will provide an opportunity for us to talk about how far we’ve come and how much more needs to be accomplished in the fight for equality.’

Area students and Gay Straight Alliance members from local colleges, universities, or high schools may reserve their tickets from April 4 to 8. Community members may also reserve their tickets from April 11-20. Tickets may only be reserved online at

Any remaining free tickets will be distributed during the annual RPI Drag Show that will be held on Friday, April 22, in the West Hall Auditorium. For more information regarding the show, visit

The event is coordinated by members of the Rensselaer campus community, including the Student Experience Office, Rensselaer Pride Alliance, Residence Life, Student Health & Counseling Center, and some Rensselaer faculty.

For more information about the upcoming screening, visit the Rensselaer Pride Alliance website at

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 6, April 1, 2011
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