Sullivan awarded $600,000 grant to support preservation of LGBTQ history

A UAB doctoral candidate received a $600,000 grant to further her work in promoting the preservation of LGBTQ history.  
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Savannah Koplon

Maigen Sullivan 2Maigen SullivanMaigen Sullivan, a doctoral candidate in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education and adjunct faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies program, has received a $600,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for inclusion of LGBTQ history in the South.

The grant will support Sullivan’s work with her nonprofit organization, the Invisible Histories Project, which locates, archives and researches LGBTQ history in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. IHP has been actively archiving since 2018 and has secured nearly 100 new and unique LGBTQ collections across the Deep South.

The grant will support the operational costs of IHP and allow for the addition of an assistant director to help with diversifying collections and community programming.

“We will be able to preserve more collections and provide programming and educational opportunities for the community so that we can all better understand the rich and diverse history of LGBTQ people in the South,” Sullivan said. “IHP wants to ensure that the amazing people and communities that exist and have existed in the South are remembered for their work and honored for their invaluable contributions.”

The grant will also help IHP provide guidance and training for others wishing to do similar work in the South through initiatives like Queer History South, a conference held biannually, to discuss best practices in LGBTQ Southern history and archiving.

According to IHP, the South is home to the highest percentage of LGBTQ people in the entire country, yet they are chronically underrepresented in history, outreach and resources.

The goal for Sullivan is to further the inclusion of LGBTQ Southern history, both in the understanding of LGBTQ history and in the mainstream historical record.