Nearly 30 years ago, a teenager’s fight to attend public school, despite having AIDS, put Kokomo in the national spotlight.
Allen Safianow, Indiana University Kokomo professor emeritus of history, and Judy Lausch, a retired Howard County public health nurse and faculty member, will talk about how this story continues to resonate in the community in “The Ryan White Oral History Project and the Development of Universal Precautions.”
The free lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday in room 130 in the Kelley Student Center. A reception will take place before the lecture at 6:30 p.m.
Safianow and Lausch were part of a team that interviewed more than 20 people who played key roles during White’s efforts to attend classes at Western Middle School after he acquired the AIDS virus through an injection of Factor VIII, part of his treatment for hemophilia.
“We will be discussing the challenges and values of oral history as an important means of gaining a fuller understanding of complicated and controversial events,” Safianow said in a press release. “An oral history is a way of providing voices from many different perspectives, perhaps to go a little deeper in some aspects than the media was able to do at that time.”
Safianow was honored by the Indiana Historical Society for an article he wrote about the impact White’s fight to go to school had on Kokomo. The Howard County Historical Society received the 2012 Indiana History Outstanding Project Award for the oral history project, which can be examined at the Seiberling Mansion, 1200 W. Sycamore St., Kokomo.
Lecture sponsors include the Department of Sociology, History and Political Science, the History and Political Science Club and the Office of University Advancement.