Evelyn Bailey, chair of Shoulders To Stand On, was presented with the 2016 Debra E. Bernhardt Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Documenting New York’s History by the New York State Archives and the Archives Partnership Trust .
According to a New York State Board of Regents news release: “This award recognizes the work of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley (GAGV) for the exemplary work of the Shoulders to Stand on Program. This program documents, preserves, and makes accessible the history of the LGBT Community in the Rochester region and its impact on New York State and the nation in advancing the cause for justice and equal rights.
“Examples of their work can be seen through digitizing the ‘Empty Closet’ newspaper; recording audio and video interviews capturing the stories, struggles and achievements of Rochester’s gay pioneers and allies; and a 90-minute documentary celebrating the struggles and courage of the LGBT community in Rochester.
“In addition, the GAGV Documentation Initiative identified and placed in permanent repositories 15 collections containing 120 cubic feet of records documenting Rochester LGBT organizations, agencies, groups, and individuals that set the bar for gay activism and religious tolerance from 1960 to today.”