University equality work wins national award

Groundbreaking work by the University of Leicester and the National Trust wins prestigious PinkNews Award.

Prejudice and Pride, an ambitious and high profile public programme led by the National Trust in partnership with the University’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) was this week awarded a prestigious PinkNews Award.

The PinkNews Awards celebrate achievements and support for LGBT+ rights in a wide range of activities. The winners were all recognised for their work in advancing LGBT+ rights.

Winner of the Third Sector Equality award for leading the efforts in highlighting LGBT+ heritage across the country and further afield, the research project transformed the Trust’s 2017 programme that formed part of the nation’s commemoration to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

RCMG supported National Trust places across England and Wales to research and reveal to the public their LGBTQ connections.  The team worked especially closely with Kingston Lacy in Dorset where they developed an emotionally engaging and immersive installation exploring LGBTQ lives and the law and also Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk (where they explored the life of the Hall’s last squire through a film narrated by Stephen Fry).  The team also carried out a large scale audience research project, launched this week, that revealed the powerful impact of Prejudice and Pride on many thousands of visitors. 

As part of the ongoing legacy of the project, RCMG has collaborated with renowned singer and historian, David McAlmont, to create a unique performance – Girl Boy Child: a poignant queer tale for our times – which will next be staged at Plas Newydd on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October.

Professor Richard Sandell, from the School of Museum Studies, commented: “This rich, research-led collaboration between the National Trust and the University of Leicester has revealed the power of heritage and culture to engage with contemporary social issues and to play a part in building widespread support for equality for all.  We are delighted to have been recognised for our work through this prestigious award and honoured to included amongst such inspiring nominees. This is especially welcome given the controversy that some parts of our work have attracted.”

Rachael Lennon, Programme Coordinator, National Public Programmes at the National Trust added: “The partnership between the National Trust and the University of Leicester allowed us to be bold and ambitious for what Prejudice and Pride could achieve. We are delighted that our work has been recognised in this way and we hope to build a strong legacy that will do justice to this achievement.”

The winners were announced during an award ceremony at Church House in London on Wednesday 17 October 2018.