Activist Erin Davies will bring her rainbow-colored Volkswagon Beetle, known as the “Fagbug,” which has become a symbol of tolerance and acceptance, to a special diversity event on April 19 as part of Daemen College’s Academic Festival.
The Fagbug will be on display by the Wick Campus Center and information about the vehicle project will be available from 2 to 5 p.m. Davies will share what led to her cross-country educational tour to raise awareness about hate crimes and the award-winning documentary, “Fagbug,” at a lecture taking place at 7 p.m. in the Wick Social Room. A question and answer session will follow.
“We look forward to having Erin Davies visit our campus and to learn more about her Fagbug project,” said Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for student affairs. “It is our goal that this program will open an important dialogue about inclusivity and build on our efforts to create a campus environment that promotes acceptance.”
After Davies’ VW Beetle was vandalized in 2007 with the words “fag” and “U R gay” spray painted on it, she embarked on a nationwide journey, driving 55,000 miles in the vehicle to bring awareness to issues related to hate crimes. Two years later, she produced a documentary about her experience and released a sequel, “Fagbug Nation,” in 2014.
“I applaud the initiative of our Pride Alliance student organization for bringing such an inspirational activist to campus,” said Margaret Phillips, Daemen assistant professor and director of paralegal studies, who serves as club advisor of Pride Alliance. “This event will provide an opportunity to have an important conversation about acceptance and tolerance and will help raise awareness in our community about these issues.”
The event, which is free and to the public, is being co-sponsored by the Daemen Office of Student Affairs, Student Association and Pride Alliance.
Daemen’s 16th annual Academic Festival will celebrate academic and creative achievements with presentations and other activities throughout the day on April 20.