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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund
303-426-8900, dhorwedel@collegefund.org

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, American Indian College Fund
720-214-2569, cbilliot@collegefund.org

American Indian College Fund Announces Winner of Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ T-shirt Design Contest

Travis Richard (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) Oglala Lakota College Business Management Administration

2023 Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Initiatives T-Shirt Design Winner: Travis Richard (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) Oglala Lakota College, Business Management Administration Major

June 20, 2023, Denver, Colo.— Travis Richard (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) has been named as the 2023 winner of the American Indian College Fund’s (College Fund) Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Initiatives T-Shirt Design Contest. The goal of this contest was to raise visibility of 2SLGBTQ+ identity at tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) as well as in Native communities. Richard is a student at Oglala Lakota College studying business management administration. Richard generally focuses more on beadwork art but credits a Drawing 1 course for bringing out the talent that led to his contest entry. He also provided some insight into the meaning behind his t-shirt design.

“My design meaning focused on the Indigenous individuals that struggle with ‘who they are’ or ‘coming out.’ Many of our youth, along with adults, face obstacles and challenges on how they want to be accepted. Many of them struggle or deal with friends and family members that do not accept a person(s) being LGBTQ. Some individuals do have issues with family members that do not accept them for who they are. They get outed which can lead to them being kicked out of their homes and suicide.

I also thought of the violence, abuse, and missing and murdered LGBTQ indigenous loved ones when creating this drawing. No matter what mishaps we encounter, Thunkasila (Creator) does not judge and the sun shines upon us letting us know that as long as we all breathe the same air and share the same sunlight and night skies, we are all equal.”

As the winner of the contest, Richard was awarded $600 and 10 t-shirts printed with his design. Ten t-shirts were distributed to each of the TCUs in the College Fund’s network, and all artists who submitted a t-shirt design also received a free shirt with the winning design.

You can view the winning design and read Richard’s full statement at https://collegefund.org/two-spirit-and-lgbtq/two-spirit-and-lgbtq-initiatives-t-shirt-design-contest/

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About the American Indian College Fund—The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 33 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $14.45 million in scholarships and other direct student support to American Indian students in 2021-22. Since its founding in 1989 the College Fund has provided more than $284 million in scholarships, programs, community, and tribal college support. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit www.collegefund.org.

Journalists—The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

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