PULLMAN – As part of “The Power of One,” the Northwest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) student leadership conference April 2-4, 30 students, faculty, staff and community members participated in the Power of One Portrait Project.
 
The portraits will be on display through April, starting after Mom’s Weekend, in the CUB gallery and in the hallway between the CUB and Holland/Terrell Library.
 
Put together by Heidi Stanton, director of the WSU Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, the project involved photographer Adam Mastoon taking photos of people of many different backgrounds and having them share their thoughts on life by writing on the poster-sized portraits.
 
Stanton said Mastoon traveled to WSU in early February from his home in Providence, R.I., to work with those participating in the project.
 
“I am very committed to social justice and saw this project as a way to offer the WSU community an opportunity to use their voice to inspire others about the difference each individual can make in the world,” Stanton said. “I saw it as an opportunity to capture the essence of campus climate and the role that each individual plays in changing our campus climate.”
 
Aaron Scott, a WSU student who participated in the project, said the main reason he wanted to take part is because he wanted to be able to share his personal story about coming to terms with who he is.
 
“It’s important to me because I know there are other people out there, just like me, struggling to find a sense of self-definition,” Scott said. “It’s so important to always be persistent and love yourself no matter what.”
 
Matt Kelly, residential education director at Waller Hall, said participating in this project was truly a one of a kind experience for him. He said other students and people will see these pictures and feel relief to know that someone else is going through the same things. This project, he said, made him think even more about who he is and what he stands for.
 
“These portraits captured the essence of each person and brought it to light, in the hope that it will make a difference,” Kelly said. “One voice raises many more, the same as one light shows the way for others.”