The Gazette spoke with Charleston to hear her reflections on her first year-plus on the job, how she is building out the capacity of OEDIB (which was recently renamed), how her team has created new opportunities for community engagement and organizational excellence in their work over the past 14 months, and what her plans are for the future. This interview was edited for clarity and length.
Last week, President Biden issued a formal proclamation declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, following a broader movement in more than 100 cities and a dozen states across the country led by Native and Indigenous Activists. Since time immemorial, Native and Indigenous peoples have occupied, cultivated, and safeguarded what is now the United States. It is important that we remember that Harvard University is itself located on the traditional and ancestral land of Native and Indigenous peoples. I encourage everyone to engage with the Harvard University Native American Program to learn more.... Read more about Changing Names and Narratives
October is National LGBT History Month. Let’s shine a light on some people who brought awareness to it.
“The greatest act of advocacy for civil rights for LGBT Americans is the act of coming out,” wrote Rodney Wilson who established Gay History Month in 1994. “LGBT history gave me self-confidence as a gay person and strengthened my resolve to live, as best I could, an honest, open and integrated life.”
In 1994, while teaching history at Mehlville High School in suburban St. Louis, Wilson came out to his class during a lesson about the Holocaust. He told his class if he had lived in Germany during World War II, he probably would have been imprisoned and killed by the Nazis for being gay. He became the first openly gay K-12 teacher in Missouri. What started with a lesson evolved into a broader mission to teach young people about gay history. Inspired by Women’s History Month and Black History Month, he worked with national organizations to develop a gay-friendly curriculum for educators. Today Wilson holds a master's degree from the Harvard Extension School as well as the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Join leaders of Harvard Chan School of Public Health for the 2021-22 Fall Forum outlining their Office for Diversity's plan and priorities for the year ahead and share resources avalable to all members of the Harvard Chan community.