About the Conference

Across the United States, the highly polarized political and social climate is raising urgent questions about LGBTQ people and their inclusion in society. LGBTQ leaders and communities are faced with resurgent challenges to cultivating and sustaining progress.

The coming period will herald a necessary return to critical hope, and requires exploring alliances of opposition and solidarity across LGBTQ communities domestically as well as with diverse communities facing similar challenges globally.

Through the theme Resilience Through Love and Resistance, this conference will explore how leaders, activists, and advocates are currently working to support LGBTQ people while also striving for better futures.

The Harvard LGBTQ Conference is open to all and is not restricted to Harvard affiliates or people who identify as members of the LGBTQ community. We look forward to welcoming you!


Friday, March 2, 2018

04:30 pm –
6:15 pm

Mr. Gay Syria: Film Screening

Sperry Room, Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
45 Francis Ave, Cambridge

presented by Queer Rites

06:00 pm –
8:00 pm

Opening Reception

Harvard Law School, Milstein West AB
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Women, Trans*, and Non-binary Happy Hour
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Open Reception

08:00 pm –
10:00 pm

Vogue-ology Workshop
by Michael Roberson, UltraRed

Harvard Law School, Milstein West AB
1585 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

09:00 pm –

Guerilla Queer Bar

Hong Kong, 1238 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

co-sponsored by The Welcoming Committee and
Harvard GSE Alumni of Color Conference

Separate admission: $6 cover by card; $5 by cash (discounted);
Facebook event

Saturday, March 3, 2018

09:30 am –
10:30 am


Austin Hall, 1515 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

10:30 am –
10:45 am

Welcome Remarks

Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall

10:45 am –
11:45 am

Keynote Address

Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall

Travon Free, comedian, writer, and producer

11:45 am –
12:00 pm


12:00 pm –
01:15 pm

Keynote Panel: LGBTQ Leadership: Cultivating Resilience Across Communities

Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall

Moderator: Arthur Lipkin, Consultant, MA Safe Schools for LGBTQ Students Program

Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer, SAGE
Sam Dorison, Chief of Staff, Trevor Project
Jillian Weiss, Former Executive Director, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

01:15 pm –
02:30 pm


02:30 pm –
03:45 pm

Excavating the Past: Illuminating LGBTQ Stories

Austin East

Moderator: Joan Ilacqua, The History Project: Documenting LGBTQ Boston

Gonzalo Casals, Director, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
K.J. Rawson, Director, Digital Transgender Archive; Assistant Professor, College of the Holy Cross
Matthew Riemer & Leighton Brown, Co-Founders, @LGBT_history

Bridging Communities: Faith-Based Leadership

Austin North

Moderator: Rev. Cody J. Sanders, Ph.D., Pastor, Old Cambridge Baptist Church

Rabbi Steven Greenberg, Founding Director, Eshel
Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Director of Public Theology Initiatives, Faith Matters Network; Visiting Scholar, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
N. Ahmad Khan, Co-Founder, Queer Muslims of Boston

LGBTQ Education: Towards Transformative Inclusion

Austin West

Moderator: Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jared Fox, LGBTQ Liaison, New York City Department of Education
Estefania Rodriguez, K-8 District History Instructional Coach, Cambridge Public Schools
Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal, Heath High School, Brookline, MA
Tim’m T. West, Senior Managing Director, LGBTQ Community Initiative, Teach for America

03:45 pm –
04:00 pm


04:00 pm –
05:15 pm

Creating Narratives for Ourselves and Others

Austin North

Moderator: Jennifer DeClue, Assistant Professor, Smith College

Big Dipper, recording artist/performer
Jeff Chu, journalist, essayist, and author
L. Frank, Tongva/Ajachmem artist, writer, and tribal activist
Our Lady J, writer, producer, and musician

Out in the Workplace: Progress and Challenges in Building Inclusive Organizations

Austin East

Moderator: Jessica Halem, LGBT Program Director, Harvard Medical School

Selisse Berry, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates
Sofía Bonnet Hollis, Global Diversity Executive, IBM
Timothy McCarthy, Core Faculty and Program Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Kendra Thomas, VP Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Pearson

Politics in the Age of Resistance: LGBTQ Movements in 2018

Ames Courtroom

Moderator: CJ Crowder, Manager of Alumni Affairs, Teach for America and Board of Directors, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition

Kenyon Farrow, writer and activist, TheBody.com
Sue Hyde, Director, Creating Change Conference, National LGBTQ Task Force
Denise Simmons, Cambridge City Council

Queer Media Voices

Austin West

Moderator: Stephanie Burt, Professor of English, Harvard Universitycj

Sasha Costanza-Chock, Associate Professor of Civic Media, MIT
Meredith Talusan, Senior Editor, them
Fran Tirado, Executive Editor, Hello Mr.; Co-Host, Food 4 Thot

05:15 pm –
05:30 pm


05:30 pm –
06:30 pm

Closing Keynote Address:

Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall

Honorable Mary I. Yu, Washington Supreme Court

06:30 pm –
08:30 pm

Closing Reception

Austin Hall



Keynote Panelists

Panelists and Presenters



Save the Date:
The 2019 LGBTQ Leadership Conference at Harvard will be March 2-4, 2019


A special thanks to our generous sponsors!

Gold Level

Silver Level

And with the generous support of: