PUTTING LGBT+ HISTORY IN ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE -- THE CLASSROOM.
Miriam and Deb -- being classroom teachers -- recognized a serious problem: LGBT+ history was missing in the curriculum. They left the classroom to solve that serious problem and History UnErased was born.
But this revelation and response didn't happen overnight.
History UnErased's story is rooted in Miriam's and Deb's experience teaching new immigrant and refugee students, but most importantly, History UnErased was inspired by the experiences and identities their students carried with them into the classroom. You can read all about it here: A Surprising Genesis Story
Since its founding in 2015, History UnErased has garnered support from the Library of Congress, National Park Service, National Council for the Social Studies, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, New York City Department of Education, California's F.A.I.R. Education Act, and more. And the organization has grown from its two co-founders to a team of kind, dedicated, mission-driven professionals from the Philippines to Rhode Island (and places in between) sharing their skills, experience, research, and creativity. And putting students at the center of it all.
MEET OUR TEAM - putting students at the center of everything we do
Debra Fowler - Cofounder and Executive Director
Debra's path to the education profession began with her service in the United States Army as a Korean linguist - prior to the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. (Her story is featured in Vincent Cianni’s award-winning book Gays in the Military). After teaching English at a private academy on the outskirts of Ulsan, South Korea, she returned to the United States in 2004 and spent the next decade teaching English and a variety of humanities courses to new immigrants and refugees at a large, urban, truly diverse high school. During that time, she produced two documentary films, Hard Truth, Levity and Hope (2011) and Through Gay Eyes (2013) to promote awareness of individuals who are ignored, marginalized or excluded within the public school system.
The personal and professional experiences of being a U.S. Army veteran, author, documentary filmmaker, veteran (former) classroom teacher, public speaker, and wife of a behavior analyst are woven into her approach to advance History UnErased's mission. Since 2014, Debra has been providing professional development training in a variety of contexts on the inclusion of LGBT+ history, speaking at various conferences and public events, and developing and coauthoring Intersections and Connections Curriculum for K-12 schools - the groundbreaking (first and only) LGBT+ social studies curriculum aligned with state and national standards.
Debra has authored LGBT+ inclusive supplemental resources for New York City public schools in partnership with Making Gay History - The Podcast, participated in the most recent revision of the Massachusetts History and Social Sciences Curriculum Framework as the LGBT+ history Content Advisor, and is currently coauthoring the first National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Position Statement on LGBT+ history. Debra was NBC Out’s PRIDE 30 honoree in 2017, is an Advisory Board member with ONE Archives Foundation and the Smithsonian Museum of American History LGBTQ Digital Archives Project, and a member of the Queer History South Consortium. Debra's work with History UnErased has been featured in EdWeek, Reuters, the Library of Congress, NPR NYC, Windy City Times, and more.
Miriam Morgenstern - Cofounder and Director of Operations
Teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer and entrepreneur, Miriam has had over 30 years to develop her philosophy that children and adults are natural learners, and in the optimum environment, they have the capacity for deep learning and boundless creativity.
Since co-founding History UnErased in 2015, Miriam has worked closely with other educators to develop student-centered curricula exploring topics ranging from gender roles in colonial Jamestown to the economic impact of discrimination today. Prior to this, Miriam was a classroom teacher of history and English as a second language in a large urban high school, where she developed innovative programs for students and acted as a mentor for new teachers. Miriam developed and taught the nation's first and only Cambodian Culture and Conflict course and created international teacher exchange programs which are still in place today.
Miriam is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching excellence and was chosen by the government of Cambodia to facilitate Cambodia's first Genocide National Teacher Training Program in Phnom Penh. Miriam's work with History UnErased has been featured in EdWeek, Reuters, the Library of Congress, Association of Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD), Windy City Times, and more. Miriam received a B.S. in Politics from Brandeis University and M.S. TESL from SUNY Albany.
Steven LaBounty-McNair - Executive Board Chair
Educator, curriculum developer, and state policy maker, Steven has spent the last decade in the public education sector working to understand policy development and implementation processes with a focus on yielding more equitable outcomes for all. His dissertation was a 2019 finalist for the Dean's Medal for Outstanding Doctoral Work at Northeastern University, which concluded the need for high-quality curriculum materials and professional learning experiences in both pre- and in-service educational settings to achieve more equitable representation of LGBT+ identities in educative communities. The purpose of Steven's narrative inquiry study was to understand how teachers' stories reflected the degree in which they give voice or contribute to the silence around LGBTQ-inclusive topics in history and the social studies.
"This dissertation is dedicated to all students who hold an identity which lives on the margins, and to all of the teachers who have worked to make them feel as if they belonged in the center with everyone else."
Jayson Caluag - Graphic Designer
Jayson is a graphic designer and branding specialist from the Philippines. The son of a former teacher, Jayson began earning money for his calligraphy work on student diplomas at the age of 12. And before graduating from college, he had his first exhibit. As a career choice, Jayson shifted to digital media after earning his degree in Fine Arts.
The influence of Jayson's early start in traditional art is woven into his creativity, and his talent is woven into every aspect of History UnErased's instructional materials. A hallmark ofJayson's work is his extensive research to ensure every detail is historically accurate, educative, and reflective of History UnErased's values.
Warren Blumenfeld - Curriculum Developer and Consultant
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is former Associate Professor in the School of Education, Iowa State University, and current Lecturer in the College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Also author of The What, the So What, and the Now What of Social Justice Education (Peter Lang Publishers), Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense) and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).
Dr. Blumenfeld was an active member of the Student Anti-War Movement in the 1960s, the Gay Liberation Front of San Jose State University, California and Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s, Queer Nation of the 1990s, and ACT UP Boston (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) 1989-1994. Warren consistently understands the intersectionality of social identities and the numerous forms of oppression and takes a holistic social justice approach to progressive social change.
Marilyn Valiente - Outreach and Lead Generation Specialist
Marilyn is from the Philippines, and after 18 years she has re-entered the workforce and devoted herself to advancing History UnErased's mission (while raising three children). In her own words: I am dedicated to this mission because I believe education is the best way to change the world. I am so happy to be a part of a community working to end stigma and open minds by bringing LGBT+ history into the classroom. I believe this will make our community better for all of our children, whether they are LGBT+ or not.
Johan Hoyos - Lead Web Application Development
Johan has designed, created, and implemented innovative technological and web application solutions that sing! Johan applies his repertoire of architectural patterns to ensure History UnErased’s presentation to the world is streamlined and meaningful. Johan is a small business owner whose skills and excellent attention to detail provide high quality technological solutions. The HUE team is tremendously proud of him!
Fun fact: Johan was a former student of HUE's co-founders.
Stacie Brensilver Berman - Curriculum Developer and Lead Trainer
Before returning to school to pursue a PhD in Social Studies Education at New York University, Stacie taught U.S. History for ten years at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. Her dissertation, Behind the Times: The Struggle to Include LGBTQ History in High School U.S. History Classes, examines the absence of this history in resources available to teachers, as well as the benefits and impact reported by educators who do incorporate LGBTQ history in their classes.