Making Queer History Public Episode 3: Preserving Queer History in Classrooms with Dr. Lori Burns and Kate Okeson

The third episode of Making Queer History Public features interviews conducted in 2020 with educators and activists Dr. Lori Burns and Kate Okeson, who have been on the frontlines of preserving queer history and topics in our classrooms for years. Today, we will discuss their fight for New Jersey’s first inclusive education law. Hosted by veteran educator, Rachel Pitkin, we take a deep dive into what an inclusive education looks like and the efforts utilized by Lori and Kate to make this law a reality.

For this episode, we also interviewed Ashley Chiappano Riker, Safe Schools and Community Education Manager at Garden State Equality. We were unable to use this audio in our finished episode.

Check out these resources to learn more about efforts to incorporate and preserve LGBTQ+ history topics in our classrooms: 

SHEC (Social History Project for Every Classroom):

Make it Better for Youth:

Garden State Equality:

Hidden Voices: LGBTQ+ Stories in United States History:…

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network):

ONE Institute (Formerly the One Archives Foundation):

“Looking Back, Looking Up, Moving Forward: A Survey of Social Studies in New Jersey Schools,” New Jersey Historical Commission (2022):

Rebekah Bruesehoff:



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