Profiles in Change:
We are proud to highlight the accomplishments of some of our fellow Dartmouth Alums. If you know of an alum who has found innovative ways to make change happen, who has created something, or who has just done something interesting, please contact us.

Heather Halstead '97 - Reach The World geography education
Heather Halstead '97 founded Reach the World in 1998 to broaden the horizons of students in underserved public schools by connecting them online in their classrooms to real-world international voyages that spark their interest in geography and world cultures. Today, Reach the World has served more than 8,000 students in New York City and Chicago, bringing together the thrill of round-the-world sailing trips with best-in-class tools for geographic education.
posted by Karsten A. Barde 04 | updated October 8, 2007

Sixth Annual Social Justice Awards
The culmination of Dartmouth's MLK celebration, the Social Justice Awards recognize community members and organizations whose work exemplifies the principles of Martin Luther King Jr. This year's recipients are: Paul Holzer '00, Thomas W. Wahman '60, Karen Kramer Hein DMS'68, Jim Butterworth Tuck '91, The Mascoma Clinic, and the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) program. Read their bios at .
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated January 18, 2007

Young Alums Making A Difference at Boston Charter School
From teachers, tutors, and volunteers, to the school's new principal, there are signs of Dartmouth everywhere at MATCH--a new Boston school whose purpose is to transform young people on the verge of failure into college--bound high school seniors. Jorge Miranda '01, Tony Luckett '01, Tara Kyle '04, Bryant Ho '05, Brian Burgess '05 and Kate Nugent '06 find fulfillment in making a difference in the lives of high school students in Boston. Read more online at (text courtesy of YADA)
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated January 2, 2007

Neal Katyal '91 Wins Guantanamo Decision in the Supreme Court
This month's Dartmouth Alumni Magazine highlighted Neil Katyal's outstanding representation of Guantanamo detainee Hamdan, resulting in a sweeping Supreme Court decision this week condemning the overreaching of executive power. Click to see a short description of the article from Law as well as an earlier posting by the Dartmouth student organization BuzzFlood.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated July 2, 2006

Alumni, Students Honored at Annual Social Justice Awards Ceremony
Recipients of the 2006 Social Justice Awards were the late Meleia Willis-Starbuck '07, Matthew Wilson '83, Thokozani Xaba '89, Nick Kotz '55, and Grace Paley '98H. Three student organizations, the Darfur Action Group, Outdoor Leadership Experience, and Engineers Without Borders, were also honored. The awards were established in 2002 to recognize alumni, faculty, administrators, staff, student groups, and friends of the College who have contributed significantly to peace, civil rights, education, public health, environmental, or social justice.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated April 1, 2006

David Dawley '63 & his work with the Chicago-based Vice Lords
Go to for a fascinating article on the work of David Dawley '63 in the late 1960s. He helped convert a street gang in Chicago to a community-based organization. About his work, Dawley is quoted as saying "�We showed, at least for a few minutes, that we could change the world.� You can read even more in Dawley's 1973 book "A Nation of Lords," available at
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated March 29, 2006

Matt Souka '04 - Founder of the Hopscotch Network
Matt Souka '04 founded the Hopscotch Network, which mobilizes socially conscious young adults to support established non-profits dedicated to improving the lives of children through educational and life-improving support. There are currently chapters in San Francisco and New York City.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated April 24, 2005

Keith Boykin '87

Keith is a prominent national political activist on issues related to the intersection of race and sexuality. Keith went to Harvard Law School, worked in the Clinton administration, and has written several books on Black America and the need to construct a more inclusive society. Included here is his bio as well as an article on his meeting with Louis Farrakhan.

from his website -

Born on the anniversary of Dr. King�s famous March on Washington, Keith Boykin has become one of the nation's leading commentators on race, sexuality and politics. A former White House aide to President Clinton, Keith is also a New York Times bestselling author, reality television star, lawyer, educator and activist.

Keith appeared on the Showtime television series American Candidate and is a frequent presence in the media. He has appeared on VH1, BET, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and numerous other television and radio programs. He has been featured on the cover of several publications including A&U, Out and The Advocate, and he was selected as one of Out Magazine's 100 most intriguing people of 2004. He has also been featured or quoted in articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and JET magazine.

After graduating from Dartmouth College, Keith spent a year and a half working for the Dukakis for President Campaign and then entered Harvard Law School, where he was a leader in the campus diversity movement and general editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. When he received his J.D. from Harvard, Keith turned down a lucrative offer to work for a major California law firm so he could join the Clinton/Gore Campaign in Arkansas. Afterwards, he became a Special Assistant to the President and Director of Specialty Media. Once the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Clinton White House, Keith helped to organize and participated in the nation's first meeting between gay and lesbian leaders and a U.S. President.

Keith left the White House to write his first book, One More River to Cross, and has since become an award-winning author, a political lecturer, a college professor and an ambassador for change in America. He has written for the Village Voice, San Francisco Chronicle, the St. Petersburg Times, The Advocate, Black Issues Book Review and Crisis Magazine. His syndicated column appears in several newspapers across the country, including the New York Blade, the Washington Blade, The Southern Voice and The Houston Voice.

In 1997, President Clinton appointed Keith to the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe, along with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King and Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater. He now serves as president of the board of the National Black Justice Coalition.

A popular lecturer, Keith has traveled to 16 countries and 48 of the 50 United States. His new book, Beyond the Down Low, was released in February 2005 and immediately shot to the New York Times bestsellers list. Currently, he writes daily commentary on his website,, which averages more than 70,000 hits per day, making it the leading website of its kind. Keith was born in St. Louis, Missouri and lives in New York City.


The Day I Hugged Louis Farrakhan
By Keith Boykin
March 3, 2005 05:32 AM
in sexuality

If black America is able to end the homophobia in our community, a recent event in Atlanta may mark the turning point in that conversation.

When I first heard that Tavis Smiley's annual "State of the Black Union" event would take place this year at Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, I was very concerned. A few months earlier, Long--the pastor of a 25,000-member black megachurch--had led a controversial march against gay marriage that started at Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. Center. "To march from the King Center against the rights of gays and lesbians is a slap in the face to Dr. King," I said at the time.

So why hold an event at Long's church? Under pressure from critics, Smiley explained that the venue was chosen, in part, because it was large enough to accommodate thousands of audience members who could attend the event for free. It was not an endorsement of Bishop Long's politics, Smiley explained. He was right.

Much to my surprise, Smiley invited not one, but two, openly gay presenters to participate in the C-SPAN televised event. Black AIDS Institute director Phill Wilson and I both took part in the event, along with several leading figures in the black community, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Princeton professor Cornel West and University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson.

Smiley seemed to join with a number of the panelists in challenging Bishop Long's political agenda. While sitting on the same stage with Long in the middle of his own "sanctuary," a number of prominent panelists questioned Long's participation in an earlier orchestrated White House meeting between black religious leaders and President Bush.

At first it seemed the real value of the day was that Long was forced to defend his positions in his own church before members of his own congregation, but there were other stunning developments as well. During a press conference with the panelists, Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, announced that women and gays would be encouraged to participate in the 10th anniversary observance of the Million Man March to be held this October. "The makeup will be our people, whoever we are," said Farrakhan. "Male, female, gay, straight, white, dark, rich, poor, ignorant, wise." Farrakhan added, "We are family. We will be coming together to discuss family business."

After the press conference, I went up to Farrakhan backstage and I introduced myself. "Minister Farrakhan," I said, while shaking his hand, "My name is Keith Boykin, and I am a black gay man. And I want to thank you for your inclusive comments about gays in the Million Man March." Without missing a beat, Farrakhan responded to me with a long, warm embrace. "Brother, I love you," he said as we hugged. "We are all part of the family. We are all part of the same community." This from the same leader who had once seemed to advocate death to gays. That historic encounter marked a dramatic shift in the Nation of Islam's long troubled relationship with the LGBT community. If Louis Farrakhan can grow and evolve, there is hope for the rest of black America too.

There were other breakthroughs that day. Rev. Jackson aptly summed up the problem and the challenge for black America in his remarks. "Last time in 2004 a number of blacks got distracted by non-budget, private morality issues rather than public policy issues," he said. Jackson dismissed the ridiculous antigay argument made by some black preachers that gays did not have to sit in the back of the bus as blacks did. "There were gay whites and gay blacks in Jim Crow," he said. "The gay whites didn't have to sit in the back of the bus, nor march for the right to vote," he said, but black gays did.

For his part, Professor Michael Eric Dyson cited the contributions of black gays and lesbians like James Baldwin and Audre Lorde who had helped to shape the civil rights movement. And Dyson, Jackson and I delivered our remarks in the middle of a black Baptist church with a public reputation for homophobia.

Of course the day was not without its challenges. The program almost ended on a sour note when a fiery female evangelist delivered a fiercely homophobic benediction. With our hands joined, heads bowed and eyes closed, the evangelist claimed that God did not create homosexuals. It was as if she had not listened to anything that the panelists had said. But there was one saving grace. For the first time in my experience, I saw a large number of black people in a black church refuse to condone the homophobia from the pulpit. I stopped praying with the evangelist and opened my eyes to discover that many audience members opened their eyes and stopped praying as well. It was a small step, but that day we stood up for the principle that religion should be used as a tool for love and not a weapon of hate.

Despite my initial misgivings, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church turned out to be the perfect place to hold the event. What better place to confront the homophobia of the black church than in the black church itself.

posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | posted March 3, 2005 | contact poster

Six to receive Social Justice Awards from Dartmouth
January 10, 2005: The College will honor those who have made significant contributions to the fields of civil rights, education, environmental justice, public service and public health in its annual Social Justice Awards ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated January 18, 2005

Two alumni receive public service awards
September 19, 2003. The William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College has announced the latest recipients of its Lester B. Granger '18 award for outstanding public service by a Dartmouth graduate. This year's winners are Theresa Ellis '97 and Michael Stern '59.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated November 5, 2003

Dartmouth alums found Democrats 2020
While we are a non-partisan organization, we would like to highlight the work of 2 alums - Josh Green '00 and Jorge Miranda '01 - who recently founded Democrats 2020.
posted by Miranda Johnson '97 | updated November 5, 2003

alums for social change