Shakti Castro is a public historian and harm reductionist skilled at community engagement and dedicated to creating inclusive and welcoming experiences through culturally sensitive exhibitions and public programming in and out of museums and historic sites.
As a graduate student, Shakti contributed digital content to the Humanities Action Lab project, States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories and worked closely with the recently established UMass Oral History Lab. Shakti also helped create an oral history project to document the Puerto Rican and Latinx history of Holyoke, Massachusetts during her time as a graduate intern at Wistariahurst Museum. Most recently, she received a competitive graduate fellowship through the Smithsonian Latino Center and spent summer 2017 working in the MedSci division of the National Museum of American History. Prior to her graduate training, Shakti worked as an oral historian and research assistant at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at CUNY, conducting over 30 oral history interviews. She holds a B.A. in English literature and Media Studies from Hunter College and a Master’s in History with a certificate in Public History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Her current position at BOOM!Health builds on her summer research at the Smithsonian on opioid use, harm reduction, and drug policy reform. As Community Engagement Coordinator at BOOM!’s Harm Reduction Center, Shakti is exploring how public historians can serve communities outside of traditional public history settings.
Shakti’s writing has appeared in La Respuesta, Warscapes, LatinoRebels, Public History News, and the Women in Higher Education newsletter. She has given talks at the CUNY Graduate Center, Binghamton University, and conferences for the Puerto Rican Studies and Oral History Associations.
Shakti is available for public speaking engagements and consulting work on inclusive public history projects and exhibitions related to Puerto Rican & Latinx studies, New York City history, and harm reduction. Contact her here.