I’m a public historian and harm reduction advocate, 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, I 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. I also helped create an oral history project to document the Puerto Rican and Latinx history of Holyoke, Massachusetts during my time as a graduate intern at Wistariahurst Museum. Most recently, I 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 my graduate training, I worked as an oral historian and research assistant at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at CUNY, conducting over 30 oral history interviews. I hold 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.

My current position at BOOM!Health builds on my summer research at the Smithsonian on opioid use, harm reduction, and drug policy reform. As Community Engagement Coordinator at BOOM!’s Harm Reduction Center,I am exploring how public historians can serve communities outside of traditional public history settings.

My writing has appeared in La Respuesta, Warscapes, LatinoRebels, Public History News, and the Women in Higher Education newsletter. I have given talks at the CUNY Graduate Center, Binghamton University, and conferences for the Puerto Rican Studies and Oral History Associations.

I am 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 me here.



One response to “About

  1. Hello Shakti,

    Based on who I follow on Twitter, Twitter recommended I follow you as well.
    I am a Boricua-Dominicana mix, born in Manhattan and raised in Queens. When I attended Hunter College I got to learn about and frequent el Centro and it was at Hunter where I took Latina feminism classes and Puerto Rican and Dominican cultural identity ones as well.
    I’m a mother of 2 and write when I can. Like you, I believe in community and in connecting with other like-minded individuals (and not so like-minded too!) Thank you for the opportunity to comment and introduce ourselves here, feel free to contact me, take care!
    Tennille Astor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s