The newest member of the ODI team, Jennifer Castro is proud to have grown up in Providence, Rhode Island, as the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Her life has been shaped by her experiences as a disabled woman of color of African descent. As she works to create equity in higher education, she calls on her experiences as a first-generation undergraduate, graduate, and now doctoral student.
Jennifer joins the Harvard Chan School from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was associate director of intercultural learning and development and the coordinator for Project Thrive, a program for first-generation college students. Before that, Jennifer worked at Lesley University, where she served as director of multicultural affairs & student inclusion and assistant director of the Urban Scholars Initiative.
Jennifer’s practice within higher education and student affairs focuses on the design and facilitation of social justice education, building critical consciousness in faculty, staff and students, and organizational development using equity and inclusion frameworks. She has provided services, training and consultation related to social identity, social justice, cultural diversity, and inclusion. In her new role at Harvard Chan School, Jennifer seeks to encourage cultural competence, community building, connecting across differences, coalition building, and solidarity.
Jennifer holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human development and family studies from the University of Rhode Island. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in education policy, organization, and leadership, with a focus on diversity and equity in education, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.