Day One Welcome

Day 1: November 14, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Varsity Hall

Session Video

Session Description

Chief Diversity Officer Dr. LaVar J. Charleston and Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin will open the Diversity Forum, with a special Native Nations Tribute by Twin Tails Singers.


LaVar J. Charleston

LaVar J. Charleston, Ph.D., is the deputy vice chancellor for diversity & inclusion at UW–Madison. He serves as vice provost and chief diversity officer for the university as well as the Elzie Higginbottom director of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA).

Dr. Charleston provides overall leadership for the university’s efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning and working environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who work with the university. Along with the staff of the DDEEA, he partners with leadership in the university’s schools, colleges and divisions, as well as shared governance groups, to create policies that promote equity and social justice while fostering a sense of belonging for all members of the UW community. Dr. Charleston oversees the administration of scholarship and service programs designed to increase diversity and foster equity and inclusion for students, faculty and staff at the university. A first-generation college graduate and Badger alumnus from Detroit, Dr. Charleston earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the UW–Madison School of Education in 2007 and 2010.

Thumbnail of speaker LaVar J. Charleston.

Twin Tails Singers

Twin Tails Singers is a student-led powwow drum group. They perform at UW-Madison powwows, events, graduations and various community gatherings. 


Thumbnail of speaker  Twin Tails Singers.

Jennifer Mnookin

Jennifer L. Mnookin, J.D., Ph.D., is the 30th leader of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a national expert on law, forensic science and evidence, and has deep experience as an innovative and talented administrator.

Prior to joining UW–Madison, Chancellor Mnookin served as dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law. She first joined the UCLA Law faculty in 2005, she served as Vice Dean for Faculty and Research from 2007 to 2009, and Vice Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Intellectual Life in 2012–13. She became dean in 2015.

She received her A.B. from Harvard University, her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in History and Social Study of Science and Technology from M.I.T.

In 2020, Chancellor Mnookin was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. She served for six years on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Science, Technology and Law, and co-chaired a group of senior advisors for a President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on the use of forensic science in criminal courts.

Thumbnail of speaker Jennifer Mnookin.