Thumbnail of speaker LaVar J. Charleston.


LaVar J. Charleston

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion

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.

Speaking in

Day One Welcome

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

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.

Day Two Welcome

Day 2: November 15, 2023 | 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Welcome

Chief Diversity Officer LaVar J. Charleston and Provost Charles Lee Isbell Jr. welcome attendees to day two of the Diversity Forum conference. Oneida Nation of WI Professor, School of Human Ecology, Carolee Dodge Francis will provide the Native Nations Tribute.

Religious Identity and Belonging: A Conversation with Faith Leaders

Day 2: November 15, 2023 | 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., Main Session

Campus community faith leaders Rabbi Andrea Steinberger, Reverend Erica Liu, and Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes will discuss the role that religion plays in our intersecting identities and how we might move forward collectively in community, though we may have religious differences.