Congratulations to Wagner College history professor Lori R. Weintrob who, on Friday, Sept. 20, was honored by the Pride Center of Staten Island with its Community Enrichment Award.
Weintrob is a community-engaged educational leader at Wagner College. For 25 years, Lori has integrated the study of LGBTQ+ issues into her global and U.S. history courses. She has mentored many LGBTQ+ students, encouraged research on topics of LGBTQ+ leadership and civil rights, and organized fieldtrips to LGBTQ public memorials and museums, near and far (including Berlin). She is very proud of her Wagner College students, colleagues and alumni who have been pioneers in LGBTQ+ and human rights work, including professors Cyril Ghosh and Jean Halley, New York City firefighter Brooke Guinan ’08, attorney Tara Scavo ’00, and many others.
In 2011, when Weintrob launched a borough-wide effort to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the European settlement of Staten Island, alongside historian Phillip Papas, they made sure that LGBT issues were valorized. She worked with Pride Center Director Ralph Vogel to interview and create a preliminary timeline of LGBTQ history on Staten Island, from lesbian bars to the rainbow curriculum initiative. She invited Staten Island LGBT community leaders Chris Bauer, Jim Smith and others to offer eyewitness testimony of the grassroots movement.
Since 2014, when Weintrob founded the first Holocaust Center on Staten Island at Wagner College, she worked with Lisa Sloan, deputy director of the Pride Center, to create programs exploring gay, lesbian and transgender identities in pre-war and WWII Germany (“Lavender Days,” “Transgender Berlin”). This partnership led to an ambitious effort to rename a street for celebrated lesbian poet-activist Audre Lorde, who lived for two decades on Staten Island’s St. Paul’s Avenue. Weintrob is very proud to have contributed to memorializing this self-described “black, lesbian, mother, poet, warrior.”
Lori Weintrob is dedicated to inspiring others to “not be a bystander.” In teaching about the Holocaust at local schools, like Lavelle and New Ventures Charter Schools, Lori emphasizes the need to stand up against all forms of prejudice. For her efforts in building bridges with many immigrant, interfaith and cultural groups, Lori has been honored as a Staten Island Advance “Woman of Achievement.” Lori also co-authored a play, “Rise Up: Young Holocaust Heroes,” with Obie-winning playwright Martin Moran (“All the Rage”) and actor Theresa McCarthy, a Wagner College Theatre professor. Weintrob has written articles and edited books on French and American history, including “Discovering Staten Island: A 350th Anniversary Commemorative History.”
With her partner Phil Papas, Lori Weintrob shares a daughter, Sophia, and a mini-Australian shepherd, Apollo. Her older daughter Joelle, an aspiring actor and a graduate of LaGuardia High School, is living in Los Angeles. Peter Papas, Weintrob’s brother-in-law, is founder of Blade and Blue, an American-made clothing company that supports LGBTQ organizations.