As a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Horacio Sierra is tasked with advising President Biden on cultural policy.
The appointment, he said, “felt like an acknowledgment of my professional work broadening students’ cultural horizons and promoting the importance of the humanities in a well-rounded education that produces thoughtful, creative and engaged citizens.”
Sierra, 39, is a tenured English professor at Bowie State University in Maryland, where he created the first queer studies course at a historically black college. Sierra has also taught courses on U.S. Hispanic literature, popular music, graphic novels and Shakespeare and film.
Activism started early for the Miami native. As a teen, he made calls to voters convincing them to stop the repeal of Miami-Dade County’s sexual orientation-inclusive human rights ordinance and had opinion pieces published in The Miami Herald. Today, Sierra leads the Cuban American Democrats, using those keen writing skills to refute Communism scare tactics often deployed by Republicans.
“I’ve always felt that you had to walk the walk and not just talk the talk,” he said. “Whether it’s testifying at Gainesville City Hall for LGBT people to be treated equally before the law or participating in peaceful Black Lives Matter marches in Coconut Grove, my biggest concern is why more people aren’t doing the same. Complacency is the death knell of democracy.”
Sierra married Dallas Clay Williams in 2022 and this year the couple became fathers through surrogacy.
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