Renae Ogletree

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Renae Ogletree

Renae Ogletree is a Chicago gay activist. She is currently the Director of Student Development for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in the Office of High School Programs[1].

In this role Renae works with more than 100 high schools throughout the city to implement an academic menu that is integrated with a program framework that includes the social and emotional learning (SEL) needs of youth.


Professionally, Renae Ogletree has more than 30 years of leadership experience in serving youth and has done so through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, the Better Boys Foundation, and Chapin Hall Center for Children. She is now executive director of the Chicago Youth Agency Partnership[2].

She has helped to open a shelter for homeless youth, consulted with the Chicago Park District on services infrastructures, and conducted research and grants work for the Chicago Community Trust[3].

Most recently, she has led a YouthMapping project, in which gay and lesbian youth aged 14 to 23 from Horizons Community Services’ Youth Services program join youth from five other Chicago-area programs to canvass Chicago neighborhoods in order to identify and document businesses, services, and programs of value to youth. The program is a first and will produce a database for use in city and service-organization planning.

Gay activism

Renae Ogletree is a board member of Yahimba, a networking organization for lesbians of African descent. She has also participated in the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and on the Chicago Police Department’s 23d District Gay and Lesbian Advisory Committee.

Ogletree cofounded and co-chairs Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays, an organization that aims to make lesbian and gay Chicagoans more visible in the city’s African American community. She played an active part in planning the four Unity Conferences that have been held since the group’s inception[4].

After recognizing a need to establish a safe, supportive environment in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Chicagoans could discuss issues of race and class, she also served as a founding member of The Color Triangle. And she has served as an organizer of the annual Pride Sunday event at Chicago’s Belmont Rocks, where thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered African Americans gather to celebrate strength and unity.

Health activism

As a health care activist, Ogletree has confronted issues of class, race, and sexual orientation.She has brought black churches into discussions on homophobia and HIV and AIDS. She serves on the Lesbian Community Cancer Project board of directors, helping to ensure a supportive environment for lesbian health care[5].

Obama delegate

In 2008 three LGBT individuals—Mike Bauer, Lauren Verdich and David Munar—were among those selected May 5 by the Illinois Democratic Party Convention to be at-large delegates for Sen. Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention. Another, Jackie Kaplan, was elected in the 5th Congressional District.

In addition, lesbian Renae Ogletree, also an Obama delegate, was among seven chosen to be on the Platform Committee. The Platform Committee—which is responsible for drafting and recommending a proposed national platform for approval at the Democratic National Convention—is one of three 'standing committees' of the 2008 Democratic National Convention[6].

Renae Ogletree told Windy City Times Aug. 28 from Denver;

'It's a tremendous honor to be here at the convention and be part of such an incredible time in our history. I'm here as a very proud African-American lesbian from Chicago. I've been able to talk to legislators and others about the needs of gay youth within the education system and housing.