In celebration and support of Pride Month, Morehouse College is sharing its inaugural “Profiles of Pride” series, which will highlight the life, experience, and successes of a selection of the College’s own students, alumni, faculty, and staff who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. These people are a few of many who embody the Morehouse mission of leading lives of leadership and service with disciplined minds.
Born and raised on the south side of Columbus, Ohio, City Council President Shannon Hardin ‘09 is committed to building an equitable future that works for every resident in Columbus. As Columbus grows, Council President Hardin is focused on fostering an inclusive economy by partnering to build mass transit and affordable housing, empowering small and minority businesses, and bridging opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color. Regardless of the issue, Council President Hardin views public policy through the saying, “If it’s not for all, then it’s not for us.”
Prior to joining Council, Council President Hardin served as the External Affairs Manager, LGBTQ liaison, and was on the Religious Advisory Commission for the Office of Mayor Michael B. Coleman. In these positions, Council President Hardin provided a strong voice for the community in city government, working with Columbus City Council to ensure that the City earned a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. In addition to creating a more queer-inclusive city, Councilmember Hardin developed programs around violence intervention ( APPS), African-American wellness ( AAMI), and anti-recidivism ( Restoration Academy).
Council President Hardin earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse and is a proud member of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Council President Hardin is married to Ben Zachrich and, together, they are raising their newborn son Noah, and their four-legged children, Teddy & Bella.
What does "Pride" mean to you?:
“When I think about pride and the LGBTQ community, I feel both grateful and determined. Grateful for those who came before me. Those who blazed a trail in Columbus when it was even less safe to be different. But I’m also determined because, as you all know, we have so much work left to do. Pride means celebration and resolve for the fights ahead.”
What advice would you give your younger self?:
“It's ok to be black, gay, progressive, and young. People are more ready for it than you think they are.”