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HerStory: Learn more about Danielle Lutman and her why for choosing empowering communities as her life journey in advocacy and leadership.

Meet Danielle – a passionate educator and advocate on a mission to drive equity in higher education. Armed with a Master’s in Social Work and a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies & Sociology, Danielle is currently navigating the exciting journey of pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies. #HerStory is woven with a deep commitment to strengthening communities and championing various causes, including LGBTQ rights, racial equity, reproductive justice, and women’s rights.

Her impactful journey began back in 2010 during her undergraduate years at UToledo, where she actively worked towards achieving Gender Neutral Housing and Bathrooms on campus. Not stopping there, she played a crucial role in organizing Take Back the Night Toledo, a grassroots event shedding light on sexual and domestic violence. In 2017, Danielle earned her Master’s in Social Work and took the lead in initiating the LGBTQA+ mentoring program, SUCCEED, connecting students with supportive faculty and staff.

Her dedication shines through other initiatives that include fundraising efforts for families affected by the Lead Crisis in Flint, MI. Stepping into roles such as Program Coordinator for LGBTQA+ Initiatives and later the LGBTQA+ Liaison at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Danielle worked tirelessly towards institutional change at UToledo. She drafted the University’s LGBTQA+ Strategic Plan for Diversity, coordinated Toledo Pride, and introduced the Big Gay Welcome, fostering inclusivity across campus.

Expanding her influence, Danielle embraced additional responsibilities at the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women in 2019. Serving as the Program Manager for Gender Equity Student Initiatives, she spearheaded the creation of impactful leadership programs, including a summer fellowship addressing the gender pay gap. Notably, she also championed Student Parent Initiatives, organizing the first-ever Toy Drive for UToledo student parents.

We asked Danielle about her 'big leap' in 2023. She shared, that in September 2023, she took on the role of Associate Director at the Eberly Center. We at Women of Toledo are very excited about Danielle's new role and continue working in collaboration with the Eberly Center too. Collaborating with the Sexual Health Coalition, Danielle worked to expand access to essential resources and championed initiatives for period equity.

But Danielle's involvement goes beyond her professional roles. Actively engaged in local and alumni communities, she co-founded the LGBTQA+ Alumni Affiliate, serving as vice president, co-presides over the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund, dedicated to affordable reproductive care in Northwest Ohio, and also contributes to organizations like the American Association for University Women Toledo Branch and the Social Justice Committee of the Human Relations Commission with the City of Toledo.

What advice would you give to other women who are working and growing their careers? Follow your heart and trust your gut! You're going to end up in so many spaces: spaces you never knew about, spaces you were told weren't for you, spaces you question if you're ready for. You belong in absolutely all of those spaces & so many more! Remember that and remind your people they belong in their spaces too. Finding folks who genuinely care about your growth and development might not happen as frequently as we hope, so cherish the relationships with those who are genuinely supporting you on your journey.

"As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think."

-Toni Morrison

Thank you Danielle for sharing your story via our #HerStory campaign and blog!

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