Susan Harden oral history interview, 2020 April 15
Susan Harden was a UNC Charlotte professor and Mecklenburg County Commissioner in April of 2019 when an active shooter took the lives of two students and injured four others on campus. Dr. Harden discusses how she responded to the shooting as both a faculty member and elected official. On the night of April 30th, 2019, Dr. Harden spoke with media outlets and with concerned parents and family members at the Emergency Center erected in the parking lot of the Town Center Plaza shopping mall on University City Boulevard. She remembers speaking to Reid Parlier's father prior to the release of the victim's names, discussing the Kennedy building where she herself taught, and what types of classes were held there. Dr. Harden had been a part of the organization Moms Demand Action and remembers a UNC Charlotte student group, Real Change Now, forming in the wake of the shooting. She spoke at the March For Our Lives press conference held at UNC Charlotte on Friday, May 3rd, a few days after the shooting, and continues to believe that elected officials did not do enough in response to the tragedy and have failed to pass measures to keep students safe. The University asked Dr. Harden to develop and teach curriculum for faculty surrounding best practices in "Teaching Through Tragedy" without triggering students. Dr. Harden considers this responsibility an honor and a positive contribution to UNC Charlotte during a tragic time.