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Shepherd professors connect with the community in new lecture series

By Staff | Apr 22, 2019

Chiquita Howard-Bostic, chair of Shepherd’s sociology and geography departments, spoke on “Grow What You Are Given: The Personal is Political" during Sunday's Lectures and Libations event at the Town Run Tap House and Community Pub. Thomas Girod

SHEPHERDSTOWN Shepherd University’s new educational series, Lectures and Libations, hosted its second event this past weekend at Town Run Tap House, where passionate professors were met with an engaged community.

Lectures and Libations aims to reach the community outside the grounds of the university by offering a setting in the community pub. During the second Lectures and Libations event on Sunday afternoon, Laurie Cohen, a Shepherd economics and finance professor, and Chiquita Howard-Bostic, chair of Shepherd’s sociology and geography departments, were given a new platform for their professions. The event amassed a large number of attendees prepared to learn from both speakers, eat Chicago-style hot-dogs and engage in a post lecture question-and-answer session.

According to the Lectures and Libations Facebook advertisement, the series is “Shepherd professors serving up bite-sized talks for their big ideas.” For Howard-Bostic, that big idea was Black Feminism, difference management in her presentation, “Grow What You Are Given: The Personal is Political.”

“As a messenger, I am here to make a movement with you here now,” Howard-Bostic said, as she spoke in front of the audience.

Howard-Bostic is accomplished in various academic accolades and published research. Her extensive research is aimed at embracing diversity and promoting social justice initiatives, or, “freedom work that confronts isms.”

“First, all bodies are human and the experiences of individuals should not be discounted because of their race or ethnic backgrounds or their genders and sexualities,” she said. “Second, being different is amazing and by understanding how different people are on an individual level, is useful for overcoming cultural biases and structural discrimination. Last, even when there are biases, teamwork and unity are valuable tools in creating social change.”

For “Chicago: Futures Markets and Hot Dogs,” Cohen related the multi-ethnic sausage to the success of Chicago’s meat and how it made the city a major merchandise trader.

“To be a successful trader, you have to be quick on your feet, street-savvy and heavily disciplined,” Cohen said, mentioning she worked as a futures trader in Chicago for almost 30 years.

Lectures and Libations is holding its third event at Town Run Tap House and Community Pub, with speakers Heidi Hanrahan and Lois Jarman, on April 14. The event is free and open to the public.