“We’re better when were talking to and learning from one another.”
The Cafe Society hopes community members want to talk.
Members of the Shepherdstown Community Club and Shepherd University’s Lifelong Learning Advisory Board are working together to provide a new opportunity for community engagement.
The ‘Cafe Society,’ is a widely known concept that’s been practiced in communities across the country.
According to their official mission statement, the project is intended to produce greater media literacy through “a more informed and engaged public.”
Art Wineburg and Mike Austin discussed the positive impact such a opportunity for engagement could have on the Shepherdstown community.
“We want to have an open dialogue,” Austin said.
“Just to kind of stimulate thinking and broaden the variety of information that people have to share.”
Wineburg said that at each week’s “Cafe Society,” there will be a different topic of conversation.
No lecture will be presented, instead guests will be given a set of facts to help facilitate the conversation.
Issues like economic inequality, racial justice, food, globalization, music and media are all possible areas of concentration.
Austin said he thinks it’s an opportunity to tap into the wealth resources this community has offer in its retired professionals.
“We have all this talent in the community.”
“We’re very rich in terms of experienced people with a quite interesting variety of skills,” he said.
Austin said that relevant social, political and cultural knowledge could be an asset to Shepherd University students in particular.
“We might have a cogent idea to share. We might be an interesting person to have a conversation with,” he said with a laugh.
Wineburg said he also looks forward to the opportunity to hear from younger people and people from a variety of backgrounds, as the cafe will be open to the entire public.
“It’s refreshing to be around young people with new ideas,” Austin agreed.
The first meeting will take place Tuesday, March 11, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in the Rumsey Room in the Shepherd University Student Center.