Initiatives for Diversity and Equity
Thursday, March 3, 2022 | Virtual | 6-8:30 p.m. | Invisible Systems Flyer
This Documentary Viewing and Community Dialogue was hosted by the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and Shenandoah University. The documentary Invisible Systems can be found on Vimeo. The breakout sessions that followed can be found at the links provided, along with the panel discussion. Four incredible speakers joined the panel at this event. Dr. Lorenda Chisolm, Member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Assist. Superintendent of Teaching & Learning in Schenectady, NY and adjunct faculty in the Graduate School of Education at Medaille College; Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, Associate VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, department chair of Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice and an Associate Professor of Sociology at Shepherd University; Dr. Hakeem Leonard, Assistant Provost for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity and Associate Professor of Music Therapy at Shenandoah University; and Audrey Rowe, Nationally known feminist and civil rights activist and serves as a Board Member of the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV.
|Breakout Session 1||Breakout Session 2||Breakout Session 3||Panel Discussion|
Thursday, March 10, 2022 | EOB Auditorium | 6-8:00 p.m. | Reading Initiative Flyer
“Empowering Community Through Reading” was a partnership between Shepherd University’s School of Education, Office for Diversity and Equity, Kappa Delta Pi education honor society, WISE Empowerment student leaders, Shepherd University President’s Club, Jefferson County Schools, Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communication’s ListenLearnEngage Initiative, Jefferson Security Bank, and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. The event was live-streamed and can be found on YouTube.
During the kickoff event, guest speaker Ronald Jones, founder and principal consultant of leadership facilitation company DareIILead (pronounced Dare to Lead), and the project team honored Jefferson County Magistrate Arthena Roper and Wright Denny Elementary School third-grader Anyé Polite for their accomplishments in education and literacy leadership. Roper is the first African American to take the judicial bench as a magistrate in Jefferson County and has worked to advance literacy and equity goals in West Virginia and Jefferson County over the past 30 years through her roles in WVU Extension Services, Jefferson County Schools, Jefferson County Board of Education, and as the founder of the 44 College Ready Foundation, Inc. Roper was recognized for her leadership in the community and for publishing three children’s books, “The Adventures of Smart Boys,” “Smart Girls Rock” and “Smart Kids Rock.” As part of this reading initiative, all 601 second-graders in Jefferson County received a copy of “Smart Kids Rock.” Anyé Polite was recognized and celebrated for reading more than 100 books in the spring and summer of 2021. Polite was receive a signed set of Roper’s books and read a selection from her favorite book to commemorate the event’s theme.
Monday, March 21, 2022 | Virtual | 6:00-7:30 p.m. | Reading Readiness Flyer
This event offered an intellectually and socially safe learning environment that encourages educators and learners to be comfortable in their own cultural identities. We helped participants discuss Black History using culturally responsive, multicultural, and social justice lenses. Two presenters, Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic (Shepherd University) and Tanya Dallas-Lewis (Jefferson County Schools) explained micro-skills to be applied immediately and why this cultural information is useful, and described culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning by shifting from ‘fixing students’ to addressing the mindsets of educators. The event was hosted on Zoom and the recording is available for viewing.
Monday, March 21, 2022 | Storer Ballroom | 10am-6:00 p.m. | Exhibit Flyer
The Homage Exhibit empowered stories of African-American experiences in the United States from the time of Slavery to the election of Barack Obama. Hosted by the Stubblefield Institute and Office for Diversity and Equity, the highlights of this collection included slave transport collars, slave bills of sale, entertainment, legal papers documenting the horrors of the slave trade, and original documents drawing attention to key figures such as Booker T. Washington, B.K. Blanche, Frederick Douglas, and various artifacts from moments in the civil rights movement. The African American History exhibit from Charlotte, NC showcased 500+ original historical documents, artwork, newspapers, press photos, and more. To learn more about this exhibit, visit the Homage Exhibit website.
Monday, April 4, 2022 | Scarborough Library | 9 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. | Artist Talk Flyer
This event was an original acrylic art exhibit featuring an ecopoetic discourse of the physical and spiritual power of Black women. The artist, Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic shared her artistic and symbolic vision of resilience and power through this extraordinary exhibit. The exhibit signified a fusion of Black women’s personal and cultural ties to earth, air, water, fire, and the void. The display paid tribute to nine significant Black women in the arts, math, science, education, sports, engineering, business, and politics. The in-person and virtual exhibit was sponsored by the Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities and Office for Diversity and Equity.
Monday, April 4, 2022 | Byrd Center Auditorium | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. | COIL Flyer
This Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Presentation hosted two International Scholars from Brazil to discuss student learning from an international perspective: Dr. Monica Sapucaia Machado is the Department Chair at Säo Paulo Law School and Permanent Professor at Instituto Brasileiro de Ensino Desenvolvimento e Pesquisa (IDP). Dr. Denise Almeida de Andrade is a Permanent Professor in the Master of Law and Law School at UNICHRISTUS in Brazil and a professor at FGV Säo Paulo.
Through mindful movement, breathing practices, and reflection, participants were offered an opportunity to enhance their consciousness of self. The Breathe-a-Thon was a combination of a Spiritual Worship w/Song, Hawaiian Meditation, Native Breathing, and Mindfulness. This event was hosted by Wendy Baracka and Lynntresa Atkinson. Baracka is the SU Director of Counseling Services and a Yoga Instructor, and encourages the development of inner wealth while promoting growth and success. Atkinson is a Gospel Artist from Buffalo, New York, who inspires others with her soulful and moving voice. This event was sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity and Shepherd University Counseling Services.
Thursday, April 7, 2022 | Virtual | 5 – 8:30 p.m. | Leadership Conference Flyer
Diversity, equity, and inclusivity leadership strategies for empowering gender rights and equity from academic, spiritual, and international perspectives. “A Brazilian Perspective on Women’s Rights” by Dr. Denise Almeida de Andrade (UNICHRISTUS) and Dr. Monica Sapucaia Machado (Instituto Brasileiro); “Aligning Chakras” by Shepherd University’s Kristen Vernon; “The Rise of Religious NONES & Search for a Spiritual Compass” by Reverand Beth O’Malley from Hood College; Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and Shepherd University Alum, Sierra Santamaria on “Sexual Violence Prevention and Education”; “Equity & Sense of Belonging for BIPOC Populations” by Shepherd University Associate VP of DEI, Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic; Dr. Josephine Rodriguez from the University of Virginia WISE on “Bridging Equity Gaps for Women Faculty”. The event was sponsored by Shepherd University, the Berkeley County Sexual Assault Response Team, Hood College, University of Virginia-WISE, UNICHRISTUS, and the Instituto Brasileiro de Ensino Desenvolvimento e Pesquisa.
Thursday, April 27, 2022 | Lilah Restaurant | 6-8 p.m. | Kill the Negative Flyer
Part of the Lectures and Libations series, this live poetry event was hosted as an end-of-the-semester empowerment celebration for faculty and staff members. Performers included Quraysh Ali Lansana, a poet, author, and professor, Kurtis Adams, a musician and Director of Shepherd University School of Music, as well as Braden Harrington, Aspen Monsma, Janine Sam, Sadie Shorr-Parks, LaShawn Taylor, Chiquita Howard-Bostic, and Robert Tudor. This event was hosted by the Office of Diversity and Equity, the Shepherd University School of Music, and Department of Contemporary Arts and Theater, and the Committee for Lectures and Libations.
The following are initiatives funded through Challenge Grants, sponsored by the Shepherd University’s President’s Club! Click on the images for more information about these projects. Many amazing initiatives were funded during the Spring 2022 semester:
In January, the Ram Campus Closet was opened in White Hall Room 317! This is a new initiative that provides free clothing for Shepherd University Students, Staff, and Faculty. Jenny Flora is the SU Liaison for the Clothing Initiative.
In February, Tabler Farm partnered with the Ram Pantry to provide healthy foods to pantry clients. The Ram Pantry has been open since 2019 and provides food, school supplies, and hygiene products to those in need on Shepherd University’s campus. Tabler Farm is a 160-acre property that currently hosts a one-and-a-half-acre production site including a high tunnel, field vegetable production plot, a multi-fruit orchard, an indoor aquaponics research lab, a small bee apiary, a newly established food forest, and solar energy. Peter Vila is the Faculty Liaison for the Fresh Food Initiative.
In March, Shepherd University’s School of Education and Office for Diversity and Equity are partnering with several campus and community organizations on a major reading initiative to address the education gap in Jefferson County created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jason Allen is the Faculty Liaison for Reading in the Classroom Education Initiative.
In the Spring, Shepherd University’s Black Student Union and WISE Members will support the start of the Burke Street Promise Garden Nutrition Project. Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic is the Faculty Liaison for WISE Empowerment Members.