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New Social Justice Project offers activities September 3-6

ISSUED: 22 August 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has initiated a Social Justice Project that is geared toward equipping, challenging, and empowering the institution to demonstrate its commitment to cultural and racial diversity and aims to create a culture of awareness, appreciation, action, and advocacy. The kick-off of the initiative will be a Social Justice Project Week of Action September 3-6, which will offer several activities each day for the campus and community.

Two events on Thursday, September 5 are free and open to the public—a workshop titled “Through the Lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Student Center Blue Gray Room, followed by a Social Activism Panel Discussion from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium.

Panelists for the discussion include Brian George, board of directors member for Hagerstown Hopes and author of “Brian’s Brain,” a Baltimore OUTloud newspaper column about LGBTQ+ issues and experiences; George Rutherford, president of the Jefferson County NAACP, who served 18 years on the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, six years on the West Virginia Judicial Investigative Committee, and was an EEO officer and counselor for the National Park Service; Dr. Veronique N. Walker, associate superintendent of equity and inclusion for Berkeley County Schools, adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, licensed professional counselor, and national certified counselor; Tessa Chafin, president of Students for Reproductive Rights and the intern for Shepherd’s Office of Social Equity, Inclusion, and Title IX; and Katie Spriggs, executive director, Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center, and West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force member.

Social Justice Project Week of Action will wrap up Friday, September 6, with a 7 p.m. performance of STEP SHOW: THE MUSICAL at the Frank Center Theater. Admission is free for Shepherd students and is a pay-what-you-can donation for Shepherd employees and the general public. Tickets will be available beginning at 6 p.m. at the Frank Center box office.

For more information, contact Da’Shawn Long, Multicultural Student Affairs graduate assistant, at

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