City Bus Stops: An Underutilized Force For Education


Users do not care about what is inside the box, as long as the box does what they need done. – Jef Raskin

By William A. Foster, IV

It was one evening some years ago that my father and I had a debate in my  parents living room about an article that I read in the New York Times concerning prep schools versus public schools and how much they spend per student. The New York Times stated that Philips Exeter Academy in 2008 spent $63,500 per student annually, while a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the U.S. as a whole spends about $12,000 per student annually. My father could not understand what PEA could possibly be spending over five times the amount on. I said to him it was the difference between showing a kid a map of India and taking them there. That being said, as someone who comes from a family of educators and being a community college professor for a period of time and seeing just what happens when an adult has had a weak K-12 experience, I often ponder ways in which communities can go about closing education gaps among groups and strengthening the education infrastructure.

Perhaps the worst kept secret is that groups who come from disadvantaged backgrounds have a chronic gap when it comes to education. By age three, children from lower income homes have heard 30 million fewer words. The national high school graduation rate for African Americans is 73 percent, which is almost 10 percentage points lower than the national average and 14 percentage points lower than European Americans. There have been calls for a universal Pre-K, which sounds good in theory but probably will ultimately do just as much harm as the current system. Many have argued that the U.S. does not spend enough on education, this despite the OECD saying that the U.S. actually spends more than any other country on education. The report according to CBS News that, “In 2010, the United States spent 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on education, compared with the 6.3 percent average of other OECD countries.” This appears to be not a case of not spending too much, but spending it poorly. As an economist and investor myself, one of the most important things for my firm is capital allocation. It is not just a matter of how much we are spending, but where and how we are allocating that spending. Simply spending more is not always an answer to fixing problems as many on the political left suggest, but neither is allowing students to go to better schools through vouchers a sensible alternative as those on the political right suggest which would have devastating effects on the economics of poor and middle class communities. In essence, what is needed is a better creation of supplemental education for those communities. Supplemental education is the ability to access learning away from the four walls of a school.

For many upper income families, museums, summer camps, and private tutors provide the moonshot to the education they receive during their K-12 matriculation. These experiences and building blocks add to a substantive educational gap between the haves and have nots and while there are always many fascinating high brow proposals of how to fix education for underserved communities, we often ignore the simplest. Two things of note should be focused on to that respect. First, provide supplemental education where the people you hope to reach spend their time. Secondly, keep it simple. Academics, again I come from a family of them, while I admire their ability to convey information, they are at times too smart for their own good. In other words, they can make one plus one into the next coming of Einstein’s theory of relativity if you give them enough time. For underserved communities though it is often at the foundational level where they are most deficient. An issue that then cascades and compounds year after year as they progressed through secondary and then into adulthood. It was the simple foundation that they missed and that their kids are missing that could have moved their trajectory. So how do cities both meet the people where they are and more importantly where their time is “hostage” and and also keep it simple? Bus stops.

1 Million Milestone

That is right, bus stops. New York City has 16,350 of them, Los Angeles has 15,967 bus stops, Chicago has 10,813 bus stops, and Houston has approximately 9,000 according to a Twitter inquiry. These are the four largest urban cities in the United States of America with a combined population of 17.5 million, a number equivalent to 5.4 percent of the entire U.S. population. The four cities ability to serve low income and middle class families is obviously magnified just by the probability of the sheer size of the populations they have that will fall within those confines. The poverty levels for the four aforementioned cities is also surprisingly inversely correlated to their public transpiration size with New York City’s 20.3 percent, L.A.’s 22 percent, Chicago’s 22.6 percent, and Houston’s 22.9 percent. According to Pew Research Center, “Americans who are lower-income, black or Hispanic, immigrants or under 50 are especially likely to use public transportation on a regular basis.” There is not enough research to show a correlation to public transportation’s reduction in poverty, but one can access that the easement of which labor can move farther distances allows for more economic opportunities to be gained. Therefore, if a low-income community has access to affordable public transportation and their own community lacks economic opportunity, the ease by which they can move into areas of stronger economic prowess may allow them work opportunities they may not otherwise have available. However, while there maybe no correlation, there is opportunity to educate and we know that correlates to reducing poverty.

Imagine for a moment that each bus stop, both children and adults, are introduced to a digital screen (think those annoying “commercials” at gas station pumps) that circulates a plethora of vocabulary words, basic mathematics problems,  and science and history clips. Just the basics, but again fundamental. If a city really wants to get out of the box, even introducing lessons in financial, health, and government literacy. If done in concert with the school districts in the city, teachers at the elementary through college levels could be featured in these videos and those teachers targeted in bus stops within their teaching area. This may also go a long way into reestablishing what many now complain about as the broken bond between parents, their children, and the teachers who educate them. The videos produce a familiarity for the teacher in the same way that people develop affinities for celebrities they have never met. Of course, in this age where municipals are tight on funds, just how does all of this get paid for? This is a financial journalism publication after all. The PPP (Private-Public Partnership) model would be most advantageous. Companies in the city, New York City, Houston, and Chicago have 143 Fortune 1000 companies combined, would foot the majority of the bill for the producing of the digital content and refitting of the bus stops. Just what those companies would receive in return beyond goodwill and basic advertising would be left up to the leadership of the city to negotiate.

I grew up in a household and family where education and learning was not only a family value and expectation, it was something I was immersed in as I reflect in what seemed like at all times. There were always books around, much of my life existed on a college campus as my mother has been a professor for almost four decades, trips to museums, engagement with the arts, and as a result me and my sister’s probability of succeeding was given a great advantage over many of our peers. Education is a wholistic lifestyle that one is immersed throughout their lives. The sooner that immersion, the more often that immersion, then probability of success is sure to follow. My sister and I were at an advantage, we were a privileged pair whose family can trace our educational heritage back four generations to my great-grandfather and great-grandmother who were college graduates. That is not the reality for most low income and middle class families. They are families trying to take that next step, even if they do not know which step to take often. In order to increase their probability towards that success, cities have to acknowledge that they are often in poor schools to begin with and that they need more, much more. The best return on investment is often achieved in using the infrastructure that already exist and that meets citizens where they are.

As Jef Raskin alludes to in his quote, communities will not care where quality education happens be it in a school or at a bus stop, so long as it happens.  The ability to convert bus stops into head start and continuing education facilities for a city is something that truly does what needs to be done.

 

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Craft Beer 101: Bourbon Zeppelin’s Della Fain Sips And Chats About Suds


Most of us have an early memory or story about our dad or uncle giving us our first taste of beer. Do you remember the first time you had beer of any sort?  If memory serves me, the first time I had a beer was probably the same as everyone else’s first time. A not so strict aunt that yells “it’s okay if she has one sip”. I do recall however that first sip being awful and every sip after that.

Many of us simply are wondering – what exactly qualifies to be considered a craft beer? A craft beer is in fact a brew crafted in a more traditional, non mechanized way. Usually, but not always by a small brew house or microbrewery.

What got you interested in trying out craft beers?  I initially steered clear of all things beer and beer like for most of my adult life. My grandfather and I had a long standing lunch date every birthday at our favorite steakhouse. He ordered beer and I wine. During one of our last lunches together a new hire at the restaurant was an expert at pairing beer with meals and suggested my pop pop try a beer different from his usual. He made it sound so good I followed suit and ordered the same, it was a winter lager. I’ve been hooked ever since.

For those who have a curiosity about craft beers, is there any advice you would give about how to introduce themselves to different beers? Anyone interested in trying out craft beer my suggestion to them would be my suggestion for life – try it all to see what you like and don’t like.

What do you believe are some qualities of a great craft beer? The qualities of a great craft beer for me is all about the layers. Aroma, mouth feel, how well it compliments and draws out the best part of a meal. How stouts can be savory, and sours refreshing. How a porter can satisfy your sweet tooth, and an IPA be the perfect addition to Taco Tuesday.

There are about six African American breweries we have found, but this is certainly underrepresented for the explosion that has occurred in the microbrewery space over the past decade. Why do you think more African Americans are not brewing beers? With the craft beer industry vastly rising and major breweries buying smaller brew houses we’re gonna see less craft in craft beer. So now’s a perfect time for African Americans to throw their hats into the collective breweries. I know a few African American home brewers who really have a love and passion for it. But like anything else they’ll need support from beer drinkers to get their artistry noticed.

What would be your theme music while drinking your favorite beer? Anything by Nujabes. 

Editor’s Note: Check out the album Modal Soul by Nujabes. Be sure you are having a cold one when you do and always drink responsibly.

Della Fain is an Chitown native Arizona resident. Married mother of 3. She’s also a contributor to Bourbon Zeppelin giving bourbon barrel aged beer reviews. You can follow her on Instagram at @sixfeetofdynamite. 

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Innovation and Entrepreneurship


This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America’s new entrepreneurial economy. Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today’s economy.

The Finance & Tech Week In Review – 6/10/17


Every Saturday the HBCU Money staff picks ten articles they were intrigued by and think you will enjoy for some weekend reading impacting finance and tech.

3 ways to make rich #Africa work for poor Africans / WEF wef.ch/2t2glab

After replacing 90% of employees with robots, this company’s productivity soared / WEF wef.ch/2s93K5r

Does more financial development lead to more or less economic volatility? / St. Louis Fed bit.ly/2qWCaYq

Big animals, small budgets: why poorer countries are leading the conservation charge / WEF wef.ch/2qvnymv

What kind of financial challenges did small businesses face last year, & how did they address them? / St. Louis Fed bit.ly/2svCmic

China’s Clean Air Challenge: $3 Billion Air Pollution from Transport in Chengdu / Renewable Cities buff.ly/2s0xTX4

US Coral Reefs Not Likely To Last More Than A Few Decades / Clean Technica ow.ly/RmT930ctq9J

People’s blood sugar levels respond differently to different breads. / Science News ow.ly/i3x730ctq67

Study: Dogs understand fair play, and not because of humans / New Atlas newatl.as/2sMhWlx

Ripped-off ravens sure can hold a grudge / New Atlas newatl.as/2rVH752

Fearless Girl, Art, & Business: A Conversation With HBCU Professors & Artists Tracey Moore & Josie Pickens


HBCU Money was able to catch up with two rising stars in the national academic and cultural landscape who together represent the Lone Star State’s two public HBCUs. Ms. Josie Pickens (left), English professor at Texas Southern University and writer along with Ms. Tracey Moore (right), Digital Media Arts professor at Prairie View A&M University and artist. Both professors are also alumna of their respective institutions and highlight what happens when intellectual capital is cultivated, grown, and returns to strengthen our institutions. They without a doubt epitomize what shines bright in the future of HBCU institutions. We sat down with them to get their thoughts on the intersection of humanities and business from their own respective perches as well as some of today’s most current events where humanities and business are colliding.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Fearless Girl statue in New York City. The artist of the Charging Bull says it impacts his original guerilla art that has become something of a landmark and tourist attraction in the city. Some women’s rights activist say it serves to inspire young girls into economics and finance. Others, feel torn that the piece was paid for by State Street Bank to promote a product of theirs that invest in companies where there is a prominent woman presence either on the board or in management. What is your take on the matter that contains so many layers and complexity?

Ms. Moore: My first exposure to this particular sculpture was when a friend posted an article regarding the Charging Bull artist, Arturo Di Modica, and his displeasure with Fearless Girl changing the context of his work. Although I sympathize with his point of view in that the original context of the piece is lost with the presence of Fearless Girl but isn’t that what art is supposed to do? Change how we perceive the world around us, how we think, and how we respond. On the flipside of the coin, I do not understand the fascination with the sculpture. Oddly enough, the image that replays in my head is Elizabeth Warren taking a selfie with the piece. I found it ironic that she fights for women’s rights, equality, and all the other points on the feminist agenda but she applauds a commissioned piece (from an investment fund) that is supposed to, indirectly, applaud the accomplishments of women working on executive boards and in management. It is a girl that supposed to represent the hard fought battles women have endured and won seeking their rightful place in Corporate America.

Personally Fearless Girl does not represent me, or most women that I know, spiritually, culturally, historically, or relationally. Spiritually, I know who I am and I know who’s I am. There is nothing about this bronze image that would inspire me to do anything. Idolizing this image will yield no returns for me or for the young ladies I mentor everyday. How can young girls connect with something that cannot love you, protect you, or share with you? Overall, my aspirations as a young girl were to be an adult, a woman, not to remain a girl.

Culturally, growing up as a young black girl in a traditional southern home, respect was the word of the day, everyday. You were taught to respect your elders in all things and know your place/role as a child. Having the posture of Fearless Girl was definitely a no-no. It was a sign that you have smelled yourself and taken a position of defiance against the authority of any adult. That was something non-black children did. Certainly approaching an adult with hands on your hips was grounds for a stern look or, in some cases, a smack across some extremity. You had to know when it was appropriate to take that stance (ideally with your peers) and when not to.

Being educated as a graphic designer, you are taught the artful skill of manipulating words and image to sell a product, idea, lifestyle, etc. Let’s call a spade a spade. Ultimately, Fearless Girl is a commercialized image, a reflection of how society views women as defiant little girls screaming for attention and wanting others to know their value. If you change ‘girl’ to ‘gal’, then you have America’s historical view of black women. I have heard white men and women refer to black woman as ‘gals’ many times as a child. They have been ‘gals’ who need to be controlled, disciplined, and handled. We fight for dignity only to be immortalized in the form of a girl.

No piece of bronze has ever inspired anyone to do anything. Relationships do that. If you want to inspire young girls to pursue careers in economics and finance, then you have to mentor them. Develop programs that will introduce economics, take young girls under your wing and show them the dynamics of Wall Street, stocks, trading, numbers, etc. Fearless Girl cannot teach a young lady to balance a checkbook, buy stocks, or anything else. You have to invest the time in young girls lives and guide them their journey to adulthood. No sculpture can do that. Last time I checked, most girls aspire to become like the women who are in their lives.

Ms. Pickens: As a Black woman raising a Black daughter, the fearless girl means very little to me as a model or ideal.  Corporate feminism, which is absolutely what the statue represents, caters specifically to White women and never makes space for women of color— and especially not Black women.  When tech executive Sheryl Sandberg started preaching her lead-in philosophy, many Black women were unmoved by her rhetoric because her experience was so different from ours.  When Black women “lean-in” in corporate settings, we are often viewed as egotistical know-it-alls with bad attitudes.  Our ambition and directness are seen as negative attributes as opposed to positive ones—and we rarely are able to climb that corporate ladder of success.  Much in the same way, when Black girls assert themselves in school settings they are often seen as aggressors and bullies.  Black girls, in fact, are five times more likely to be suspended than White girls, according to recent reports.

What has been fascinating, more fascinating to me than the faux message the statue was meant to deliver, is the way so many men are making lude, exploitive and sexual overtures towards the statue.  Many grown men have been caught on tape groping and humping the statue, or worse.  That speaks more to me about the safety of women in places like New York’s Financial District- or really in the U.S. and the world.  Misogyny that leads to rape culture and sexual violence are what we really need to be addressing, instead of having empty conversations about White women gaining access to the same power that White men have in perpetuating American consumerism and capitalism that ultimately hurts poor people overall, and Black folks specifically.

Liberal arts add a lot of value for entrepreneurs in terms of creativity to problem solving. How do you see your particular subject adding value to students who may see themselves as future entrepreneurs/businessmen and women, but may not understand in the moment how your class and subject can help them?

Ms. Moore:  Presently, I am teaching a course entitled Creative Thinking. Students are exposed to the design thinking process, which is a creative methodology for developing innovative solutions. The process can be and is being applied to solve problems across disciplines. This course specifically aims to assist Digital Media Arts students at PVAMU in developing their own individual creative process. The methodology involves heavy research and ideation. I try to instill in my students that you have to engage your target audience to understand how to speak to them. During their sketching phase, I constantly remind them that we are not looking for the most beautiful design but we are looking for the most appropriate. We take this same principle and look at successful companies and organizations that do an excellent job of speaking to their audience. I often refer to the story of how Steve Jobs did not like the infamous silhouette iPod campaign but that is what catapulted the iPod to the top of the mp3 player market.

There are several students in my classes that are developing small businesses and I challenge them to think about the product or service that they wish to sell or provide. How is it different from what is already out there? Do you have a particular niche that will drive business to your door? Are you duplicating things that already exist? Is your duplication innovative in any way? How do you get others to see the value in your product or service? This is where creative thinking comes into play. By going through the process and posing these questions during the research and ideation phases, students hopefully will develop viable businesses and opportunities. In addition, our Creative Thinking process is used in every course in our program. We have recently expanded this process adding, “When you understand your why, then the what will change.” That philosophy, which was inspired by Christian Comedian Michael, Jr. and essentially sums up our entire creative thinking process, has helped to change how students think about every aspect in life.

Ms. Pickens: I teach the mechanics of writing, and especially the art of rhetoric and composition. I chose to teach in this area because I feel that it is the area that Black students at my HBCU struggle with most, and the area that – once mastered- will benefit them most as they matriculate through college and move forward into their careers. I begin each semester asking students what their majors are, and I explain to each of them how important being able to communicate effectively in writing is to their major field of study and the work they hope to do when they graduate. For instance, working in corporate America or even as an entrepreneur means submitting tons of well written reports and proposals, in addition to various letters and emails to clients, peers and higher-ups.  A person can possess a brilliant business mind, but if he or she cannot effectively communicate his ideas and plans he will not be successful.

We are proponents of students learning to become or think entrepreneurial no matter their field. What do you both see as overlooked opportunities by students to become entrepreneurs in your respective fields? How do you believe HBCUs can encourage such engagement?

Ms. Moore: Honestly, the students at PVAMU possess a great entrepreneurial spirit. This younger generation has the creative vision and desire, but what they lack is probably discipline and patience. In terms of discipline, many do not try to learn the business. They prefer to, as the elders say, learn the hard way. They want mentors but they often do not heed the advice of said mentors. Many often will scoff at the notion of working for someone in a related field to learn how to manage people, invoices, balance sheets, etc. and then establish their own companies. Why invent the wheel when there are successful models in existence. I have noticed that many want the fame and glory right now. They see the seemingly overnight success and think that can happen for them. What they do not see are the numerous failures that occurred for the success to happen. In my own experience, I have come across some lackadaisical attitudes about trust, loyalty, commitment, and customer service. I once worked with a student to develop a series of designs for custom HBCU t-shirts and I broke ties with her once she allowed someone else to appropriate my design and was quite flippant in her attitude regarding the situation.

PVAMU’s College of Business has a Small Business Development Center on campus that provides workshops and assistance to entrepreneurs. The overlooked opportunity is that most students do not know about the SBDC. Perhaps, the SBDC should embed itself more into the student body of PVAMU. I think other HBCUs could do the same. Open a center that helps young entrepreneurs realize their dreams. But you have to go to where the students are to sell them the benefits of going to these workshops and, in turn, students have to understand the importance of the center in their journey. Through a grant opportunity, I have been working with students and a business consultant to open the DesignView Media Center, which will provide graphic design services to university departments and student organizations and facilitate professional development workshops for students in the Digital Media Arts program at PVAMU.  Eventually, we would like to establish the center as a service department so that students can work with local businesses and organizations outside of the university. The students who were hired for this opportunity worked with the consultant to write the business plan for the center. The weekly meetings and planning sessions allowed them to understand the proper way to develop their own businesses.

In addition, HBCUs have to help students understand and know their strengths and talents. I often remind my students of principles of entrepreneurship from two books, Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-education of the Negro and Booker T. Washington’s My Larger Education. What I gleaned from them is that businesses should be built on your passion and skills and perhaps a recognized need. Then you build from there. Become better at what you already know how to do or find a need to address. The media makes us turn our noses at jobs that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers had to work but we fail to see how those can have value. An acquaintance’s son developed a maid service during his freshmen year of college. He saw a need to offer a streamlined, same-day cleaning service that can be booked online. The business is doing quite well. The business is most likely financing his education or he is saving to expand the business. I have interacted with students who want to dabble in arenas, like fashion design, that are made popular by celebrities like, but they have neither designed anything nor sewn a stitch of clothing and do not want to learn how to do those things. It is not a bad idea, but how far can they go when many of their peers are doing the same thing?

HBCUs need to essentially go back to our intellectual roots. We need to apply many of the principles of economic independence that Washington and Woodson both promoted.

Ms. Pickens: There are countless ways one can be an entrepreneur in the field of writing and teaching, actually.  In addition to teaching at an HBCU, I also have the option of offering tutorial services—especially with respect to the writing sections of tests like the SAT and GRE.  Also, working as a consultant or corporate trainer is an option for educators who seek to move outside of the classroom and work for themselves.  Being a writing coach is a lucrative field, too.  All of these entrepreneurial options are accessible in addition to various forms of journalism and essay writing for individual publications.  Freelancing is a great way to earn extra income, or make a living all together.

Programs in the humanities have to do a better job of highlighting careers outside of the standard careers we’ve been learning about for so many years.  Although the humanities, especially language and visual arts, should be centered on imagination and innovation, many programs do very little to reach past tradition when educating students on potential careers.  It is unfortunate for these programs that they are being left behind, as millennials are very interested in being in full control of their lives and being their own bosses.  For this reason, many traditional humanities programs do not appeal to them and have a difficult time enrolling students into their programs.

Ms. Pickens, being an English professor is something that has always been vital in business. The ability to convey a message and communicate effectively often starts with a strong foundation in language. How do you believe students go about preparing themselves to be proficient in being able to effectively communicate in the language of business?

Ms. Pickens: My students practice resume and cover letter writing in the courses I teach.  Also, I always outline professional communication with my students.  In an age when we are constantly communicating with words—now sometimes more than we communicate through speaking or face to face—written communication has become very lax.  Many students, I find, have forgotten or never learned how to communicate with different audiences.  They will send an email to their professor using the same tone and language that they use when communicating with friends and family.  Additionally, a recent article in Forbes noted that recent college graduates lack effective problem solving skills and do not pay enough attention to detail (a lack of writing proficiency was at the top of the list).  All of these skills can be honed through practicing the basics and mechanics of writing, as well as focusing on aalyzing and writing rhetoric.  We solve problems by recognizing them, communicating the issues at hand, and finding solutions—that’s what rhetoric analysis is, essentially.

Ms. Moore, you have expressed a desire to train the next wave of designers who will be a force in the industry, as well as one-day return and teach. Bringing back real world experience to the classroom to mix with theoretical is vital into today’s learning experience and yet so few HBCU alumni are returning often creating a shortage of both experience and cultural relevancy in far too many HBCU classrooms. What do you attribute the shrinkage in the pipeline too? And what do you believe can be done to change it?

Ms. Moore: It essentially boils down to money and resources. In the same manner that the best black athletes were wooed away from attending HBCUs by the larger PWIs, our black intellectuals are being targeted in the name diversity and inclusion, which in my opinion is a new spin on Affirmative Action. I honestly do not take issue with this, because I understand the need for PWIs to help broaden perspectives on campus and PWIs tend to pay more but the question I have is, “Who will be better impacted by your presence?” That is a tough question to answer for many. People tend to look at their bottom lines. Where can I make the most money? Where can I go that will have more resources? What institution will give me the most support and faculty development? Some get frustrated with the struggles that accompany teaching at an HBCU. I do not want to generalize the experiences of my fellow professors but I have run across several who in many ways expressed those sentiments and have left HBCUs for those very reasons.

I am from the School of Make a Way out of No Way. I have learned to make do with a whole lot of nothing and foster relationships with people who can point me in directions where I can find resources. I received my B.A. in the advertising art program (now defunct) at PVAMU, which was underfunded and understaffed. The one professor who was supposed to be the advertising specialist only worked in an ad agency for 6 months during the 70s. Fast-forward 20 years and the professor was still teaching technology of the 70s. My fellow classmates and I came to realize that we were not learning the skills needed to be gainfully employed when we started attending advertising competitions. It was a real eye-opener. Most of what we learned we taught each other. Those who were able to get internships came back and facilitated late night sessions so that we all could learn practical knowledge. I made it my personal mission to get into the advertising industry, attend graduate school and come back to PVAMU to teach. I did not want another student to leave PVAMU unprepared to work in the design industry. It has been a long journey to get where I am, I have had help from various faculty and administrators across PVAMU and whenever the opportunity arises, I tell my students the stories of what my classmates and I had to endure to graduate. I want them to know that they are benefiting from our hard work and perseverance and they have an obligation to help someone else. I choose not to talk about the salary, but rather the satisfaction I have from the work I do. We have to impress upon our HBCU students that their skills are needed at our campuses. In the same token, our administrations have to be open to what these young, vibrant, new professors can bring to our universities.

What do you believe business can and should be learning from the liberal arts that is missing in today’s business culture?

Ms. Moore: I am not wholly immersed in the business culture so I am not sure if I can answer that. Business is more than just cubicles, bottom lines, and boardrooms. It is about people and relationships. Treat people as people and not numbers. That is the heart of liberal arts. Seeing people as people.

Ms. Pickens: The liberal arts or the humanities function in exactly that capacity, they humanize us.  Liberal Arts connect businesses to the imagination and to creativity, which every business needs in order to advance.

Ms. Tracey L. Moore is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator for the Digital Media Arts Program at Prairie View A&M University. She earned her BA in Advertising Art at Prairie View A&M University and an MFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Graphic Communications from the University of Houston. When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Moore does some freelance graphic design. Her most notable work has been the redesigning of the logos for the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture (TIPHC or The Culture Center), The Charles Gilpin Players, and the PVAMU iREAD program. In addition to design, Ms. Moore creates artwork using photography, stitched fabric and found objects. Being an amateur historian, Moore often uses historical events, world or personal, as an underlying theme in her work. She has exhibited her work in numerous galleries and cultural centers throughout the United States.

Ms. Josie Pickens is a professor, cultural critic and griot whose writing focuses on race and gender, and the varying intersections of the two.  Her ultimate goal is to give voice to those often unseen and unheard through her gift of storytelling.  Pickens regularly provides timely social commentary for Ebony Magazine and has been cited on The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian news sites. Follow her on twitter at @jonubian.”