Soup & Hope speaker series returns Feb. 4

Hei Hei Depew, chair of the Employee Assembly, will talk about how she chooses to be hopeful in the face of life’s difficulties on Feb. 4 in the first installment of this year’s Soup & Hope lunchtime speaker series.

Now in its 14th year, the series – this year on Zoom – is open to the public and features speakers and stories of hope. The series’ six talks will be on Thursdays through April 8, all beginning at 12:15 p.m. The talks will be held bi-weekly except for the first two, which will be held in successive weeks.

Depew, a financial analyst in the College of Human Ecology, said the racial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are too great to be ignored.

“We are in such strange and unprecedented times,” she said. “In the wake of this horrible pandemic…. racism and xenophobia against Asian Pacific Islanders not only nationally but globally has increased. As a Chinese-American, I find myself in a bit of a precarious situation. … I’ve looked inward and thought a great deal about my experience as a Chinese-American and I’ve reflected on hope. What is my hope for the future, how do I maintain this hope, where does this hope come from?”

Other speakers in this year’s series:

  • Feb. 11: George P. Ferrari Jr., CEO of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County;
  • Feb. 25: Dr. Martin Stallone, president and CEO of Cayuga Health System;
  • March 11: Eric Acree, director of Cornell’s John Henrik Clarke Africana Library and coordinator of fine arts and music libraries;
  • March 25: Amaris Janel Henderson ’21, a performing and media arts major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and a communications assistant in A&S; and
  • April 8: Sarah Brylinsky, communications and integration manager for the Campus Sustainability Office.

More than 60 speakers – encompassing Cornell staff, faculty, students, alumni and community members from the greater Ithaca area – have touched, inspired and motivated campus and community members who’ve attended the annual winter series since it began in 2008.

Soup & Hope is co-sponsored by the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Cornell United Religious Work; Cornell Dining; and Cornell Health

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