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Soup & Hope speaker series returns January 27

Photos of 2022 Soup & Hope speakers, as listed above

Written by Lindsey Johnson

Dr. Jacque Tara Washington, LCSWR, a mental health therapist working in Counseling and Psychological Services at Cornell Health, will draw on personal experiences in her discussion of how hope can sustain, motivate, and encourage us in the first installment of this year’s Soup & Hope lunchtime speaker series.

Now in its 15th year, the series – tentatively scheduled to be in-person at Sage Chapel – is open to the public and features speakers sharing personal stories of hope. The series’ five talks will be every other Thursday beginning on January 27. Please note, the talk on January 27 will be held in a virtual format in support of Cornell's public health event guidance. Talks run from 12:15-12:45pm and, for those taking place in Sage Chapel, attendees are advised to arrive by 12pm to enjoy soup and settle in. Attendees are asked to pre-register to attend this year’s talks as part of COVID -19 event safety contingency planning.

Dr. Washington believes in hope in the face of challenges and setback. “As I reflect on the many situations I’ve experienced throughout my life,” she said, “I recognize that, without hope, I would not be existing in the many positive and successful ways that are my reality. I am excited to share a tiny bit of my journey, with the anticipation that as I reflect on a few difficult moments in my life, the outcomes and continued hope that I embrace will encourage and motivate others as we share the space together.” 

Dr. Washington’s interests include racism (as trauma) and she is a strong advocate for human rights and social justice. She is also a professional vocalist and actress and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. 

Other speakers in the 2022 series include:

  • February 10: Michelle Artibee, MBA, director of workforce wellbeing in the Division of Human Resources at Cornell University;

  • February 24: Alan Mathios, professor in the newly formed Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University;
  • March 10: Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye ’24, an Africana Studies major with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate; and
  • March 24: Zebadiah Hall, MBA, director of Student Disability Services at Cornell Health

More than 60 speakers – including 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.

Details about this free campus series, including event logistics, speaker bios and registration links can be found at

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