Lunch and Learn at Fridays at Newcomb

The Newcomb College Institute offers several opportunities for students, from providing mentoring to internship funding, but one of the hidden gems of the organization is the Fridays at Newcomb program. Each week on — you guessed it — Friday, different speakers give interesting lectures about a range of topics. As an added incentive, each talk provides free food from local restaurants.

The program exists to connect students with topics and people outside of their field of study, as well as with to introduce powerful speakers doing impressive work relating to NCI’s mission.

“It’s a great way to kind of burst the Tulane bubble and help people see that it’s not just the Tulane faculty that are doing great things,” Lauren Wethers, student leadership and engagement program coordinator for NCI, said.

According to Wethers, Fridays at Newcomb help students discover  “what’s happening in the community right on [their] front step.”

For example, the Birthmark Doula Collective, an organization dedicated to accessible doula birth care, spoke on Oct. 5 about the importance of the Black Births Matter movement within New Orleans. Wethers said she also likes to highlight the outstanding work many of Tulane’s faculty is doing by asking them to come speak, such as Assistant Professor of English Cheryl Naruse, who spoke Sept. 28 about her research on the erotics of consumption in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

“My favorite speaker so far has been Andrea Armstrong,” freshman Meagan Shinker, a frequent Fridays at Newcomb attendee, said. “It really opened my eyes to the reality of imprisonment.”

Armstrong spoke about her experience and research on jail and prison conditions, and her talk inspired many people, like Shinker, to learn more about the pressing need for penal reform in Louisiana. Fridays at Newcomb presents an opportunity to students to diversify their knowledge on important topics. The programs aims to offer something for everyone, regardless of grade level, gender or previous involvement in NCI. And, again, there’s free food, which is an interest applicable to everyone!

The Caroline Richardson Building. Photo by Hallie Olson | Staff Photographer

Fridays at Newcomb takes place in the Anna Many Lounge of the Caroline Richardson Building at 12 p.m. every Friday. The program will host Nghana Lewis for her talk Prioritized: The Hip Hop (Re)Construction of Black Womanhood in “Girlfriends” and “The Game” on Nov. 16.

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