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Charleston Library Society Announces Speaker Series

Apr 04, 2018 03:01PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

The Charleston Library Society will be hosting four Wide Angle Lunch sessions in April and May. Wide Angle Lunch offers expert insights into new themes and fresh perspectives on familiar topics, presented by nationally and internationally recognized authorities.

Speakers this spring are Kathleen Brady, nationally recognized researcher in the field of addictions; Sharon Richardson, executive director of Audubon South Carolina; Armand Derfner, a civil rights lawyer; and Femi Oyediran and Miles White, rising young sommeliers of national and international renown.

Tickets for Wide Angle Lunch are $20 for members and $30 for non-members for individual sessions. Full series tickets for all four sessions are $60/members and $90/non-members. To purchase tickets call 843.723.9912 or email Dutch Reutter at dreutter@charlestonlibrarysociety.org.

Tuesday, April 24: Kathleen Brady 
Responding to the Opioid Experience 

Brady will describe the state of the opioid epidemic in South Carolina and the nation at large. New, state-of-the-art treatments for opioid dependence are available, and Brady will discuss efforts to make these treatments available throughout South Carolina. Brady's insights will cut through the sensationalism of the news media to offer a truthful glimpse of the difficulties facing addicts and their families.

Brady has spent more than thirty years in the field of addictions and psychiatric disorders. Her research focuses on pharmacotherapy of substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder, as well as gender differences and women’s issues in addictions and the neurobiologic connections between stress and addictions. She has received numerous federal research grants, and has published more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and co-edited 10 books. She has been the co-director of MUSC’s NIH-funded Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, focused on translational research training in addictions, for 15 years. She has lead a number of training and research programs focused on translational research in addictions and is currently the vice president of research at the Medical University of South Carolina

Tuesday, May 1: Sharon Richardson
Audubon Year of the Bird 

Birds have the power to connect people to each other, as well as to places and policy. Richardson, the executive director of South Carolina Audubon, will discuss Audubon’s original vision that inspires restoration of habitat to create safe places for birds and people, now and into the future. South Carolina Audubon owns 22,000 acres across the state and helps identify firsthand how birds inspire people. 

Richardson has helped protect more than 30,000 acres of land and has raised more than $8 million to aid conservation efforts. With her team, she has leveraged more than $50 million in land projects. Richardson has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Vermont and a BA in Psychology from Middlebury College. 

Thursday, May 3: Armand Derfner  
Welcome Mat or No Trespassing Sign? Immigration in America

Derfner is no stranger to America’s immigration issues. Born in France to Polish Jews who had already fled their homeland in Hitler’s early days, his family was forced to flee again as Nazis invaded France and the Vichy government proved incapable of protecting its more vulnerable citizens. This time, their adopted homeland would be United States, immigrating at a time when the Statue of Liberty’s welcome mat often seemed far more like a No Trespassing sign. In his talk, Derfner, a longtime human rights lawyer, will discuss the tumultuous and mixed history of immigration in the United States, from the mostly open doors of the early days to years of Isolationism to today’s refugee crises, border walls, and growing xenophobia. 

Derfner has been practicing civil rights law for more than 54 years. His focus on voting rights began with representing voters in Greenwood, Miss., in August of 1965 on the first day of the Voting Rights Act. He helped shape the Voting Rights Act through his numerous Supreme Court arguments and his work with Congress. For more than 20 years, Defner worked on two long-running suits to desegregate and end racial inequality in the higher education systems in Alabama and Mississippi. In addition, he has been involved in numerous other civil rights and public interest cases, including representing civil rights demonstrators, death row inmates, victims of employment discrimination, and targets of free speech. In 2009, the American Bar Association named his firm Public Interest Lawyers of the Year. 

Tuesday, May 8: Femi Oyediran & Miles White
Wine As We See It

No matter where in the world you are, wine is featured in so many of life’s finer moments. Oyediran and White are two young Charleston-based sommeliers and the co-owners of Graft Wine Shop. Together, the two friends will share their personal stories and explain why they think wine is an accessory that tightens connections between friends and strangers.

Working under the tutelage of Sommelier Rick Rubel of Charleston Place Hotel, Oyediran passed the first three levels of the Court of Master Sommeliers within two years, including gaining the Walter Clore Scholarship for achieving the highest score on his certified exam. He is one of 7 Advanced Sommeliers in the state of South Carolina. He is also a two-time national finalist for the Chaine des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier in America competition, and the winner of the 2017 Top Somm Blind Tasting Competition of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. He was featured as one of Zagat's Charleston 30 Under 30 in the food and beverage industry and was listed as one of the "The Next Big Names in American Wine" by Tasting Table magazine.

Born in Charleston, White started his hospitality career under his mother, caterer Callie White of Callie's Hot Little Biscuit. He attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, while also attending hotel school at Cesar Ritz Hotel School in Brig, Switzerland. He received his sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers after graduating in the top of his class in the wine and beverage program at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley. Afterwards, he was hired as a harvest intern at Antica Terra, a cult winery in the Willamette Valley. After 3 years of traveling and winemaking in Oregon and Australia, he returned to Charleston to work at lauded FIG Restaurant and to open Graft.
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