Joy R. Bostic, associate dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies, started at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2007. Since her start at the university, Bostic has been involved in departments across campus, serving as a faculty member in both the Ethnic Studies and the Women’s and Gender Studies Programs and founding director of the African and African American Studies program; serving as Interim Vice President of the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity; and currently, acting as co-PI on the Humanities in Leadership Learning Series (HILLS) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In addition to her many other roles and responsibilities, Bostic’s research on religion and popular culture and the courses she teaches on the topic are highly popular. Her research has a particular focus on how Africana religious elements are reflected in Black popular culture, and how Africana religious and cultural forms are used to protest social injustices, to celebrate and affirm Black life, bring about individual and collective change, and envision new futures.
Bostic has incorporated service learning projects into her courses at the university, including the opportunity for students to volunteer at religious and community-related events in the Hough, Buckeye and Glenville neighborhoods. She has established relationships and partnerships across University Circle institutions—including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Western Reserve Historical Society Museum, Masjid Uqbah, the Church of the Covenant and Mt. Zion United Church of Christ—to enhance her students’ experience.
Now, in her role as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, she looks forward to seeing everything the outstanding team in the Dean’s Office will accomplish.
“Personally, I am really looking forward to supporting College departments, students and units with the tools they need to create change and build a more diverse and inclusive community,” she said.
Learn more about Joy Bostic through her responses to the following questions.
What’s your favorite thing about CWRU / Cleveland?
I really love the walkable life I enjoy here. I love water and the community. I love that around the corner from my house I can take a hike along Doan Creek and then walk in the other direction and shop for antiques or enjoy a Brazilian inspired meal and buy a book from an independent bookstore. I love that I can leave my office on campus and sit by the lagoon in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art or wander inside and contemplate one of Monet’s Water Lily paintings.
What do you do in your free time? What’re your hobbies?
I love to garden and to cook. Recently, I have been working on socca bread crepes and pizzas. I also acquired a tagine pot this year and have been trying out recipes and cooking my staples with it. I love that it creates steam and makes cooking so easy. I have been using produce from my own garden—zucchini, tomatoes, chili peppers, mint, dill and parsley—to recreate traditional dishes and create new ones.
What’s the last book you read?
I just finished reading Somebody’s Daughter, a memoir by Ashley C. Ford who is from my hometown in Indiana. Currently, I am re-reading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and I have just started reading The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.
Are you a morning person or night person?
I am definitely a morning person. I come from a long line of Bostics who naturally wake up early in the morning and get in what we need to before the rest of the world comes knocking!