Students in The Institute for Cultural Engagement's (TICE) Center for Law & Advocacy hosted Shan Foster, Co-Founder and CEO of Fostering Healthy Solutions, LLC. Foster's previous basketball career in college (Vanderbilt) and beyond (Dallas Mavericks and abroad) has given him a unique perspective on and passion for building positive and dynamic communities.
Foster studies healthy solutions to diversity issues through education, training, and execution. His experience includes work in entertainment, financial services, technology, media, environmental services, and law enforcement sectors. He also serves as Executive Director of AMEND Together at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, an initiative that engages men and boys to end violence against women and girls. He recruits, educates, and equips men and boys to serve as advocates for violence prevention and cultural change.
Foster spoke on creating safe places of work and living for women and girls via the connected accountability and healthy masculinity of boys and men. "Education is the cornerstone of positive change, and if we can raise awareness around even the smallest issues, we can build healthier communities for men and women," says Foster. He shared with students the importance of speaking up when something disrespectful is said or done, outlining the exponential effect of just one person taking a stand. Foster helped students connect underlying problems in today's culture, the objectification of women, and sexual harassment. Discussion covered a callousness towards each other via pop culture, colloquialisms, jokes, locker room commentary, and ways to create empathy and understanding between men and women in close community. He emphasized that we are all made in the image of God, and the fight against disrespect or violence against girls and women is a critical mission we must pursue together.
Foster is a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Nashville class and serves on the board for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Nashville Sports Council, Intrepid College Preparatory School and Martha O’Bryan Center’s Explore Academy. Foster is on the advisory committees for the 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee and Vanderbilt University Athletics. He most recently was selected Nashville’s 2019 40 Under 40 award winner, Nashville Emerging Leader Award Finalist, and Leadership Middle Tennessee Class of 2022.
Foster finished his collegiate basketball career as the all-time leading scorer in school history. His book What Hurt Didn’t Hinder provides powerful insight into the modern masculinity crisis, how we can return to cultural conversations about raising Godly men to lift up, support, protect, and empower the women in their lives.