Tobin Miller Shearer, Outgoing Chair of Board of Directors

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It’s been a distinct pleasure and honor to serve on the board and to develop relationships with the high caliber of individuals selected to serve. It has been nothing less than an absolute and unmitigated delight.

Humanities Montana bids a grateful farewell to Dr. Tobin Miller Shearer, outgoing chair of our board of directors.

A respected professor, author, and humanitarian, Tobin has been associated with Humanities Montana for years as a presenter, board member, and chair. He first came to Humanities Montana as a presenter with our Montana Conversations and Speakers in the Schools programs. When he was approached to join the board, he was intrigued by the opportunities offered by the organization. “One of the things that attracted me,” he says, “was the chance to get to know the state as a whole and to be a part of promoting public-facing humanities content.”

For Tobin, humanities programming is essential “whether in the form of formal and focused conversational programming, discussion of the arts, or any space that the humanities opens up for building human to human connection,” it is “the glue that ties our communities together.”

During his time on the board, Tobin was instrumental in advancing racial equity and inclusion initiatives within the organization, and facilitated meetings in a way that encouraged all voices. By reflecting on barriers to inclusivity within our own institution, he encouraged our board and staff to develop more thoughtful approaches to our relationships with Montanans, particularly within the state’s Tribal Nations.

During Tobin’s tenure, Humanities Montana introduced and maintained a robust level of award-winning programming and staff initiatives. Though he is leaving, Tobin hopes board and staff will “continue to pursue innovative partnerships with Native communities across the state, and that Humanities Montana continues to be viewed as a leader in programming, granting, and scholarship innovation by state councils across the country.”

As a professor and scholar of History and African American Studies, Tobin plans to continue his own work in the humanities. Coming off of the board will allow him to invest energy into completing his current book project and developing new courses that draw on the humanistic tradition.

Thank you for your service, Tobin. We look forward to continuing our work with you for years to come.