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Third Space Speaker Series

An essential element of inclusive excellence is the broad engagement of faculty, staff and students across the institution in the work, which requires campus-wide opportunities and mechanisms for professional development, continuous learning and capacity building.

With support from the Johnston-Fix Foundation, Whitman College launched the Third Space Speaker Series. The series features scholars, artists, writers and thought leaders in dialogue with each other and with the Whitman community in an intellectual space where cultural humility, cultural wealth and cultural pluralism converge.

What is a Third Space?

The concept of a Third Space emerges from the work of scholars of color, who see a third space as one of transgressive possibilities and where those who are often confined to the margins are centered. In environments where one cultural narrative or framework reigns over others, where structural power is concentrated in the few and where traditions and systems reinforce hierarchical status relations, a Third Space serves as an interruption to that framework.

What we seek with this series is to cultivate a space, and ultimately a community, where cultural humility, cultural wealth and cultural pluralism are understood, recognized, and practiced. The scholars who popularized the term cultural pluralism explain that, “each person must be aware of and secure in their own identity and be willing to extend to others the same respect and rights that they expect to enjoy themselves.”


Whitman has previously hosted the following scholars to provide opportunities for transformative educational experiences that can challenge our assumptions, inspire new questions and contribute to our personal and intellectual growth. 

Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo

Portrait of Matika Wilbur

Matika Wilbur


Dr. Jared Ball portrait

Dr. Jared Ball

Scott Brooks portrait

Scott Brooks

A.D. Carson portrait

Dr. A.D. Carson

Lisette Torres-Gerald portrait

Lisette Torres-Gerald

Alex Locust portrait

Alex Locust

Leigh Patel portrait

Leigh Patel

Sheeva Sabati portrait

Sheeva Sabati

Lissa Remirez-Stepleton portrait

Lissa Ramirez-Stapleton

Nicholas Villanueva portrait

Nicholas Villanueva

Please contact diversity@whitman.edu for more information.

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