May 18, 2022: Spring Updates from the Division for Diversity and Inclusion

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion has been actively contributing to institutional efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism at the college. Read more for a brief update highlighting some activities since our last update.

May 4, 2022: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the importance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

April 27, 2022: A World Without Rape

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This week, the student Sexual Violence Prevention (SVP) Team has organized a series of events and activities to educate the Whitman community about consent, sex positivity, sexual health and sexual assault.

April 20, 2022: Get Involved in DEIA Actions

There are several opportunities right now for you to take action related to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) work at Whitman. What will you do this week?

April 13, 2022: The Time is Now

Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion John Johnson shares observations on Whitman's campus climate and ways that community members, particularly students, are involved in work that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism.

April 6, 2022: DEIA Cultivation Grants

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the Whitman Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee, is pleased to invite applications for 2022-23 DEIA Cultivation Grants. DEIA Cultivation Grants are intended to support projects, programs, events and initiatives that Whitman community members (students, staff and faculty) are coordinating or pursuing that advance diversity, equity, inclusion or antiracism (DEIA) efforts at the college.

March 31, 2022: Transgender Day of Visibility

Last fall, we provided some content in Whitman Today regarding Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s critically important that we call attention to the manner in which the trans community is being targeted, brutalized and discriminated against. It’s also important that we work to advance representation, affirmation and visibility. Today, March 31, is International Trans Day of Visibility.

March 30, 2022: Ramadan Mubarak

Most Muslims at Whitman come from places where the holy month of Ramadan is central in the lives of everyone they know. It can be uniquely challenging to navigate this important time when surrounded by others who aren’t aware of their experience. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life invites all of Whitman to seek ways to support these students.

March 23, 2022: Sports, Identity and Society

On April 21, two distinguished scholars will join us for the Third Space Speaker Series, discussing sports, identity and society.

March 16, 2022: Reflecting on DEIA Expectations and Responsibilities

Questions and requests for feedback about the role and responsibility of campus diversity administrators.

March 8, 2022: Diversity and Inclusion Update

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion John Johnson provides updates on activities carried out by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, International Student and Scholar Support, the Intercultural Center and the Division for Diversity and Inclusion.

March 2, 2022: Making History

For this week’s contribution to the Whitman Today newsletter, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion wanted to provide some commentary about Women’s History Month. This is not to reinforce a gender binary or promote particular forms of gender expression, but as an effort to disrupt a sexist status quo. Vice President for Diversitya and Inclusion John Johnson reached out to Associate Professor, Susanne Beechy, who generously offered these thoughts about the significance of the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

February 23, 2022: Stops Along Our Learning Journeys — P&P and NCORE

With the Power & Privilege (P&P) Symposium underway, we want to encourage people to engage with the different activities and sessions happening this week and also share some information about another diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) learning space in the region, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE).  

February 16, 2022: Third Space Speaker Series Launches Today

The Third Space Speaker Series launches today with Leigh Patel, professor of educational foundations, organizations and policy at the University of Pittsburgh, and Sheeva Sabati, a faculty member in the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento in the area of Educational Leadership.

February 9, 2022: Celebrating Lunar New Year

An estimated 1.5 billion people across the globe mark the Lunar New Year and on Feb. 1, China and several other East Asian countries began celebrating. Whether or not you commemorate Lunar New Year, read more to appreciate how meaningful that holiday is for those who do and be buoyed by the joy it brings to our community.  

January 26, 2022: Walk Through Black Brilliance

As we head toward Black History Month, let's expand the list of people whose names are raised up, whose voices amplified and whose work is honored. 

January 19, 2022: DEIA Resources for Faculty

Through institutional memberships in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and LACRELA, Whitman faculty have access to a wide variety of content focused on STEM grant funding strategies, preparing tenure and promotion materials, challenging race and gender bias in student evaluations, incivility in academic spaces and inclusive teaching practices.

December 15, 2021: Third Space Speaker Series

In Spring 2022, with support from the Johnston-Fix Foundation, Whitman College will launch the Third Space Speaker Series, which will feature scholars, artists, writers and thought leaders whose work helps to advance inclusive excellence at Whitman and will serve as an intentional manifestation of the college’s stated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism. 

December 8, 2021: Fall 2021 Bias Incident Review

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion John Johnson provides an overview of bias incidents reported in Fall 2021.

December 1, 2021: Whitman and LACRELA

Whitman College is part of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA). Whitman’s engagement with LACRELA has provided opportunities for several members of the community to participate in structured eConvenings, a curated collection of three-hour virtual seminars.

November 24, 2021: The Revealing Light of Hanukkah

Adam Kirtley, interfaith chaplain, discusses the story of Hanukkah and what the process of increasing illumination reveals about our campus community.

November 17, 2021: Transgender Day of Remembrance

John Johnson, vice president for diversity and inclusion, reflects on privilege, position and protection in advance of the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

November 10, 2021: Faculty and Staff of Color Fall Social

Fall and staff of color are invited to a fall social with faculty and staff of color from Walla Walla Community College and Walla Walla University.

November 3, 2021: Division of Diversity and Inclusion Updates

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion has been actively contributing to institutional efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College. Read more for brief updates highlighting some activities over the last several weeks.

October 27, 2021: "Dear White People" and Halloween Harm

"Dear White People," written and directed by Justin Simien, was released back in 2014. The film is about the experiences of students of color at an Ivy League college. Rotten Tomatoes describes the film as a “welcome new voice to cinema’s oft-neglected discussion of race, tackling its timely themes with intelligence, honesty, and gratifyingly sharp wit.” 

I can recall how tattered I felt after seeing the film in the theatre some seven years ago. The film focuses on the trauma and institutional fallout surrounding a college party in which students don costumes that appropriate and mock the culture of others. While the film is a satire, I am all too familiar with the “real pain” people feel when others use their culture as a costume. 

October 20, 2021: Freedom Songs

Mark your calendar! At 7 p.m. on Nov. 12  in Cordiner Hall, Freedom Songs returns after a hiatus last year due to COVID-19. Freedom Songs is a program created and organized by students that specifically looks at uplifting various forms of music and art to recognize the differences in our society. The program is specifically a racial justice event that consists of three parts (concert, zine, and reflection party) all of which look at issues of race, privilege and different forms of oppression that come alongside our differences in America.

October 13, 2021: Learning Journeys

For Whitman's faculty and staff, continuous professional development and learning around diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) is a necessary element for inclusive excellence. The Division of Diversity and Inclusion is working to seek out, develop and provide the Whitman community with a broad array of resources that can contribute to the growth of our collective DEIA capacity. 

October 6, 2021: Beyond Recognition, Into Action for Indigenous Peoples' Day

This week is a short one with Thursday and Friday included in October Break, two days without classes when students have the opportunity to pause, reflect, perhaps catch up on some school work or even return home for a quick visit. Classes will resume on Monday, October 11, 2021, which is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As noted by Dennis W. Zotigh and Renee Gokey in their essay published in Smithsonian Magazine, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States of America. And it urges Americans to rethink history.”

September 28, 2021: Division of Diversity and Inclusion Updates

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion has been actively contributing to institutional efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College. This brief update highlights some activities, staffing changes and events held by International Student and Scholar Services, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Intercultural Center and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion over the last few months.

September 22, 2021: The Whitman Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (WIDE) Committee

The WIDE committee has evolved considerably since its development some seven years ago, but endeavors to remain true to its charge of articulating and supporting the campus-wide work of inclusion, diversity and equity.

September 15, 2021: Yom Kippur

This evening marks the beginning of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. Members of Whitman's Jewish community will join others around the world in a day-long fast that symbolizes a shift in focus from the physical world to matters of the spirit. While Yom Kippur is a holiday, the day isn’t generally marked by celebration or festivities.

September 15, 2021: Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month is similar to other heritage month celebrations (Black History Month, Women’s History Month, PRIDE Month, etc.), as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the valuable contributions made by one of the many communities that comprise our nation, but also provides us with an opportunity to interrogate and expand our understanding of pan-ethnic supercategory classifications like “Hispanic”.

September 8, 2021: Speaking Up to Stop Anti-Asian Hate

A reflection on the role of the media in perpetuating stereotypes that feed anti-Asian hate from Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion John Johnson, along with resources to respond to, intervene in and heal from harassment.

September 1, 2021: Meet John Johnson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

A note of introduction from John Johnson, who joined Whitman as Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion in the summer of 2021.