The Third Space Speaker Series will launch today at 4 p.m. 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. Today’s event will function as a perfect lead up to next week's Power and Privilege Symposium, and we anticipate a rich dialogue with these engaging speakers. 

The Third Space Speaker Series, supported by the Johnston-Fix Foundation, places two scholars in dialogue with each other and with the Whitman community. 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.” We hope this series brings us closer to that vision.

While the event this afternoon will be virtual, we anticipate that future Third Space speakers will join us on campus. To join us in the Third Space, register with the QR code above or via this link. Please contact the Division of Diversity and Inclusion with any questions at diversity@whitman.edu.