Tuesday, February 22: Kick-off Event & Concert

7:00 p.m. in Cordiner Hall
Watch the livestream at live.whitman.edu.

With opening performances by
Tejashree Jadhav ’24
Aziz Sahbazovic ’24 
Marina Balasanyan ’24

Featuring guest artist and performer Aisha Fukushima

Wednesday, February 23: Symposium Keynote 

Venue Change: 6:30 p.m. in Reid Ballroom
Overflow seating will be available in Cordiner Hall.
Watch the livestream.

With keynote speaker Imani Barbarin

Thursday, February 24: Power & Privilege Symposium Day

9:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.

Sessions available in various campus locations and online. The full session schedule is below.

Download the 2022 Power & Privilege Symposium Pamphlet.

Accomodations and Accessibility

  • There will be one to three seats reserved at each session for students with disabilities.
  • There will be an American Sign Language interpreter at the keynote speech.
  • We ask that sessions are kept fragrance-free for those with sensitivity to smells and chemicals.
  • All buildings have ramps and elevators to help with physical accessibility excluding Hunter Conservatory.
  • All-gender restrooms can be found on each floor of Maxey, in the basement of Hunter Conservatory, in the Glover Alston Center, on the first floor of the Hall of Science, and on the main floor of Prentiss Residence Hall.
  • Campus Security can be contacted using the phone number 509-527-5777 or can be found in Technology Services 130.
  • Volunteers can be found in Symposium t-shirts and can help with accessibility throughout the day.

The Power and Privilege Symposium is dedicated to making this event as accessible as possible. If you have concerns about accommodations and accessibility that aren’t listed here please e-mail symposium_operation@whitman.edu.

Session Blocks

Symposium sessions are organized into four blocking periods, each with four to five sessions.

  • Session I: 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
    Session II: 10:45–11:45 a.m.
  • Lunch: Lunch will be provided to all Whitman students at Cleveland Commons. There are two lunch blocks pre-assigned to students by last name:
    • Last Name A-O: 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
    • Last Name P-Z: 12:30 p.m.–2 p.m.
  • Session III: 1:30–2:30 p.m.
    Session IV: 2:45–3:45 p.m. 

Poster Session
Throughout the day you can visit the 
Reid Basement for a poster display from the Fall 2021 Outdoors for All Course. Students who participated in this course explored: 1) national efforts to make outdoor recreation and environmental conservation more diverse, inclusive and culturally relevant to the interests of all people; 2) contemporary outreach and advocacy programs aimed at addressing inequity, exclusion and representation; 3) and the new generation of advocates creating change. As a result, each student created a poster to advance education and action toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in outdoor spaces. This course was taught by Brien Sheedy & Laura Sanchez.

CCEC Virtual Office Hours
The CCEC will be offering virtual drop-in office hours throughout the duration of the symposium for general counseling and aid. Join them on Zoom through this link: https://whitman.zoom.us/j/93395958169.

Balance, Beats & Breaks

This is an entirely virtual session taking place on Zoom: https://whitman.zoom.us/j/99202441133?pwd=enpTU3pEdjMzRUgxZDhhTlJzaEZnQT09* (In-person viewing room: Maxey Auditorium)

In this session we will move through some mindfulness practices to root and uplift us. This session is an opportunity to explore the power of your voice, and the power of creativity as a portal for changemaking (from the inside out). Our time together will involve music, movement, breathwork, freewriting, and sweet moments to decompress/express. Come as you are, all are welcome.

*This session is open to public to attend virtually.

Session Leader: Guest speaker Aisha Fukushima 

Sports Empowering Diversity and Inclusion: Process vs. Progress in College Athletics

Reid Ballroom A (Overflow room: Reid G02; link to join virtually)

If unfair bias and discrimination is something you’ve faced in your life, you are going to look for athletic opportunities in places where these judgments are less prevalent. You’ll pay close attention to how prospective schools respond to social justice/human rights issues, and the reforms they implement to advance equality. Athletic departments that fail to recognize the importance of these issues suffer great losses of talent and reputability in the future. Listen to student-athlete voices and their call to actions as they engage in a more genuine approach to diversity and inclusion within college athletics–  which begins in the Whitman Athletics Department.

Session Leader: Angel Le

Beyond the "Iron Wall": Palestine and Three Dimensional Occupation in the 21st Century

Science 100 (Overflow room: Science 159; link to join virtually)

The uneven distribution of resources in Israel/Palestine during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the continued injustice of occupation. This presentation concerns walls, both physical and ideological, in the context of the ongoing Palestinian struggle.

Session Leaders: Vlad Voinich, Allison Cohen and Feras Natsheh

Debating Beyond the Bare Minimum

Maxey Auditorium (Overflow room: Maxey 207; link to join virtually)

Join the Whitman Debate Team as they present on a topic that dives deep into current issues of justice, activism, and accountability. The debate will be followed by a question and discussion period in which audience members take part in furthering the conversation and voting to determine a winning side. This debate will be limited-prep, and the topic will be posted 24 hours before the round.

Session Leaders: Heidi Adolphsen, Kasey Moulton, Grace Canny, Kyle Mathy, Alexa Grechinskin

Whose Walla Walla? How Local Community Leaders Are Addressing Access, Equity, and Education

Reid Ballroom A* (Overflow room: Reid G02; link to join virtually)

This panel brings together representatives from Walla Walla Public Schools and various local non-profit organizations working toward the goals of access and equity in Walla Walla, with particular attention to how these issues intersect with education. Panelists include Becky Turner, Executive Director of The STAR Project; Ursula Volwiler, Director of Community Engagement for Community Resilience Initiative; Norma Hernández, Executive Director of The Health Center; and Dr. Julie Perrón, Director of Equity and Dual Programs for WWPS.

*This session is open to public to attend virtually.

Session Leaders: Kaitlyn Patia, Sophia Gregoire, Odin McDermott, Kaitlynne Jensen

Inspiration Porn

Olin Auditorium (Overflow room: Olin 233; link to join virtually)

Kate Moe will discuss the language used to describe people with disabilities and the implications around that. When able-bodied individuals act or speak on behalf of disabled individuals, they often describe them as "inspiring" or "a good job." In this talk, we reframe that ideology and turn it into a question of what are people with disabilities doing that is called inspiring besides being alive?

Session Leader: Kate Moe

Beyond the Buzzword? Social Justice at Whitman

Olin 120 (Overflow room: Olin 201; link to join virtually)

What does or should social justice look like? How might we critically engage this powerful but often ill-defined term, and better bring about meaningful social transformation in collaboration with others? Join us for a Q&A and brainstorming session on the meaning and future of social justice work at Whitman and beyond. Faculty from different departments will present their current thinking on potential curricular and co-curricular support models and invite audience members to share their own ideas.

Session Leaders: Nicole Simek, Shampa Biswas, Susanne Beechey, Zahi Zalloua, Camilo Lund-Montaño, Erin Pahlke, Matthew Bost, Xiaobo Yuan

The War on Abortion: Legislating and Incarcerating Bodies

Science 100 (Overflow room: Science 159; link to join virtually)

From the Comstock Act to Burwell V. Hobby Lobby– legislation surrounding reproductive rights has fostered a new carceral system which serves to control womxn’s bodily autonomy. Join us for an exciting workshop which seeks to define & dismantle oppressive anti-choice power structures, while helping you build your activist toolkit.

Session Leader: Bex Heimbrock

Voicing Religious and Spiritual Identity: A Conversation with the Whitman Interfaith Council

Maxey Auditorium (Overflow room: Maxey 207; link to join virtually)

While Whitman strives to be an inclusive and welcoming community, students of religious and spiritual identities sometimes feel left out of the conversation. This session will feature a conversation about recognition and belonging with Whitman's newly formed student Interfaith Council.

Session Leaders:

Merry Cockroft, Adam Kirtley, Sueli Gwiazdowski, Aliza Eaton, Allegria Iteka, Mohammad Franko Omair, Kate Stoops, Myan Sudharsanan, Hannah Cuvin, Morgan Sherwood and Jeffrey Wu

Social Movements, Entrepreneurship & Mental Health in BIPOC Communities

Reid Ballroom* (Overflow room: Reid G02; link to join virtually)

Our session will discuss the minimal financial support allocated to BIPOC small business owners. We will also dive into the psychological toll created by the difficulties faced by BIPOC’s starting and running a business.

*This session is open to public to attend virtually.

Session Leaders: Borniface Kabongo, Charles Awounor, Darius Northern and Edgar Tarimo

Weight of Perception

Olin Auditorium (Overflow room: Olin 233; link to join virtually)

Learn about the effects and influences of gender perception, both internally and externally. No prior knowledge on gender and pronouns needed!

Session Leaders: Charlotte Nicholson and Zac Masters

Whitman and Other Landlords: Who Owns the Land

Olin 129 (Overflow room: Olin 201; link to join virtually)

Whitman College is one of the largest landowners in Walla Walla County. 47% of lands in the continental West are controlled by the federal government. Bill and Melinda Gates own more farmland than the acreage of New York State. In this hybrid discussion/presentation seminar, we will explore why land is owned, how powerful groups use land, and what the alternatives may be.

Session Leader: Jaden McGinty

Mutismo Involuntario

Maxey Auditorium (Overflow room: Maxey 207; link to join virtually)

Náhuat, the language spoken by the Pipil People, is in danger. Since the Spanish colony, its native speakers have been decreasing exponentially. Only 1 in every 21,600 Salvadorans can speak it. However, its influence in the development of Salvadoran society has been tremendous. In this workshop, we'll try to provide an immersive overview of the experience of the Nahua-hablantes in El Salvador in the 21st Century.

Session Leader: Brandon Martínez Serrano

Social & Financial Barriers for First Generation/Working Class Students

Reid Ballroom A (Overflow room: Reid G02; link to join virtually)

FG/WC students will discuss feelings of alienation, intimidation and exclusiveness while being at Whitman College. During this session, we want to share our experiences to empower FG/WC students and educate others about the difficulties we face while being in spaces not made for us.  

Session Leaders: Tatiana Villegas, Eboni Haynes, Elio Van Gorden, Eleshaday Abraha, Elle Palmer and Aziz Sahbazovic

Forgotten Felons: Norms of Exclusion in Diversity, Inclusion & Equity

Olin Auditorium* (Overflow room: Olin 233; link to join virtually)

Felons, especially those that are formally incarcerated, face significant barriers in American society from slavery while incarcerated to housing and job discrimination when they are released from prison or probation. Criminal background is rarely, if ever, included in conversations about diversity, inclusion, and equity, even at institutions, such as Whitman, that work to support the rights and needs of incarcerated populations. In this session, we’ll discuss the intersectional oppression many formerly incarcerated folks face.

*This session is open to public to attend virtually.

Session Leaders: Lauran Schaefer, Andrew Peterson, Nicole Brown and July Treviño

Gender, Caste and Social Seclusion in India

Olin 129 (Overflow room: Olin 201; link to join virtually)

Despite massive strides towards modernization and economic growth, in India, there is still a strong nexus between who you are, who you know, and what you do. In this talk, I share my research about two aspects of this nexus. First, I discuss occupational segregation in India’s female workforce specifically as it relates to caste. Second, I show, using social network data, how women tend to have fewer social connections and be less central on social and economic networks.

Session Leader: Sai Madhurika Mamunuru

Self-Care and Utilizing the Counseling Center

The Symposium can be an exciting time to teach and learn. It can also be an emotionally challenging time given the topics that will be discussed and questions that may be asked. To fully engage in the symposium, please take care of yourselves before, during, and after. A few options for self-care include but are not limited to:

  • Be mindful. Pay attention to what your mind and body are telling you about your stress level.
  • Listen to your thoughts and feelings. If you are getting overwhelmed, take action to address it with deep breathing, stepping out, or asking for support from those that you trust.
  • Take breaks as you need them during the various sessions.
  • Reach out and talk with your social supports both inside and outside of the community.
  • Finally, the Counseling Center will be open, and if you want to speak with someone about your emotional experience please go to 502 Boyer Avenue. Someone will be there to greet you and assist. You can also call the Counseling Center by dialing (509) 527- 5195.

Drop-in Hours with the Counseling Center: 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.
Students can call the main office line at (509) 527-5195 for an appointment and will be provided a zoom link to meet with an available therapist.

COVID-19 Protocols: Virtual & In-Person Sessions

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the P&P Team has created a hybrid model of the symposium with both virtual and in-person components. Please note, the following measures have been put in place to keep session leaders, volunteers, and attendees safe.

  • Vaccination or proof of exemption for all participants is required. Room monitors at all venues will be there to verify this requirement. 
  • In-person P&P sessions will be available to only Whitman community members. Select virtual sessions will be available to non-Whitman attendees to participate via Zoom. 
  • Masks are required for all participants, there will be room monitors to enforce this requirement within each session. Presenters are allowed to remove masks for their respective presentations.
  • Each P&P Session will have a dedicated Main Room and Overflow Room with a livestream available and capacity limits of each room enforced.
  • Due to the evolving state of COVID-19 conditions, in-person sessions are subject to move virtually. Any updates to the schedule will be communicated through the P&P Webpage on Whitman’s website.

Best Practices for Engagement

  • Actively participate. Engagement is essential for critical conversations, increased understanding of each other’s identities, and movement towards change.
  • Commit to change. This day should influence how you approach social issues throughout the rest of your life. When you commit to try and fix an issue, you motivate others to join you in the process of sustained change. If opting to stay neutral is easy for you, it is essential to remember that some may not have the sheer choice of opting out. This day is only one installment in a larger movement to make Whitman a more inclusive space.
  • Stay the course. Don’t be deterred when it comes to having hard conversations. Often times people are scared of and turn away from these conversations because they fear they might look ignorant.
  • Remember that we are in a learning environment. If you do not understand other people’s positions of oppression because you are not in them yourself, continue to ask questions, share, and listen.
  • Treat each other with dignity and respect. Respect the opinions of others even if you do not agree or understand their perspectives. Likewise, there is no acceptance of hate speech, discriminatory speech or any forms of degradation.


Utilize “I” statements when responding.
Listen attentively and respectfully. Suspend Judgment.
Pay attention to what surprises you and what confuses you.
Try to practice the ‘both/and’ approach rather than ‘either/or’.
Accept and reject as needed but be able to articulate the why.
Take the learning, not the experiences. Practice confidentiality.
Question the idea, do not criticize the people.
We are all responsible for the learning.