February 18, 2021

Session Blocks

Symposium sessions are organized into four blocking periods. Each block has four to five sessions to choose from.

Session I: 9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Session II: 10:45–11:45 a.m.
Session III: 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Session IV: 2:45–3:45 p.m. 

Need accommodations to experience P&P?

Get in touch at symposium_marketing@whitman.edu.

Drop-in Hours with the Student Engagement Center

9 a.m. through 2:45 p.m.

Staff from the SEC will be available all day to talk informally with students about how to pursue opportunities for activism, social justice, and other meaningful and relevant real-world opportunities to make a positive change!

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 given a link to a Zoom link to meet with an available therapist.

Error 300: Redirected to Bias

A lot of us take access to the internet and technology for granted. While it is an indication of human genius, technology can be weaponized to reinforce oppression and inequality. In this session, we will showcase the hidden layers of bias within artificial intelligence and speech detection technologies. We will also highlight how technology can be abused to target certain communities, limit freedom, hinder democracy, and misinform individuals. We strive to bring awareness to digital privilege and show people about how they might have been exploited in the creation of such technologies.

Session Leaders: ACM @ Whitman, Nidhi Jaltare, Kalilou Ali Kadiri, Ahmed Elsayed

Write for Change

This workshop is a letter- writing campaign which seeks to motivate people and encourage them to raise their voices for a particular social, environmental or any other cause for which they feel a change is imperative in given circumstances. As members of our respective communities we need to hold ourselves accountable for the impact that we want to see. In this workshop, we will write letters to the people with the ability to bring immediate and effective change.

Session Leader: Zakir Hussain

Empathy Ignites Action

From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial injustice, political polarization and economic insecurity, America is clearly in pain. However, even with that pain, Americans seem to be experiencing an empathy deficit. This workshop will focus on how to better engage one another on the empathic level, to better improve ourselves not only as individuals but change-makers. In order to start action, empathy is the first step to ignite it.

Session Leaders: Wako Soma and Katie Jose

Dialogues on Genetics, Ancestry, and Race

As increasing numbers of people have samples of their DNA analyzed by companies like 23andMe, misconceptions about race and ancestry abound. Many of these misconceptions have influenced, harmed, and perpetuated wrongful stereotypes within the fields of genetics and medicine. Two dialogues on genetics, ancestry, and race will be performed by students and faculty to set the context for larger group discussions. Through this process, we will explore the complexities of the science behind these genetic tests as well as social and ethical implications. 

Session Leaders: Austin Chiles, Maamoon Saleh, Julia Hess, Professor Brit Moss, Professor Helen Kim

Electromedia, Design Fluidity, and Afrotectopian Ecologies(Cosponsored by Whitman Art Department)

In this talk, Ari Melenciano will present a survey of her work as a creative technologist, designer, and researcher experimenting at the nexus of design, pedagogy, race, and electromedia. She'll share her current and past areas of focus in research and development, from radical technoculture to afrocentric architecture. She'll wrap up her presentation with an overview of how she's developed Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation at the intersection of art, design, technology, Black culture, and activism. 

Guest Speaker: Ari Melenciano

Accessibility by Any Means Necessary: A Discussion on Radical Accessibility

Throughout this workshop we will discuss the many mediums of inaccessibility which surround us all. In addition to addressing Disability etiquette and the unique history of the Disability Rights Movement this talk will encompass the following questions: What is inaccessibility? How do we all benefit from radical accessibility? And what can you do when you find something is inaccessible? 

Session Leader: Sueli Gwiazdowski

An Analysis of Voter Suppression: Rhetoric in the Trump Era

A panel of students and a Rhetoric professor will discuss the presence and implications of voter suppression rhetoric in the Trump era. Some prepared questions and topics will begin the conversation, but the audience will have the opportunity to submit questions or request analysis of particular examples of voter suppression rhetoric. Each panelist will analyze through a different lens, focusing on a variety of mediums, time periods within the Trump presidency, and actors. 

Session Leaders: Professor Kaitlyn Patia, Adam Reid, Lucy Montgomery

Unseen Bodies: Identities Ignored in Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating Disorders (EDs) remain a taboo subject despite the millions in the US alone who suffer from the great variety of them. This panel will discuss the statistics of social and economic identities who experience disordered eating who go overlooked by the medical community, proving that there is no single face to eating disorders, and yet many faces are neglected by our social and medical institutions. 

Session Leader: Lee Thomas

Music For Social Change Part I: Performance by Sugi Dakks

How does self expression through art add to the conversation around social issues? How does being a “professional” in a creative field intersect with social uprising, social commentary, and the creation of new narratives? Tune in to this virtual performance.

Guest Artist & Speaker: Sugi Dakks.

Imagining Artifacts of the Future(Cosponsored by Whitman Art Department)

In this workshop, participants are invited to imagine a future a few centuries into the future. What does it look, feel, sound like? How will we move through space? How will it comprehensively nurture all sentient beings for a healthy new world? After a series of experimental exercises, we'll move into developing our own artifacts that reflect the reality we hope future generations will be able to experience. This workshop dives deeply into speculative design practices and philosophies on pluralistic and microcosmic strategies. 

Guest Speaker: Ari Melenciano

How hard can you hit? West Coast street styles and Black Panther Roots: a dance lesson powered by history.

We will talk about the early link between Oakland Boogaloo, Strutting, and the Black Panthers in Oakland, and the later link between L.A. neighborhood history and the hard hits of Popping. We will also learn and apply some hitting basics.

Session Leader: Professor Peter De Grasse

"Race"-ing to conclusions about diversity.

Race matters. It shapes how we view others, make decisions, and interact with people. In this talk I will share research I've conducted that examines how race shapes our detection of emotions on others, how much we trust others, and our preferences to interact with people. While an individuals' race can impact our perceptions of people, it can also shape our environment. Lastly, I will talk about how not only an individuals' race, but the racial characteristics of our environment, shape our behaviors. Overall, you will walk away from this talk learning some uncomfortable truths about the racial biases we have, and how explicit they are, but also learn about how growing racial diversity in our society can help combat issues in race-relations moving forward. 

Session Leader: Professor Chanel Meyers

“Even if your voice shakes”

A Lecture & Workshop: Oral histories, storytelling and spoken words are transformative acts of social justice–putting those who are marginalized and silenced directly into the narrative—pen in hand, hand on mic. It introduces a platform with tradition, lost inheritance, forgotten roots via language and multimedia, contrary to the textbooks-scholarship or gatekeepers of history and academia. It creates a platform for individuals and communities that don’t feel connected to become more dominant, established narratives and share their own personal experiences. Oral histories, storytelling and spoken word poetry becomes an adaptable advocacy, organizing and mobilizing tool in politics. Find your ADVOCACY with Maria, find your VOICE with Tejashree.

Session Leaders: Maria Del Carmen Martinez, Tejashree Jadhav

Diversity and Greek Life: Past, Present and Future

Acknowledging that Greek Life has historically been a site of exclusion and harm, members of the Greek community will hold a conversation with people from across campus to discuss the history of Greek organizations on Whitman's campus and explore archival records. They will present current diversity, equity, and inclusion work present in all eight Greek Letter organizations and what they hope to see in the future.

Session Leaders: Phyllis Pawa, Ben Kehrli, Arianna Anoushiravani

Music For Social Change Part II: The Power of Expression, Liberation, and Protest through Art

How does self expression through art add to the conversation around social issues? How does being a “professional” in a creative field intersect with social uprising, social commentary, and the creation of new narratives? I am a Whitman Alum that works as a freelance artist/ musician/ producer/ songwriter in Los Angeles and want to talk about my experience as a black male in the music industry.

Guest Speaker: Sugi Dakks

Restorative Justice: Spoken Word Poetry

This session will depict stories of what it means to be black in America, the intersectionality of identity, and poetry as an act of resistance. In a world where freedom is a constant struggle we must learn to invest in moral courage, start good trouble, and reimagine the true meaning of freedom.

Guest Speaker: Michelle Mukasa

LD/ADHD: Accessibility & Inclusion in Higher-Education

This workshop will discuss the intersection of learning differences (“LD”)/ADHD with higher-education. Many individuals believe that LDs, and disabilities more generally, are a disadvantage and that they need to be “fixed”, and thus the structure of our society reflects that belief. We will reframe this notion by describing why and how individuals with learning differences are disadvantaged by society, and we will explain the difference between accommodation and inclusion.  

Session Leaders: Camilla Tarpey-Schwed, Bridget Kennedy, and Lia Beatty

Developing a Sense of Belonging: Identifying What You Need

Belonging is an emotional need to be accepted as a member or part of a group. Whether you find belonging in a social, cultural, professional or friend group, the feeling of connection is important. A sense of belonging serves as a protective factor and helps us feel supported. Although we know that we want to belong, many of us don’t know how. This presentation will focus on building the language and skills to identify what you need and how to develop a sense of belonging. 

Session Leader: Dr. Rae Chresfield

Taking Your Passion and Energy Into the World Beyond Campus: A SEC Discussion Space

Has the Symposium inspired you to get involved in some of the issues you've discussed? Staff from the Student Engagement Center will share ways to take your passion and energy into the world beyond campus, through civic engagement, internships, jobs, and careers that let you stay connected to the topics closest to your heart. Just as yesterday’s keynote speaker and so many of our presenters today have built a platform to share their message, critique, and recommendations with their audiences, you too can take steps to gain attention, influence, and power to bring your concerns to decision-makers and the community.

Session Leaders: Noah Leavitt and Keith Raether

February 12-19, 2021

Learn more about other symposium events taking place between Feb. 12–19 on our Keynote Speaker page and Partner Events page.