18th Annual Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

November 10–12, 2021

Joy & Justice

When it comes to racial justice, we often focus on suffering and struggle, an approach that risks defining the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals only in terms of hardship. However, the 18th annual Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies asks us to consider what liberation looks like through a lens of joy. How might we understand and communicate the experiences of BIPOC individuals without relying so heavily on narratives of pain as we fight for justice?

“Joy & Justice” calls for thinking about what sparks joy for individuals and communities, and how it is expressed. What role can joy play in our liberation, and what is its relationship to suffering and rebellion? Might joy move us beyond burnout and fatigue and toward new spaces for love, strength, and perseverance? Focusing on joy does not disregard or diminish trauma but rather recognizes and honors the humanity of BIPOC communities when systems of oppression so often eliminate the space to do so. Joy is resistance, joy is power, joy is healing.

We hope this symposium encourages reflection within our Lewis & Clark community and ignites all of us to create new spaces for joy in working toward collective liberation.

2021-22 student co-chairs:
Fabi Araya Rodríguez ’23, Anmol Kahlon ’22, Diana Pacheco ’22, and
Mateo Telles ’22