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Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

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Watzek Library Exhibit:

Medicine in the West: Power, Authority, and Knowledge Exchange Between Native Americans and The Corps of Discovery
Watzek Library, Special Collections and Archives

This exhibit explores perceptions of authority in medical interactions between the Lewis & Clark expedition and the tribes they encountered. We examine differing philosophies of medicine and the resulting approaches to treatment, asking the following questions: How did members of the Corps of Discovery assert medical authority? Did the tribes they encounter accept this assertion? How is this emblematic of a wider colonial context?

Curated by L&C students Amanda Mihalke ’19, Ostin Merkle-Lawler ’19, and Beja Wolf ’19.
This exhibit will remain on display on the top floor of Watzek library through the end of the fall semester.  


Healing Justice Practice Space:

As part of the symposium this year, we are offering a Healing Justice Practice Space (HJPS). An HJPS is a place for community healing in relation to social justice work, and it centers Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, and queer and trans folks. Please read more about the space and specific offerings here! 


Wednesday, November 7 

*Art show in Stamm open from 9-3:30 p.m.

7 p.m., Council Chamber, Templeton Campus Center

Keynote Presentation

How Modern Medicine Was Born of Slavery

Deirdre Cooper Owensassociate professor of history at Queens College, CUNY 

Presentation description: Cooper Owens will explain how the institution of American slavery was directly linked to the creation of reproductive medicine in the U.S. She will provide context for how and why physicians denied black women their full humanity, yet valued them as “medical superbodies” highly suited for experimentation. In engaging with 19th-century ideas about so-called racial difference, she will shed light on the contemporary legacy of medical racism.

Welcoming remarks and introductions by Maya Hernández and Jasmine Torres, L&C ’19 and RWS co-chairs.


Thursday, November 8

*Art show in Stamm open from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. when panels are not in progress.
*Healing Justice Practice Space available (schedule in link). 


9:30–11 a.m., Stamm
Cultural Traditions and Healing Practices

Panel description: How do communities of color draw on cultural traditions and ancestral wisdom for healing? What does culturally informed and relevant care look like? What alternatives to oppressive medical systems are being remembered and created? This panel will explore the intersections between health and culture, envisioning new ways to heal from the wounds of racism and oppression.

Moderator: Magalí Rabasa, L&C assistant professor of Hispanic studies
Raina Croff, assistant professor of neurology, Oregon Health and Sciences University, and medical anthropologist
Shafia Monroe, midwife, doula trainer, and founder of International Center for Traditional Childbearing
Jai Medina, indigenous healer, teacher, and founder of the Balanzu Way School of Shamanic Arts


11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Stamm
Planting Health, Building Justice

Panel description:  Communities of color and working-class folks bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and destruction. Environmental racism, housing inequality, lack of access to food, and theft and occupation of Native lands are all part of the capitalist, colonialist project. How is the ideology of racism (re-)created in the built environment? How does where we live and how we inhabit space affect our health? How are vulnerable communities fighting for environmental, economic, and food justice? How are they healing their relationship to the earth and each other by engaging in traditional and community-based practices?

Moderator: Kabir Mansingh Heimsath, L&C visiting assistant professor of anthropology
Ryan Petteway
, social epidemiologist and assistant professor, Portland State University–Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Public Health
Julius McGee, assistant professor of sociology, Portland State University
Jennie Brixey
, community health worker, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)


1:30–3 p.m., Stamm
Emergency: Racial Disparities in Health Care Access and Outcomes

Panel description: Questions of who has access to health care and how ideologies of race and ethnicity affect that care are central to this year’s symposium. People of color face numerous barriers when seeking health care, resulting in significant disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. This panel will expose and explore some of those inequalities, as well as how communities of color work together to meet their own health needs to provide and advocate for their own health.

Moderator: Maryann Bylander, L&C assistant professor of sociology
Saara Hirsi, founder of Disabled Refugee Alliance and graduate student in social work, Portland State University
Shanaquewa Finney, community health worker, Urban League of Portland
Adan Merecias, community health worker, Familias en Acción
Linda Castillo, Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs


THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELED. Please note that Will Sarvis will present his work Friday on “Race Across Disciplinary Boundaries.”
3:30–5 p.m., Stamm
Racialized Narratives of Addiction and Drug Use

Panel description: What does addiction look like from a personal, academic, and clinical perspective when we consider race and racism? What kind of help and treatment are available to people of color struggling with addiction? In what ways are people of color targeted by stigmas surrounding addiction? How does the view of addiction as a crime rather than a health issue determine who gets help and who goes to jail, and what role has racial ideology played in those responses? This panel will discuss addiction from a variety of perspectives and discuss how structural racism affects the diagnosis and treatment of people of color struggling with substance abuse.

Moderator: Melissa Osmond, L&C associate director of health promotion and wellness
Frank A. Franklin
, principal epidemiologist, Multnomah County Health Department
Will Sarvis, L&C ’19, “Defining Vice: Opioid Addiction(s) and the National Body in the Late Victorian Era”
Additional presenters being confirmed.


7 p.m., Council Chamber, Templeton Campus Center

Keynote Panel

Healing Justice in Conversation
A discussion of intergenerational trauma, holistic practices, and collective resistance. 

Moderator: Sepideh Bajracharya, L&C assistant professor of anthropology with term
Autumn Brown, organizer, theologian, artist, author, and facilitator
Carla M. Pérez, founder of Healing Clinic Collective
Jerry Tello, therapist, author, performer, and co-founder of National Compadres Network

Welcoming remarks and introductions by Maya Litauer Chan, L&C ’19 and RWS co-chair.


Friday, November 9 

*Art show in Stamm open from 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m. when panels are not in progress.
*Healing Justice Practice Space available (schedule in link). 


9:30–11 a.m., Stamm
Mental Health is Not Just for White People

Panel description: What does mental health look like for people of color? In what ways have mental health care systems focused on white people, and what have been the consequences? This panel will raise questions about the cultural exclusivity of “mental health,” asking who has access to a doctor’s diagnosis or to an education about mental illness. We will also examine how racism affects mental health treatment and produces higher rates of medical conditions that generate significant psychological challenges. Additionally, this panel will explore responses within communities of color to develop transformative practices and new resources.

Moderator: Angela Buck, L&C director of inclusion and multicultural engagement 
Claudelle Glasgow
, licensed psychologist
Asani Seawell, associate professor of clinical and health psychology, Pacific University
Yin Li, psychotherapist and founder of Theralane
Jenjee T. Sengkhammee, licensed psychologist


11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Smith Hall, Albany Quadrangle
Race Across Disciplinary Boundaries: Student Research Presentations

Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion with students who will share original research projects addressing issues of race and ethnicity. Bring your lunch. Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Moderator: Michelle Waters, L&C ’19 and former RWS co-chair
Jennifer Anderson, L&C ’19, art history and religious studies, “The Ethics of Art Ownership: Who Owns Asian Art?”
María Laura Andrade Laso, L&C ’18, SOAN and Hispanic studies, “Transfeminist Citizenship in Ecuador: Activist Strategies for Counter-hegemonic Resistance and Transformation”
Chrislyn DeMattos, L&C ’19, environmental studies, “Indigenous Perspectives in Environmental Activism: Native Hawaiian Priorities, Sentiments, and Methodologies”
Claire Duncan, L&C ’19, history, “Colonialism Through Domesticity: Race, Protestantism, and Education during the American Colonization of the Philippines”
Jowelle Mizero
, L&C ’19, SOAN and Hispanic studies, “Teacher Reflections on Culturally Responsive Teaching”
Miranda Mora, L&C ’19, international affairs, “Liminal Space: Race, Empire and the Panama Canal Zone”
Will Sarvis, L&C ’19, history, “Defining Vice: Opioid Addiction(s) and the National Body in the Late Victorian Era” 


1:30–3 p.m.Black Box, Fir Acres Theatre
A Bitter Pill: A Play Within a Play
Written and directed by Josie Seid, in collaboration with student producer Eva Magaña ’20.

Featuring L&C students Yashshree Raj Bisht, Sam Gensler, Nyna Kumi ButlerTuse Mahenya, Ernesto Monge Marin, Olivia Santiago, and Madisyn Taylor.

A member of an encampment of homeless young people finds a discarded partial copy of the play Miss Evers’ Boys. As they gather around to pass the time, they decide to read an excerpt. They engage in commentary on the injustice of the situation in the play while being unaware of their own parallels of making difficult decisions in the wake of inaccessible health care. Co-sponsored by Students for Cultural Inclusion in the Theater (SCIT) and the L&C Theatre Department. 


7 p.m., Agnes Flanagan Chapel
Race Monologues

Each year a different group of L&C students writes an original series of personal narratives to share their feelings, experiences, and understandings of race, ethnicity, and identity. 

L&C students Maggie Beutler ’21, Yashshree Raj Bisht ’21, Sheyla Dorantes Sanchez ’22,  Nico Flores ’21, Elizabeth Gillingham ’20, Anaïs Gurrola ’19, Immanuel Harice ’22, Samantha Hernandez ’21, Alexandra Knighton ’21, Venessa Lopez ’21, Ariely Mejia ’22, Sherlock Ortiz ’20, Anahi Ríos ’22, Aubriana Slaughter ’22, Maiyio Taylor-Jackson ’21, Anastasia Tull ’22, Madisyn Taylor ’21, Matthew Telles ’21, and Susana Mariel Vázquez Castro ’22 and Yumi Wilson ’19.

Doors open at 6:40 p.m. Seating in the Chapel will be limited to the first 460 people who arrive. Please also note that the doors will be closed at 7 p.m. Latecomers will not be seated.

Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

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