13th Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies

November 9–11, 2016  


Social Justice Tours:

The Ray Warren Symposium is teaming up with IME (Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement) to sponsor Social Justice tours on campus before and after the symposium. Click here to learn more!

Watzek Library Displays: 

Watzek Library has several exhibits exploring the idea of “Home: Race, Place, and Belonging”. Be sure to check out the diversions book display in the atrium as well as two special collections on the top floor. Click here to read more.


Wednesday, November 9

7 p.m., Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
*Keynote Panel
No Place Like Home: Housing and Displacement in Portland
Moderator: Reiko Hillyer, L&C assistant professor of history
Lisa Bates, associate professor of urban studies, Portland State University
Carol Chan, Chinese outreach associate, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Katrina Holland, executive director, Community Alliance of Tenants
Cameron Whitten, executive director, Know Your City

Panel description:  Pick up a Portland-area newspaper on any given day and you will find at least one story about the local housing crisis.  Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Council declared a housing emergency for the city last fall, and they just extended it for another year.  Low vacancy rateshigh rent increasesno-cause evictionsthe status of homeless shelters, controversial commercial development, and related issues dominate the news and are a major concern among residents. At this year’s symposium, we want to further interrogate these issues. Who has access to a physical home in Portland and who can afford that access? How have race and ethnicity affected housing policy and Portland’s communities throughout history? What does it mean to make a home in one of the whitest cities in AmericaGentrification and urban development seem like buzzwords for Portland at this point, but it remains crucial to understand these processes and the ways in which people, specifically people of color in Portland, experience them. By looking at the historical context, contemporary public policy, and feet-on-the-ground activism, this panel aims to complicate the idea of “home,” understand how race and ethnicity affect access to housing, examine how people make community in these spaces, and amplify the work being done to combat an ever-growing crisis in this city many of us call home. 



Thursday, November 10
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: Kate Wackett ’17
Brooke Alexander ’17, Rhetoric and Media Studies major, “The Erasure of Individual Voice and Racial Disparity: Government Plans to ‘End Homelessness’”
C.J. Appleton ’17, Sociology/Anthropology major, “Seeking Care: How Race and Love Motivate Decision Making”
Emma Biddulph ’17, History major and RWS co-chair, “‘Competent Indians’: Land Allotment and Native American Boarding Schools of the Late 19th Century”
Caroline Gray ’17, International Affairs major, “Home Rule: The Rise of Hindu Nationalism in India”
Cameron Smith ’17, Rhetoric and Media Studies major, “#AirbnbWhileBlack: Discrimination and Displacement in the Sharing Economy”


1:30–3 p.m., Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Uprooted: Displacement, Mobility, and Impermanence

Panel description: How do geographic upheaval and movement affect racial, ethnic, and national identity? How do people conceptualize home in transitory conditions? Is there an “end point” if home is constantly moving? This panel will look at the ways in which people create home, specifically in the context of migrations and movements, while keeping in mind urgent issues of immigration and refugeeism.

Moderator: Maryann Bylander, L&C assistant professor of sociology
Sara Jay, L&C visiting assistant professor of history, “Mediterranean Migration: Defining a Crisis”
Leone Palmeri, L&C ’17, “La Fabbrica Occupata, a Space of Resistance and Self Organization”
Lena Novak, L&C ’17, “Migrant Shelters: Space, Communication and Interaction”
Elliott Young, L&C professor of history and director of ethnic studies, “Transborder Spaces of Postmodernism:  From Roots to Epiphytes”


3:30–5 p.m., Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Home Plate: Food and Cultural Belonging

Panel description: This panel will look at the ways in which food contributes to racial, ethnic, and collective identities by connecting people through tradition and cultural practice. How can food help us to feel rooted in a place or community, even when that place may be thousands of miles away or undergoing significant change?  How are racialized relationships to food understood and idealized?  And what is the place of “ethnic food” in Portland food culture?

Moderator: Angela Buck, L&C assistant director of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement
Soleil Ho, writer, chef, and host of The Racist Sandwich podcast
Judy BlueHorse Skelton, senior instructor, Indigenous Nations Studies, Portland State University
Maria Garcia, co-founder, Revolución Coffee House
Bertony Faustin, owner, Abbey Creek Vineyard and Winery


 7 p.m., Council Chamber, Templeton Campus Center, 
*Keynote Presentation

“You,” “Me,” and “We”: Difference, Belonging, and Community in the Era of Black Lives Matter
Jeff Chang, cultural critic and author 

Introduced by Anna Gonzalez, L&C Dean of Students

Presentation abstract: We live in an era in which demagogues promote division and resegregation surges. How do we name these new racialized conditions that have changed our interior and external geographies? How do we build belonging and community that transforms these conditions into freedom for all?



Friday, November 11

9:30–11 a.m., Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Toward New Roots? Settling and Unsettling Identities

Panel description:  This panel explores the ways in which racial identities fluctuate depending on a person’s physical location. For example, how is Blackness a different experience for a person from Africa who is now living in America, as opposed to someone of African descent born in the United States?  Are there other spaces where racial identities change or mean something different?  What happens when we feel out of place where we are “supposed” to belong?  Can we call these places “home”?  What happens when we code switch and speak in different words and worlds?

Moderator: Diana Leonard, L&C assistant professor of psychology
Jeff Chang, author, Colorlines cofounder, and RWS keynote speaker
Daniel Eisen, assistant professor of sociology, Pacific University
Mamelang Memela, L&C ’20
Anna N’Semi, L&C ’19, member of Bantu Ba Africa


11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
Indigenous Conceptions of Place

Panel description:  This panel examines home in terms of land and physical landscapes, asking how home is conceptualized in particular geographic spaces. In particular, this panel explores what land and place mean to indigenous people.  What are the histories that land carries? How are narratives of land and place shaped by settler colonialism, and how do places, people, and institutions reconcile with this?  Additionally, what does a place look like where indigenous peoples and settlers can both belong and feel like home? 

Moderator: Hilary Martin Himan, L&C Chamberlin Social Justice and Faith in Action Coordinator, Office of Spiritual Life
Natchee Barnd
, assistant professor of ethnic studies, Oregon State University
Mikeala Owen, L&C ’17 and RWS co-chair, “Water is Life: Indigenous Coalition and Social Media in the Standing Rock Efforts to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline”
Jesse Robertson, L&C ’17, “Land Use, Utopia, and Dispossession at Rajneeshpuram”
Michael Martinez, L&C law student ’17, member of Native American Law Students Association, “Indigenous Conceptions of Place: Legal Background”


1:30–3 p.m. Stamm Dining Room, Templeton Campus Center
A Seat at the Table: Experiences of Black Portlanders

Panel description: A symposium on home and belonging in Portland must address Black lives and experiences in the “whitest city in America.” This panel explores how Black communities have transformed in relation to the white population and other people of color in the city.  Where are spaces of intimacy and kinship for Black Portlanders?  How are Black Portlanders rewriting and amplifying their narratives?

Moderator: Kundai Chirindo, L&C assistant professor of rhetoric and media studies
Intisar Abioto, photographer, creator of The Black Portlanders
Kim Cameron-Dominguez, L&C visiting assistant professor of anthropology
Stephanie Ghoston, Da Lab PDX, a space for black kinship and love


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.

Featuring L&C students Mahmoud Ahmed ’19, Christen Cromer ’18, Tiffany Farmer ’18,
Lani Felicitas ’18, Genea Gettig ’19, Maya Hernandez ’19, Anya Jacquez ’18, Myisha Kinberg  ’20, Sage Meade ’18, Mikeala Owen ’17, Miguel Posada ’19, Bradley Ralph ’19, Carlos Sanchez ’18, and Michelle Waters ’19


Doors open at 6:30 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.

To learn more about Race Monologues, click here.