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History & Heritage Month Lectures

Native American Heritage Month Guest Speaker Roberta Paul, Ph.D.: Nov. 13, 2017

Where: Whitworth University, Weyerhaeuser Hall – Robinson Teaching Theatre
When: Monday, Nov. 13, 7-9 pm.
Lecture Topic: Historical Trauma: Spirit of Survival

The need to heal intergenerational historical trauma wounds is profound and deep in the Native American community. Native Americans have experienced massive losses of lives, land, traditional ways and languages. These acts of assimilation affected Paul’s family, and the purpose of her research was to identify the historical unresolved grief over five generations of her Ni Mii Puu (Nez Perce) family. Finding and telling the generational stories revealed that healing could occur by placing historical pain within the context of bearing witness, affirming the family worldview that the members are living and being Ni Mii Puu. Reclaiming the family’s story has become a story of understanding the capacity of family ancestors to survive injury, forgiveness, spiritual healing, and a strong will to survive against all odds.

Robbie Paul, Ph.D., is an enrolled Nez Perce tribal member who was born and raised on the Nez Perce Reservation in the small community of Craigmont, Idaho. Her paternal grandfather was Jess Paul, a survivor of the Nez Perce War of 1877 who helped form the first Nez Perce tribal council and government in the 1920s. Paul recently retired from Washington State University Spokane as the director of Native American Health Sciences. She directed the Na-ha-shnee Native American High School Health Science Institute. Paul serves as affiliate faculty for WSU Plateau Center and serves on the University of Washington Native American Advisory Board, the Southwest Tribal Institutional Board and the Portland Area Indian Health Service Institutional Review Board.

Past Lectures

Links to audio of public lectures given by History & Heritage Month guest speakers since October 2015.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Guest Speaker Trish Morita-Mullaney, Ph.D.: April 26, 2016

Lecture Topic: Asian Americans Navigating the In-Between Spaces: Busting the Binaries

Asian/Americans are often described as model minorities and do not fit into typical discussions surrounding race, which are often framed by a Black/white binary. This in-between space positions Asians to serve as problem solvers for racial conflict, conceived as cooperative and effective agents of racial reconciliation. This complicating space of being in-between will be examined; informing our current understanding of being Asian in America.

African American History Month Guest Speaker Dwight Hopkins, Ph.D.: Feb. 8, 2016

Lecture Topic: What is a Christian Black Theology of Liberation?

This lecture links concretely the rise of Black liberation theology to the Bible and Jesus and justice and race. The presentation also has implications for curricular change.

Native American Heritage Month Guest Speaker Randy Woodley, Ph.D.: Nov. 10, 2015

Lecture Topic: History of European-Settler Colonialism and Christian Mission among Native North Americans

An introduction to life in Native America then, and now. Rev. Randy Woodley, Ph.D.  examines the history of European Settler-Colonialism and Christian mission among Native North Americans. He provides exposure to First Nations from the past to current Native American life and Indigenous spiritualties. These are examined in light of the National Mythos concerning Indigenous people in America. Woodley also explores alternative models of coexistence that may be more effective than past efforts. These include understanding Native American values and worldviews.

Hispanic Heritage Month Guest Speaker Nydia Martinez, Ph.D.: Oct. 12, 2015

Lecture Topic: Honoring Diversity or Homogenizing Identities?

In 1968, in the midst of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement (known as the Chicana/o Movement), President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the observation of Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later, in 1988, during the Reagan administration and the refugee crisis in Central America, the celebration was expanded to cover a 30-day period, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Today, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed across the United States, Canada and Latin America through claims of a "common Hispanic/Latino heritage," while an anti-immigration narrative against Hispanics/Latinos increases in the U.S. What, exactly, does Hispanic Heritage Month celebrate? Is there a common Hispanic/Latino heritage to celebrate? Are we celebrating Hispanic/Latino diversity, a common Hispanic/Latino identity, or something else?