The Graduate School

Past events in the Equity & Difference series

Wed. Jan. 17, 2018

Building Walls and Securing Borders

Megan Ming Francis HeadshotMegan Ming Francis, Associate Professor of Political Science, UW

With the election of Donald Trump, there is increased attention on border security and questions about citizenship. Francis discusses the Muslim ban and how the public made their response heard with protests in our country’s streets and airports.

About Megan Ming Francis

Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017

The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up)

Kristen Soltis Anderson HeadshotKristen Soltis Anderson, political pollster, author and ABC News contributor

Anderson’s research on the millennial generation has been featured in The New York Times Magazine and earned her a resident fellowship at Harvard. In this talk, she will offer key insights on how young pollsters and consultants are using data mining and social media to transform electoral politics.

About Kristen Soltis Anderson

Wed. Nov. 1, 2017

Testing the Limits of Due Process Denial: Latinos and Immigrants as the Canaries in the Mine

Maria Hinojosa HeadshotMaria Hinojosa, news correspondent and journalist

Hinojosa has spent decades reporting on immigration and the treatment of immigrants – both documented and undocumented – by law enforcement organizations. In this lecture, she will give powerful witness to the routine denial of due process to immigrants and its effect on our broader society.

About Maria Hinojosa

Tues. Oct. 10, 2017

Healthcare for All: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Donna Shalala HeadshotDonna Shalala, Trustee Professor of Political Science and Health Policy, University of Miami

Why has it been so difficult to insure healthcare coverage for everyone? From Roosevelt to Trump, Shalala traces how history, politics and complexity have all contributed to our failure to achieve high quality care for everyone, and explores ways we can move forward.

About Donna Shalala

Wed. Oct. 4, 2017

Civil Rights Challenges We All Face

Megan Ming Francis HeadshotMegan Ming Francis, Associate Professor of Political Science, UW

The period after the 9/11 terrorist attacks saw a dramatic rollback in civil rights and civil liberties and laid the groundwork for where we are today. Francis will address the role of public silence in the erosion of democracy and the vital need to reclaim our voice.

About Megan Ming Francis

Wed. May 3, 2017

History, Conflict and Promise: Civil Rights at the UW

In 1968, more than 100 UW students, organized by the Black Student Union, occupied the offices of UW President Charles Odegaard. Their nonviolent actions led to changes in admission policies and curricula that echo to this day. Nearly 50 years later, moderator Ralina Joseph joins a panel of UW alumni civil rights leaders to reflect on the legacy of the occupation and the state of the UW’s ongoing commitment to equity and justice for all.

About the panel

Tues. April 11, 2017

Peggy McIntosh

Waking up to Privilege Systems: Putting Unearned Power to New Uses

Peggy McIntosh

Acclaimed scholar Peggy McIntosh will share at least 16 specific actions that can lead to a more just society and world and begin to untangle the net of unearned advantages and disadvantages that lift some up while pushing others down.

About Peggy McIntosh

 Fri. March 24, 2017

An Evening with Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer, American Ballet Theatre

In 2015, Misty Copeland became the first African American female principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre’s 75-year history. Hear from this artist, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian about how she broke barriers and her work to inspire young people everywhere.

About Misty Copeland

Tues. Feb. 28, 2017


Just Sustainabilities: Re-imagining e/quality, Living Within Limits

Julian Agyeman, professor of urban and environment policy and planning, Tufts University

Professor Julian Agyeman outlines the concept of “just sustainabilities” — the need to ensure a better quality of life for all in a just and equitable manner within the limits of supporting ecosystems. Integrating social needs and welfare offers us a more “just,” rounded, and equity-focused definition of sustainability and sustainable development, while not negating the very real environmental threats we face. Examples range from just sustainabilities focusing on ideas about “fair shares” resource distribution globally; planning for intercultural cities; achieving well-being and happiness; the potential in the new sharing economy and the concept of “spatial justice.”

About Julian Agyeman

Wed. Feb. 15, 2017

Privilege_Williamson-Lott_210New Hurdles, Same Territory: How History Can Guide the Future of Education

Joy Williamson-Lott, professor of education, University of Washington

Many look to “the school” as the great equalizer, a meritocracy where equal opportunity is realized. For communities of color, this is often far from the truth. Throughout history, each time communities of color have made progress toward equal educational opportunity, a major societal pushback has caused the loss of gains that appeared won. Dr. Williamson-Lott looks to history to show how we can work toward real progress.

About Joy Williamson-Lott

Fri. Jan. 27, 2017

Privilege_Wise_210White Privilege

Tim Wise, anti-racist writer and educator

Racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits white Americans in every realm. Tim Wise, who is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, shares how racial privilege impedes progressive social change for all — and ways to challenge this paradigm.

About Tim Wise

Tues. Jan 10, 2017

Privilege_Noguera_210Equity and Deeper Learning

Pedro Noguera, professor of education, UCLA

While there is greater attention to issues of privilege surrounding student achievement, missing from the debate is how to make achievement more likely. Dr. Noguera describes strategies for supporting teaching and learning for all types of students.

About Pedro Noguera

Wed. Oct. 26, 2016

White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo, ’95, Ph.D. ’04, Director of Equity, Sound Generations, Seattle/King County

Whiteness as an ingrained cultural default has led white communities to a place of racial insularity and sensitivity, reluctant to earnestly engage with the difficult issues of our day. Robin DiAngelo, ’95, Ph.D. ’04, expands on how stronger social stamina is essential to a more just society.

About Robin DiAngelo

Wed. October 12, 2016

Race and Violence in American Politics

Megan Ming Francis, UW Assistant Professor of Political Science

Issues of unprosecuted violence against minorities, identity politics and racial tension have occupied the greater American consciousness for decades. How do we change the course? Megan Ming Francis argues that in order to look ahead, we first must look back.

About Megan Ming Francis

Thurs. October 6, 2016

Define American: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

Jose Antonio Vargas, Journalist, Filmaker and Activist

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant, Jose Antonio Vargas has simultaneously lived a life in the shadows and in broad daylight. Join Vargas as he shares his personal journey, from arrival in America to his role as an activist.

About Jose Antonio Vargas

May 18, 2016

I’m Coming Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the U.S.

Marieka M. Klawitter, Professor of Public Policy and Governance, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington

Professor Klawitter explores the triumphs and setbacks in the struggle for LGBTQ equality, and how attitudes, acceptance and the law have impacted life for families and in the workplace in the decades following the Stonewall riots.

About Marieka M. Klawitter

April 5, 2016

Microaggression: Power, Privilege and Everyday Life

Touré, Journalist, author, cultural critic

The realities of prejudice do not reside in acts of separation and violence alone. In this lecture, Touré expands on microaggressions – the subtle acts of hostility and “othering” faced by minorities as they navigate society.

About Touré

Feb. 23, 2016

Doing Race Better: Race and the Reform of Urban Schools

Charles M. Payne, Professor, school of social service administration, The University of Chicago

An increasingly common topic in our cultural conversation, issues of race are largely ignored as a consideration in the policies that shape urban schools and school systems. Professor Payne explores how taking race more fully into account may allow us to shape more powerful educational practices and adequately address social inequity.

About Charles M. Payne 

Feb. 10, 2016

More Than Mascots! Less Than Citizens? American Indians Talk: Why Isn’t the U.S. Listening?

K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Professor, school of social transformation, Arizona State University

If the current debate over the name of a certain NFL team in our nation’s capital is any indication, many have not yet gotten the message regarding the harmful effects of ethnic stereotyping.

Why is willful ignorance about American Indian realities so deeply entrenched and passionately defended? Key answers are embedded in early 20th century federal court cases and legislation, including the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. Tracing the history of U.S. debates over the status of Native people illuminates the challenges and opportunities that surviving, thriving Native peoples pose for U.S. society.

About K. Tsianina Lomawaima

Feb. 4, 2016

Freedom, Religion and Racism in Jewish-Muslim Encounters

Mehnaz Afridi, Assistant professor of religious studies and director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College

Issues of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe and America occupy a persistent place in politics and conversations. From the Charlie Hebdo murders in France to the backlash against Syrian refugees and the perennial conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, there is no shortage of global discussion on religious freedom and Jewish-Muslim relations.

In this lecture, Dr. Afridi discusses how the state of religious freedom in Europe is affecting the lives of Jews and Muslims today, and argues that the ideal — and perhaps only — venue for a Jewish-Muslim dialogue is here in the United States.

About Mehnaz Afridi

Jan. 21, 2016

I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Redefining Strong Female Characters

Anita Sarkeesian, media critic, creator,

There has been a significant increase in the number of television shows and movies that showcase female action heroes, challenging and transforming the historical representations of women. But are these truly examples of “Strong Female Characters,” or do they simply replicate traditional masculine archetypes in a sexualized, female body?

In this lecture, Anita Sarkeesian deconstructs the “Strong Female Character,” and argues for a better approach to how women are portrayed in media, one that breaks out of oppressive interpretations of gender and supports feminist values to promote a more just society.

About Anita Sarkeesian

Jan. 14, 2016

What’s the Difference With “Difference”?

Ralina L. Joseph, Director, CCDE, associate professor, department of communication, University of Washington

Today, we often employ the word “difference” as a catch-all word when we talk about race, gender, and sexuality. Difference replaces—or rather revises—‘diversity’, ‘multiculturalism’, or a long-connected string of descriptors such as race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and ability. But what does this shift in language mean and why is it significant for the ways in which we assess, inhabit, and perhaps even change our world? How does the Black Lives Matter movement illustrate our need to turn to difference, just as All Lives Matter illustrates the impossibility of indifference today? Can difference, instead of diversity, provide campus activists with a means to fight microaggression and structural racism?  Join Ralina Joseph as we discuss why words matter and how identity descriptions change over time.

About Ralina L. Joseph 

Oct. 6, 2015

An Evening with Harry Belafonte
Interview with Valerie Curtis-Newton

Harry Belafonte, artist and activist

Harry Belafonte is a performer and activist of boundless dedication. A prolific singer, actor and producer, Belafonte made an indelible mark in both the arts and in the fight for social justice. He played visible role in the Civil Rights Movement as financier, confidant and friend to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also served as cultural advisor to the Peace Corps under President John F. Kennedy, as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was an instrumental advocate for the end of apartheid in South Africa.

About Harry Belafonte 

About this series

Equity & Difference: Keeping the Conversation Going is a series of talks that expose and explain transgressions and struggles — both systematic and personal — experienced by too many in our communities today. It features thought leaders from our campus and around the nation, who are working to open our eyes to the consequences of prejudice, and seeking solutions for change.

View the Equity & Difference lectures taking place this quarter.

UWAA and UWRA members receive advance registration for the series! Not a member? Join today!

For more information, contact the UW Alumni Association at 206-543-0540 or