UW News

May 27, 2021

‘Quarantining while Black’: Conference examines twin pandemics through radical listening

UW News

The University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference and Equity 2021 conference will examine ‘Quarantining while Black.’ The two-day virtual event, scheduled for the morning of June 1 and the afternoon of June 2, is an invitation to radically listen to the ways in which Black Americans in Seattle and beyond have experienced the dual pandemics: COVID-19, with its disproportionate impact on Black communities, and the worldwide racial reckoning that emerged after the murder of George Floyd.

Ralina Joseph

Ralina Joseph

“We have been honored to host conversations with Black people from all walks of life including graduate students, police officers, librarians, a hairdresser, tech workers, retirees, artists and many more,” said Ralina Joseph, the center’s director and the Presidential Term Professor in the UW Department of Communication. “This conference showcases the Interrupting Privilege research group’s year of work. Our researchers have done a phenomenal job of thoughtfully facilitating conversations, carefully coding transcripts and artfully clipping out dialogues.”

That research team includes communication graduate students Lando Tosaya, Laura Irwin, jas  l. Moultrie, and Meshell Sturgis; political science graduate student Thomas Locke; education graduate student Kaleb Germinaro; social work graduate student Sasha Duttchoudhury and undergraduates Chardonnay Beaver and Mari Watkins.

The conference is an extension of Interrupting Privilege, a community-engaged dialogue program centering radical listening to conduct action-oriented research that interrupts structures of power. Through stories, participants feel a sense of agency when their voices are intentionally listened to, and audiences empathize with personal stories when they are presented conversationally.

Scheduled conference sessions include:

  • What does it mean to Quarantine While Black and How do we Radically Listen?
  • Shifting Priorities: How Quarantining Changed Our Lives
  • Roots in Seattle: Where is “Black Seattle” Today?
  • Stressors: Feeling Trauma through the Dual Pandemics
  • Policing While Black: Black Police Officers’ Stories of Racism and Care
  • Community(Self-) Care: Healing Ourselves by Healing with Community

The conference is free, but registration is required.

For more information, contact Joseph at rljoseph@uw.edu.