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2023 Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture Recap

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, OMA&D held its annual Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Lecture. This year, the lecture featured Dr. Joanne Woiak, Associate Teaching Professor for the Disability Studies Program at the University of Washington. Her lecture “Engaging Disability, Empowering History: Ethics and Politics of Disability History” highlighted the exclusion and erasure of disabilities from history and the impact this has on the narrative around disability advocacy and even how accommodations are resourced today. Including themes of prejudice and social justice she discussed in depth some of the research she has done on the history of eugenics and sterilization as well as other forms of marginalization faced by people with disabilities.

The evening began with a warm reception at the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center where Dr. Woiak and guests gathered in community, shared food and drink, and where many had the chance to speak to Dr. Woiak before the lecture began. The guests then walked across the street to the Alder Hall auditorium and were welcomed to the lecture by OMA&D VP and University Diversity Officer Rickey Hall. Following Rickey was Program Assistant to the UW Office of the ADA Coordinator Toby Gallant.

“As the Disability Justice movement urges, the knowledge, wisdom, and leadership of those most impacted by multiple systems of oppression is crucial. We must *do* disability history in ways that don’t perpetuate erasure or distancing from disability, race, or any other marginalized identity.” – Dr. Joanne Woiak

After her presentation, VP Rickey Hall presented Dr. Woiak with an framed original signed photography print by Emile Pitre with gratitude for her stellar presentation.

A video of the lecture can be found below in this post, as well as a copy of the presentation and photos from the event.

OMA&D thanks our campus partners who helped make this event a success:

  • University of Washington Alumni Association
  • University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences, Disability Studies Program
  • University of Washington Disability Services Office (DSO)
  • University of Washington Division of Student Life, Disability Resources for Students (DSR)
  • University of Washington Office of the ADA Coordinator

Materials and Resources



Photo Credit: Tara Brown 

Photos from these galleries are not for commercial use. For higher resolution images or for permission to use them within the University of Washington, please contact For permission to use these photos for commercial use or for purposes outside of the University of Washington, please contact the photographer directly.