Western Washington University will honor the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an event titled “We are not the makers of history. We are made by history,” on Tuesday, Jan. 16, featuring educator, scholar, writer and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha.
The event, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 16 in Western’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.
Imarisha will lead participants through a timeline of Black history in the Northwest, particularly the 19th century Oregon Territory, of which today’s Washington state was a part. She will talk about how history, politics and culture have shaped – and will continue to shape – the landscape not only for Black Northwesterners but all Northwesterners.
Event MCs will be Western students Shaneen Walter Edwards and Josiah Scott. Music will be provided by WWU student A Capella Club, “Major Treble.” A reception will follow the event in the PAC Main Lobby.
Imarisha has edited two anthologies, “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements” and “Another World is Possible.” Imarisha’s nonfiction book “Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption” won a 2017 Oregon Book Award. She is also the author of the poetry collection “Scars/Stars.” She is currently working on an Oregon Black history book, forthcoming from AK Press.
Imarisha has taught in Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Portland State University’s Black Studies Department, Oregon State University’s Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department, and Southern New Hampshire University’s English Department.
For six years, she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop.
She has toured the country several times performing, lecturing and challenging, and has shared the stage with folks as different as Angela Davis, Cornel West, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Kenny Muhammed of the Roots, Chuck D, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Robin D.G. Kelley, Umar bin Hassan from The Last Poets, Boots Riley, Saul Williams, Ani DiFranco, John Irving, dead prez, Rebecca Solnit, and Yuri Kochiyama.
Parking enforcement will be suspended in all campus lots from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. the night of the event, Jan. 16, with the exception of load zones, disability and reserved spaces.
WWU is an equal opportunity institution. For disability accommodation, please contact disAbility Resources for Students, Old Main 120, 360-650-3083 (voice) or 360-650-7175 (VP), firstname.lastname@example.org.