Seattle-based writer Ijeoma Oluo, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “So You Want to Talk About Race” and the just released “Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America” will be the Martin Luther King Jr. speaker for the Community Colleges of Spokane on Thursday, January 14.
She is the first in a series of speakers who will discuss diversity and equity winter and fall quarters through the Hagan Center at Spokane Community College.
Oluo’s virtual 50-minute presentation is at 10:30 a.m. and can be accessed by all interested on the Spokane Community College website at: scc.spokane.live
Oluo’s work on race has been featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as many other publications. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist Award from the American Humanist Association. She has been named one of the most influential people in Seattle by Seattle Magazine and SeattleMet.
The Reviews of her books have described her first book as more of a practical introduction to racism and her second as more diagnostic of racism and sexism in America. Her work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice and the arts.
She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Washington University.
Her presentation is sponsored by the Black Student Union groups at SCC and Spokane Falls Community College and the Hagan Center for the Humanities at SCC as well as others. She is one of 11 speakers the Hagan Center has lined up through Winter and Spring quarters for a series it is calling “Diversity Dialogues: Conversations and Race and Equity.”
The other speakers will make morning presentations for students and evening presentations for the public, all on Zoom. The evening presentations will be livestreamed onto YouTube. The speakers are:
January 20, 5 p.m., Marlon James, author of the New York Times bestseller “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” released in 2019, and three other novels, including his first “John Crow’s Devil” in 2005. He divides his time between Minnesota and New York.
January 27, 6:30 p.m., Daudi Abe, a professor and writer in Seattle whose research demonstrates the racial achievement gap in school for Black students cannot be solved without first addressing the discipline gap.
February 17, 5 p.m., Kevin Young, poetry editor of The New Yorker and host of their poetry podcast. He also is director of New York Library’s Schumburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
March 3, 6:30 p.m., Anu Taranath, a University of Washington professor specializing in global literature, identity, race and equity. She uses song, video, poetry and imagery in an interactive presentation.
March 10, 5 p.m., Tracy K. Smith, named U.S. Poet Laureate in 2017, she teaches creative writing at Princeton University and hosts a daily radio program and podcast for American Public Media.
April 14, 6:30 p.m., Carlos Gil, taught the history of Latin America for over 30 years at the University of Washington. His talk explores Mexican immigration by spotlighting his own family’s experience.
April 27, 5:30 p.m., Angie Thomas, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “The Hate U Give” and her recently released second novel “On the Come Up.”
May 12, 6:30 p.m., Luis Rodriguez, who wrote two award-winning autobiographies of growing up with gang violence and addiction in Los Angeles. He was appointed L.A. Poet Laureate by the mayor in 2014.
June 2, 5 p.m., Hilton Als, who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2017 and is a former staff writer for The New Yorker. His most recent book is “White Girls” and he teaches writing at Columbia University.
June 9, 6:30 p.m., Omari Amili, a Seattle author who found that college classes in prison were his ticket to a better life and he focused his graduate school research on the benefits of education for incarcerated people.