PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies will present speakers, panel discussions and more at its first student conference, “Building Positive Change, Resistance and Accountability,” April 21-22.

The conference is set to begin with a 6:30 p.m. showing and discussion of the film “Agitating for Revolution” at Common Ministry’s Koinonia House. The documentary compares University of California, Berkeley, student movements and other social movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s to those of the ‘90s.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Peter Sacks, an author, essayist and social critic. His address, “Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Growing Class Divide in American Higher Education,” will be presented at noon April 22 in the Compton Union Building Auditorium.

Sacks’ latest book is “Standardized Minds: The High Price of America’s Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It” (Perseus). His essays on education and American culture have appeared in many publications, including The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Review, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Change Magazine and Education Week.

A former economist and staff writer at metro dailies on both coasts, Sacks covered business and economics and completed several award-winning journalism projects. He is working on an upcoming book about social class and the American education system, forthcoming from the University of California Press.

Panel sessions, plays, spoken word performances and posters are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22. Research poster presentations can be seen in the CUB Cascade Rooms.

“It is rare that conference presentations showcase the work of undergraduate students,” said Yolanda Flores Niemann, chair of CES. “This conference affords students the opportunity to showcase their skills in ethical civic engagement, critical thinking, verbal and written communication, and research,” she said.

Panel topics include Racism and Tokenism; Immigrants and Exile; Hip Hop: Race, Identity, and Power; Women Resisting State Violence; GLBT, Navigating the Intersections (of race, class, gender and sexuality); Media Awareness; Asian-American Women, Community Building; Education and Empowerment; Identity: Exile and Empowerment; History’s Resources; Considering American Identity; Finding Equity and Diversity – Reflections on WSU’s Campus Climate Survey; and Beyond Prisons and State Violence.

A talk on “Getting Into and Through Graduate School” will be presented and two student workshops on internships will be offered at 2 p.m. April 22 in CES. The conference will conclude with a reception and student awards in the CUB Cascade Rooms at 5:30 p.m.

For a complete list of presentations and workshops, visit http://libarts.wsu.edu/ces/.