Globalization Conference returns this fall

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The call for presenters is open for the College of Education’s 17th annual Globalization, Diversity, and Education (GDE) Conference, to be held Sept. 14–16 at Northern Quest Casino and Resort.

This year’s theme is Kinship-in-Action with its challenge to examine what ‘kin’ is and its use as a verb. It will have a familiar sound to those who are actively taking part in WSU Common Reading Program’s current book, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Visit the conference website to submit for presentation or to find out more information. 

Stephany RunningHawk Johnson, assistant professor in the college’s cultural studies and social thought in education (CSSTE) program, said after a three‑year pandemic-driven hiatus, members of the conference committee decided hosting an in-person conference was vital to relationship-building across the WSU system and beyond.

“Our theme this year is a call to gather intentionally as we explore our deep relations with each other while centering our conversations around the reality of ecological crisis,” she said.

Michelle Jacob (Yakama Nation)

Associate CSSTE professor Johnny Lupinacci said that ecological crisis includes things like acknowledgment and response to climate change and some inextricably linked aspects of human rights issues and social injustice.

However, Lupinacci said the GDE Conference has always been a good space to tackle these kinds of issues and build community and consensus among scholars, students, educators, and community practitioners.

“It’s about bringing folx together to talk about the diverse ways we are all rethinking about how to engage in the change occurring all around us and to connect those changes with work happening in the community amidst the largest social uprising of all our lifetimes,” Lupinacci said. “These things are impossible to isolate from place, land, and diverse cultures, species, and bioregions so it going to be special to convene and collab with all the amazing folx from near and far that attend this fall at the conference.”

Paula Groves Price, former WSU professor and college associate dean, herself instrumental in every GDE conference since the inception, will open the event with a welcome and an overview of the big ‘why’.

The keynote speaker this year will be Michelle Jacob (Yakama Nation).

The conference has received support from campus partners such as WSU’s Center for Arts and Humanities and the English Department. These donations defray the cost of attendance for participating students.

“Braiding Sweetgrass”

Kimmerer is a botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who believes that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Kimmerer discusses an awakening of a wider ecological consciousness and our necessitated reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.

CSSTE student Sequoia Dance said the conference theme is in line with Kimmerer’s teaching to slow down and reconnect and listen to our relatives on what it means to be in-relation, as well as the responsibility that we hold in that relationship.

“Auntie Robin has taught us that our more-than-human relations communicate to us, and we need to slow down to listen” Dance said. “As humans, we have created an incredibly one-sided and extractive relationship with a world that gives until it can give no more. Our call, is an opportunity and challenge for us to come together to ask and answer questions that will contribute to a world of kinning, rather than individual elitism and hierarchies.”

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