Best-selling author to speak at Tri‑Cities’ women of color event

portrait of speaker

By Elinor Lake, intern, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – Best-selling author Ijeoma Oluo will be the featured speaker at an evening that celebrates women of color, 6:30-9 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at Columbia Basin College’s Gjerde Center. The event is hosted by Washington State University Tri-Cities and local poet and speaker Jordan Chaney.

Oluo is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who was named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017. Her book, “So You Want to Talk About Race,” is a New York Times best-seller. She was also lauded as one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine and is a winner of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society.

“An Evening with Ijeoma Oluo” is part of WSU Tri-Cities’ lecture and workshop series on social justice. Organizers hope to celebrate women of color and facilitate a constructive and educational dialogue.

book cover for "So you want to talk about race"

Spoken word artist Reagan Jackson will open the event, followed by Oluo’s hour-long talk. The event will close with a question and answer session and social, during which musician Gretchen Yanover will play cello.

Reserve a free seat at The discussions about race will feature mature content and strong language, so the event is recommended for those of high school age and older.

Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice and the arts. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Guardian, among other outlets.

Katie Banks, political science instructor at WSU Tri-Cities, said the fact that “the event has outgrown its initial venue speaks volumes about the need and the desire for conversations about race, diversity and equity here in the Tri-Cities.”

The event is sponsored by several community groups, including WSU Tri-Cities through its Office of Advancement and Development and Diversity and Inclusion Council.

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