Jennifer Lopez finished her performance of Woody Guthrie’s protest anthem “This Land is Your Land” Wednesday morning by paying homage to her Hispanic identity. “One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all,” Lopez said in Spanish to the small crowd gathered on the west side of the Capitol to witness President Joe Biden take the oath of office.
Many politicians in Washington still need to be educated on Puerto Rican demands, said Carmen Lugo-Lugo, a professor of comparative ethnic studies at Washington State University who is Puerto Rican. After years of researching congressional hearings on Puerto Rico, she found that the island “was invisible to those who were directly and indirectly making decisions about it and on its behalf.”
“If people in Congress have no idea what Puerto Rico is in relation to them, or the U.S., we can’t expect the general population to know any better,” Lugo-Lugo said. “So any time anyone raises awareness about Puerto Rico… it is a good thing. The medium is irrelevant.”
Recognizing the important role of art in advancing social justice, the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race (SLCR) in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University is seeking submissions for its annual Art for Social Change Competition.
The competition and later exhibition encourage creation and sharing of art that provokes, challenges and inspires, said SLCR director Carmen Lugo-Lugo. “Art can simultaneously expose and contest social inequalities while compelling those who are looking at, experiencing and/or enjoying it to reflect on and even work on changing those conditions,” she said.
Art for Social Change organizers welcome work from WSU students, faculty and staff as well as students and educators in the broader community before midnight on Friday, Jan. 29. “It is a significant way for people within WSU and the surrounding community to talk to each other about these difficult topics,” Lugo-Lugo said.
Five new WSU faculty positions have been created to help promote equity and diversity across the Washington State University System.
The new positions are an integral part of the University’s Racism and Social Inequality in the Americas cluster hire program which was initiated by Provost and Executive Vice President and Professor of Anthropology, Elizabeth Chilton to demonstrate WSU’s commitment to inclusive excellence. The program is designed to address the urgent need for faculty specializing in interdisciplinary research topics associated with equity and diversity.
The following proposals were accepted:
African Diasporas in the Americas (Department of History)
Indigenous Knowledge, Data Sovereignty, and Decolonization (Digital Technology and Culture Program and WSU Tri-Cities)
Music of Black Americans/Music and Social Justice (School of Music)
Racialized Justice in America (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology)
Social and Environmental Justice (School of Design and Construction)
Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, Lisa Guerrero, associate vice provost for inclusive excellence, will manage the cluster hire program as one of her first initiatives in her new position.
Amid uncertainty on when and how the next NBA season will start, the league’s players remain certain of one thing.
After spending the season restart addressing systemic racism with words and actions, they have no intentions of confining their activism to the bubble.
“One will hope that no matter the outcome, the organizing and demands for change continue,” said David Leonard, a professor in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race at Washington State University who teaches classes on the politics of sports and is the author of After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness.
“There’s a danger that if Biden wins, there’s this belief that everything is going to change or everything will become perfect. But the issues surrounding criminal justice and police reforms, these are longstanding and institutionalized that transcend any single moment,” Leonard said. “Though the election clearly matters, what happens after the election is also important.”
Among the plans to continue the movement after Nov. 3, owners of all 30 NBA teams how vowed to contribute a total of $30 million each year for the next 10 years to the NBA Foundation. The NBA and NBPA plan to have ongoing talks on how teams can improve diversity among the coaching, front office and ownership ranks, as well as ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses at team events.
Everett’s Cheyenna Clearbrook was already a social-media maven before Netflix came calling. But now her online influencer status may be poised to grow beyond her 23,000 Instagram followers and 114,000 YouTube channel subscribers, with the premiere of “Deaf U.”
“I grew up mainstream so I’m used to being with the hearing population and culture,” she says. “I didn’t have a lot of access to deaf culture until I entered Gallaudet. And then I was able to see the invisible bubble of security in everyone understanding each other. I got used to it and I identified as a deaf person, but in leaving Gallaudet, I realized it’s a different world.”
Currently enrolled at Washington State University and anticipating a December graduation with a major in humanities, Clearbook is a 2017 graduate of Edmonds-Woodway High School. She says with on-camera experience on her close-captioned YouTube Channel, she was better prepared for filming “Deaf U.”