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Diversity Conference

June 22-23, 2017

Save The Date

Olympic College 2017 Diversity Conference

2017 Conference Schedule

 

 

2017 Keynote Speakers

Opening keynote speaker - Gyasi Ross

Gyasi Ross is an author, speaker and storyteller. Gyasi comes from the Blackfeet Nation and resides on the Port Madison Indian Reservation near Seattle. TV and radio programs and print and online publications regularly seek his input on politics, sports, pop culture and the intersections thereof with Native life.

Ross is the author of Don’t Know Much About Indians (but I wrote a book about us anyways) (2011) and How to Say I Love You in Indian (2014). “I come from a family of storytellers. My family tells long stories, drinking coffee and blowing smoke in your face. It just fit for me to tell stories, and then I started writing them.” He is in demand as a speaker on race, social justice and white privilege as well as issues specifically affecting contemporary Native Americans and guests on MSNBC, ESPN, Democracy Now and radio shows nationwide. Ross writes for the Huffington Post, Indian Country Today, Deadspin and Gawker. Ross has also released a spoken word/hip hop CD titled “Isskootsik (Before Here was Here)” on Cabin Games Records.

Evening keynote speakers - Climbing PoeTree

Over the last 13 years, Climbing PoeTree has infused our movements for justice with healing and imagination, inspiring thousands through their award-winning multimedia theater, dual-voice spoken word, visual art, sustainable touring, and community organizing. Co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are cultural architects committed to reframing the story through multi-voice spoken word, hip hop, world music, and multimedia theater that translate deep research around the most pressing issues of our time into stunning artistry that catalyzes their audiences to activate the transformation they wish to cultivate within themselves and their communities.

Alixa and Naima have independently organized 30 national and international tours, taking their work from South Africa to Cuba, the UK to Mexico, and throughout the U.S. including 11,000 miles toured on a bus converted to run on recycled vegetable oil. Climbing PoeTree has been experienced at diverse venues from the Brooklyn Academy of Music to the United Nations, Harvard University to Rikers Island Prison.

They have been featured alongside powerhouses such as Alice Walker, Danny Glover, Cornel West, Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, Naomi Klein, and Angela Davis, who remarked, “Each time I have the pleasure of attending a performance by Climbing PoeTree, I feel enriched, renewed, and inspired. Alixa and Naima insist that poetry can change the world — and it is true that the urgency, power and beauty of their words impel us to keep striving for the radical futures toward which they gesture.”

 

Questions: Contact - Amanda Gebhardt-Fuentes 360.475.7721 
DiversityConference@olympic.edu