Sunday, October 07, 2012

Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion to host Social Justice Lecture Series by Waziyatawin Oct. 9

From Tech Today
Posted Oct. 5, 2012
Reprinted with permission.

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion will host a Social Justice Lecture Series with guest speaker Dr. Waziyatawin, who will provide two presentations on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Memorial Union Ballroom B1 on campus. Waziyatawin is a Dakota writer, teacher, and activist committed to the pursuit of Indigenous liberation and reclamation of homelands.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Waziyatawin will present "Activism with People of Color."

Waziyatawin explains, "This presentation will explore one more 'ism' with which people of color must contend -- the anthropocentrism that has set this society on a course toward self-destruction that might only be mitigated through drastic action today. In the 21st century we will experience unimaginable turmoil due to shortages of resources, such as oil, water, topsoil, and food, as well as economic collapse, increased violence, and life-threatening global climate change. As in most societal problems, poor people of color will initially bear the brunt of these burdens. The magnitude of these problems means that as activists committed to social justice we must prepare ourselves for another kind of struggle that will challenge many of our beliefs about American society, the meaning of equality, and our notions of success."

From 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Waziyatawin will present "What Does Justice Look Like? The Struggle for Liberation in Dakota Homeland."

"From the perspective of people faced with genocide, land theft, ethnic cleansing and colonization, this presentation will present one vision of how justice might be achieved in the shadow of these crimes against humanity," says Waziyatawin, whose talk is based on her book by the same title, published by Living Justice Press in 2008.

In this volume, which was the winner of the 2009 Independent Publishers' Silver Book Award for Best Regional Nonfiction in the Midwest, she explores a four-pronged approach to justice in her homeland that includes truth-telling, taking down the fort, reparations, and decolonization.

Waziyatawin received her Ph.D. in American history from Cornell University in 2000. She later earned tenure and an associate professorship in the history department at Arizona State University, where she taught for seven years. Waziyatawin currently holds the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

For more information about upcoming diversity-related events, email Renee Wells, Center for Diversity and Inclusion assistant director, at

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