By the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Walla Walla Community College Library’s Spring Speakers Series features presenters from Humanities Washington’s Speakers Bureau.

The free virtual events open to the community are available via Zoom, Library Director Jacquelyn Ray said. Attendees must register online in advance of each event at  wallawallacc.libguides.com/Outloud/spring2021.

  • April 7, 2-3 p.m.: Omari Amili, “From Crime to Classroom: How Education Changes Lives.” Blending his personal story and scholarship, Amili leads a discussion on the benefits of the “prison-to-college pipeline,” where incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people can take college courses and earn a degree. Studies show education is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of returning to prison, and Amili explores how everyone benefits as individuals and a society from the new perspective, sense of direction and confidence education provides.
  • April 13, 1-2p.m.: David Smith, “Civil Conversation in an Angry Age.” Philosopher David E. Smith takes a deep look at moments when civility breaks down. By mapping the structure of how people converse, and digging into the root causes of civility and incivility, Smith explores how to have meaningful, respectful conversations on notoriously difficult topics like politics, religion and morality. In an increasingly polarized political environment, Smith provides participants with tools needed to embark upon more thoughtful, fruitful discussions.
  • April 21, 1-2p.m.: Daudi Abe, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Principal’s Office?” Beginning as early as preschool, Black students are disproportionately suspended and expelled from school. Why are Black students punished more than others in the classroom? Based on extensive research and teaching experience, Abe demonstrates the racial achievement gap cannot be solved without first addressing the discipline gap. What solutions can be learned to help all students succeed? Join the conversation to explore how citizens, educators, law enforcement and others can close the gap.
  • April 28, 1-2 p.m.: Clarence Moriwaki, “Let it Not Happen Again: Lessons of the Japanese American Exclusion.” Moriwaki shares the story of Bainbridge Island, Washington — the origin point of the Japanese American exclusion during World War II — to provide a human, historical account of the national tragedy and to ask if there are parallels to what’s happening in America now. Moriwaki uses historical images, including historical and current propaganda, to explore the fear, racism and failure of political leadership that led to these unconstitutional actions during World War II, and it must not happen again.
  • May 5, 1-2 p.m.: Professor Carlos Gil, “From Mexican to Mexican-American: A Family Immigration Story.” As immigration becomes more hotly debated in the United States, the arguments have become cartoonish, with one side often painted as naïve and another as xenophobic. What has become lost is the human story of immigration to America, with all its complexity, heartache and hope. Based on his book, “We Became Mexican-American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream,” Gil’s talk explores Mexican immigration by spotlighting his own family’s experience in southern California, including parallels with Washington state.
  • May 19, 1-2:30 p.m.: Jeb Wyman, “Sometimes Heroes: America’s Changing Relationship with Its Veterans.” “Support our troops” is a common phrase, seen on lawn signs and bumper stickers across America. But it wasn’t always like that. Why and how has America’s treatment of its veterans changed over time? How have the country’s citizens responded to the call of duty from one war to the next? This presentation examines America’s relationship to wars and veterans over the last century and what shapes current national consciousness towards veterans and the wars they fight in America’s name.

For additional information about these events contact Ray at jacquelyn.ray@wwcc.edu. The series was made possible by the support of Humanities Washington.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 509-526-8313.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,