WSU Tri-Cities to host virtual ‘Community Classroom’ series on race, equity and engaged citizenship

Diversity series

WSU Tri-Cities to host virtual ‘Community Classroom’ series on race, equity and engaged citizenship

Community classroom

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a series of “Community Classroom” learning opportunities on the topics of race, equity and engaged citizenship beginning Sept. 30.

The series will feature both presentations and opportunities for discussion. The events are free and open to the public and will be presented online via Zoom.

“We believe that together, we can become a community that is more empowered to lead anti-racist efforts,” said Kristine Cody, coordinator for the WSU Tri-Cities MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion. “We commit to doing this by investing in and establishing a shared understanding of who we have been and who we want to be around race relations in our community.”

The Community Classroom presentations and discussions will focus on the following topics:

History of Civil Rights in the Tri-Cities – Past and Present

4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, via Zoom

Robert Bauman and Robert Franklin, both history faculty at WSU Tri-Cities, will give a presentation on the history of African-American activism in the Tri-Cities from the 1940s-1970s. The presentation will highlight efforts to end racial segregation in the Tri-Cities, including civil rights marches in Kennewick and Pasco in the 1960s and 1970s. The presentation is based on material from their forthcoming book, “Echoes of Exclusion and Resistance: Voices from the Hanford Region,” which will be published by WSU Press in November.

This event will also welcome the following panelists: Reka Robinson, life coach and 99.1 radio personality; Daishaundra Loving-Hearne, co-CEO of the Urban Poets Society and organizer with the Black Lives Matter Coalition: Tri-Cities; and Naima Chambers-Smith, CEO of the Tri-Cities Diversity and Inclusion Council. They will talk about the advocacy efforts they are spearheading within the regional community around racial justice and how others can be a part of supporting the work.

Digital Dissensus: Discovering Truth in an Era of Misinformation

4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, via Zoom

Are conspiracy theorists and anti-maskers anti-fact? Or is there a deeper dynamic at play? Mike Caulfield, director of blended and networked learning at WSU Vancouver and nationally recognized digital literacy expert, will discuss the roots of current “digital dissensus” and explain how approaches to education may be making the problem worse. How do we design education for a world where information is plentiful, and attention is the scarcity? How do we encourage analysis and engagement in our students without having those same impulses gamed by bad actors? What epistemic stances and heuristics serve the public in a world where expertise is niche and very little is directly verifiable, and where facts are atomized, separated from analysis, and reassembled in bizarre and dangerous ways?

Dismantling Racism: The Game of Change

11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, via Zoom

This workshop/discussion will offer individuals the language and practices to shift view points from a majority group’s perspective to that of the marginalized group or groups. Discussions will be led by Thabiti Lewis, professor of English and interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU Vancouver, and Dr. Marie Theard, director of neuroanesthesia in the department of anesthesiology at Oregon Health and Science University.

Strategies will be provided to faculty on identifying issues of bias and structural racism. Ways will be identified to reduce the systemic impact on resident and other faculty evaluations. Utilizing principles presented in work by Dr. Robert R. Gaiser on teaching professionalism focusing on subjects like reflective thinking, metacognition, and transformational learning in a small group interactive environment, individuals will learn to translate practices that are applicable to things like sports culture and daily life. Through the lens of medical education and popular culture, this presentation will explore how to address issues in academia and society.

The WSU Tri-Cities Community Classroom events are presented by the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion, Office of Academic Affairs, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee at WSU Tri-Cities.

For more information, visit


Media contacts:

Kristine Cody, WSU Tri-Cities coordinator for MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion, 509-372-7600,

Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities assistant director of marketing and communication, 619-403-3617,