Winona State University Inclusion & Diversity Office Events

Kryzsko Commons - Courtyard Outside Stage
Rain Venue - Smaug Stage, Kryzsko Commons
Friday, September 9, 2016; 1-5pm

Somewhere in the Badlands of South Dakota lives a band defying definition. Self-described “alter-Native” rock duo Scatter Their Own doesn’t depend on traditional flutes, feathers or hand drums for its look and sound; instead, husband-and-wife team Scotti Clifford and Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford (both Oglala Lakota) mix their old-school rock-and-roll and bluesy sounds with deep, contemporary lyrics about love, overcoming obstacles and environmental advocacy. Celebrated among tribal audiences across Turtle Island, the popularity of Scatter Their Own transcends cultural boundaries, evident in their recent appearance at SXSW, one of the largest music/film/tech festivals on the planet. It drew an estimated 70,000 people to Austin, Texas, in March. The band followed its appearance there with the release of their second album.

Thomas Francis LaBlanc, an award-winning Dakota poet and speaker. A performance of native humor, music, poetry, spoken word, and dance.

Knowledge, Empowerment, Advocacy, Pluralism (K.E.A.P.) Wellness Institute: Social Justice Retreat - The Myth and Realities of Student Led Protest on College and University Campuses: Constructing and Deconstructing Demands for Actionable Outcomes

Location to be announced.
Sunday, September 11, 2016; 1-5pm 

Mentoring African American Students for Retention & Graduation

Location to be announced.
Monday, September 12, 2016; 1-2pm

Lyceum Event: You Mean, There’s Race in My Movies and Media? 

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Monday, September 12, 2016; 7-8:30pm

This presentation serves as the foundation for a structured analysis of race in movies and media, which identifies distinct patterns for both White and non-White ("minority") characters in mainstream movies and media. With over 65 new vocabulary terms and references to over 500 different movies and actors, providing and an eye-opening look at the movie and media industry to illustrate in clear detail how Hollywood and media glamorizes White imagery, often at the expense of minority characters. In today's "post-racial" society, it is difficult to detect, let alone address racial inequities that stubbornly persist. With mainstream movies and media providing context for dialogue, we use critical analysis to explore and decode existing discriminatory patterns, examining the influence and impact of such imagery upon "blind spots" within our lives.

Mentoring Latin American Students for College Retention and Graduation 

Location to Be announced.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016; 1-2pm 

Trumpeting Racism: Race, Politics, and Economic Jeopardy for All

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Tuesday, September 27, 2016; 7-8:30pm

The two overriding issues of our time are economic inequality and rising racial anxiety—and they are connected. In this lecture, Ian Haney López argues that, for all his bombast, Donald Trump is following the basic script of political elites in the United States for the last fifty years: use racial and other status anxieties to scare voters into supporting politicians who ultimately enact policies that benefit their plutocratic funders (or who are, in Trump’s case, themselves the plutocrats).

Ian Haney López has literally written the book on “dog whistle politics,” arguing that over the last fifty years the Republicans, and to some extent the Democrats as well, have built their party around racial pandering. This is not simply a way to win votes, he argues, but serves the interests of the 1 percent. In two conversations with Bill Moyers, as well as in a recent piece in The Nation, Ian has laid out how politicians use racism as a strategy. A chaired professor at UC Berkeley Law School, a Senior Fellow at Demos, and the director of the Racial Politics Project at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Ian is author of three books, most recently Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class.

One of the nation’s leading thinkers on racism’s evolution since the civil rights era, Ian Haney López holds an endowed chair as the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches in the areas of race and constitutional law. He is also a Senior Fellow at Demos and the director of the Racial Politics Project at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Haney López has been a visiting law professor at Yale, New York University, and Harvard. He holds a master’s in history from Washington University, a master’s in public policy from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard. The author or editor of five books, his most recent, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, lays bare how politicians exploit racial pandering to build resentment toward government, fooling voters into supporting policies that favor the very wealthiest while hurting everyone else.

Knowledge, Empowerment, Advocacy, Pluralism (K.E.A.P.) Wellness Institute: Social Justice Retreat - The Intersection of Unconscious Bias Leadership & the Intergenerational Divide of Activism

Location to be announced.
Sunday, October 9, 2016; 1-5pm

Tonicia Abdur Salaam is the Founder and CEO of JT Salaam & Associates, where she provides executive coaching, professional development and organizational consulting. Tonicia uses a combination of her lived experience and intense professional training to provide coaching and professional development that is personable, yet impactful. Tonicia lives by two creeds, "Speak truth to power," especially for those who are unable to advocate for themselves, and "Work to give others the grace you so desperately want for yourself." Tonicia believes in Ubuntu, that all humanity is interlinked; that belief shines through her facilitation. Tonicia is a caring, thought provoking, yet honest caretaker of the truth regarding race and believes that it is only through truth and care that racial inequity can be addressed. Of all of the accomplishments in her life, the ones that bring her the most pride and joy is being a wife, mother and “nana.”

Mentoring LGBTQ Students and LGBTQ Students of Color for Retention and Graduation

Location to be announced.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016; 1-2pm

Not this Era! Resisting Erasure in Our Movements - National Coming Out Day

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Tuesday, October 11, 2016; 7-8:30pm

Adja Gildersleve in an exploration of both the historical and present links between Black movements and the momentum they lend to LGBTQ initiatives. Adja confronts the erasure that occurs within movements when critical connections between race and LGBTQ identity are absent. Adja will highlight the crucial role of Black queer/trans youth and femmes in the events of Minnesota becoming a spotlight of the global movement for Black lives. Not This Era: Resisting Erasure ties the lace between the current movement for Black lives and its intersections in the age of technology and social media.

Adja Gildersleve (they/them pronouns) is a Black, Queer agitator, media creator, and educator born in California and raised in Southeast Minnesota. They received a B.A. in Political Science from Winona State University and currently works in digital media and is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. While in college, they experienced the racial inequity and became involved with multicultural student groups on campus that were organizing around racial inclusivity. As a part of a multicultural student group they attended a conference on diversity and leadership that gave the language to talk about white supremacy and racial equity. As a Digital Equity Specialist with the City of Minneapolis, Adja played a major role in shaping and developing equitable strategies internally at the City. Adja is deeply passionate about social justice and empowering youth and adults to access tools and identify power.

Justice on Campus: Myth, Reality or Altogether Something Else?

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Wednesday, November 2, 2016; 7-8:30pm

Dr. Stovall studies the influence of race in urban education, community development, and housing. His work investigates the significance of race in the quality of schools located in communities that are changing both racially and economically. From a practical and theoretical perspective, his research draws from Critical Race Theory, educational policy analysis, sociology, urban planning, political science, community organizing, and youth culture.

In 2006, he published the book chapter From Hunger Strike to High School: Youth Development, Social Justice and School Formation in Beyond Resistance!: Youth and Community Change-Bew Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America’s Youth.

Mentoring Native American/American Indian Students for Retention and Graduation

Location to be announced.
Wednesday, November 15, 2016; 1-2pm

Native American Storytelling and a Journey into True American History

East Hall, Kryzsko
Wednesday, November 15, 2016; 7-8:30pm

Joseph FireCrow is one of the top 3 Native American flute players in the world today. Echodisc said in a review, “Joseph FireCrow is quite simply one of the most gifted players of the Native American flute.” Another reviewer described FireCrow as a “national treasure.” FireCrow has released 8 solo albums to date, 6 internationally. His accomplishments include a GRAMMY™ in the New Age category as a guest artist on David Darling’s “PRAYER FOR COMPASSION,” a GRAMMY™ nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, 7 Native American Music Awards: Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording and Flutist of the Year (3), Artist of the Year, and Song/Single of the Year; as well as a Telly award.

Hollywood’s Myths and Realities of the Civil Rights Movement

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Monday, January 23, 2017; 7-8:30pm

During her lifetime she has been a witness and participant in some of our nation’s most consequential civil rights battles. She began her civil rights activism in the early 60s. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists organized Bland and other area children and teenagers to participate in the civil rights movement. In the front lines of the struggle, the young Bland marched on "Bloody Sunday" and "Turn Around Tuesday," and the first leg of the successful March from Selma to Montgomery, witnessing brutal beatings of fellow marchers by police. By the time she was 11 years old Bland had been arrested documented 13 times. Ms. Bland’s early involvement in the struggle against “Jim Crow,” American apartheid, has been the foundation for her civil and human rights work throughout her life.

A much sought after speaker with a compelling personal story of civil rights activism, Ms. Bland has presented at conferences and workshops from the Smithsonian in Washington, DC to the states Maine, Wisconsin, Vermont, Minnesota, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, Mississippi, Washington, Oregon and, of course, throughout Alabama. Currently, Mrs. Bland is owner and operator of Journeys For The Soul, a touring agency that specializes in Civil Rights tours with a major focus on Selma, Alabama.

Workshop: School to Prison Pipeline: From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances

Oak Room 224

Note: RSVP to Dia Yang at if you plan to attend this workshop.

Evening Keynote: Black Lives Matter: Connecting the Movement’s Platform to the Civil Rights & Black Power Movements

East Hall, Kryzsko Commons
Monday, January 30, 2017

Both events are free and open to the public.

Jason Sole is a former drug dealer, member of a notorious street gang, and a three-time convicted felon. The middle of three children, Jason was raised on the mean streets of Chicago by a father who was addicted to drugs and an overburdened mother left to pick up the pieces. He joined a gang and turned to a life of crime to gain a lucrative position of authority and financially improve his life.

As a result of his criminal activity, Sole has been incarcerated in numerous correctional facilities. Yet despite the height of the odds stacked against him, he turned his life around by earning both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his dissertation to complete his doctorate in Public Safety with a specialization in Criminal Justice.

Jason is an assistant professor at Metropolitan State University. He is a national keynote speaker and gang trainer, including serving as a national trainer for One Circle Foundation. Through his firm, Jason Sole Consulting LLC, he offers juvenile and criminal justice agencies the tools they need to influence people affected by delinquency, incarceration, poverty, and other social ills. In addition, he is a 2013 Bush Fellow who is focusing on reducing the recidivism rate among juveniles throughout the state of Minnesota.

Langston Hughes’ Project - Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz - Featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet

Location to be announced.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017; 7-8:30pm

The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes's kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite. Ask Your Mama is Hughes's homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. It is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin "cha cha" and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming -- a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death.

Ask Your Mama was dedicated to Louis Armstrong, "the greatest horn blower of them all," and to those of whatever hue or culture of origin who welcomed being immersed in the mysteries, rituals, names, and nuances of black life not just in America but in the Caribbean, in Latin America, in Europe and Africa during the years of anti-colonial upheaval abroad and the rising Freedom Movement here at home. Not only the youthful Martin Luther King, Jr. but the independence leaders of Guinea and Nigeria and Ghana and Kenya and the Congo fill the chants and refrains of Hughes's epic poem.

Recovering from ‘Yo Mama is So Stupid’: (en) gendering a critical paradigm on Black feminist theory and pedagogy”

Note: This presentation was scheduled for March 2016 and now rescheduled for March 2017.

Location and time to be announced.
March 2017

This presentation will offer an analysis of the dozens, using Black feminist theory. The dozens are a ritualized verbal game of insults that historically have used sexual offenses against Black women as the vehicle for insults. Rather than simply viewing the dozens as a cultural phenomenon, Brock draws a connection between its occurrence in West Africa, the West Indies, slave communities, and post enslavement and attempts to understand the various changes and the connection of the dozens to Black female devaluation.

Dr. Brock is Professor and Department Chair of Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations at University North Carolina, Greensboro. She received her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in cultural studies in 1999. Dr. Brock has published numerous books and articles on urban education, Black feminist theory and popular culture. In addition she is Executive Series Editor for Black Studies and Critical Thinking.

Workshop: Mentoring Hmong Students for Retention Persistence & Graduation

Monday, April 24, 2017; 1-2pm
Oak Rooms - East Hall - Kryzsko Commons

If you plan on attending this presentation, RSVP to Ne’Angela Scott at by Friday, April 21, 2017 by 12pm.

Evening Keynote: Our Digital Future: Will it Save or Kill Us?

Monday, April 24, 2017; 7-8:30pm
East Hall - Kryzsko Commons

We decipher our complicated feelings about technology by asking straightforward questions with a sense of humor, a sense of awe — and sometimes a sense of dread. One question we will answer is the impact digital tools have on individuals, institutions, systems and societies. Can digital technology save us? Can it kill us by taking away our humanity or worst, kill us physically like Skynet from the Terminator movies? Will we be worshiping our digital machine overlords in the future? We will examine how to integrate digital technologies into our lives without losing our humanity.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Ka Vang is a Hmong American writer living in the Twin Cities. Vang was born on a CIA military base, Long Cheng, Laos, at the end of the Vietnam War, and immigrated to America in 1980. A fiction writer, poet, playwright, and former journalist, Vang has devoted much of her professional life to capturing Hmong folktales on paper. She is a recipient of the Archibald Bush Artist Fellowship and several other artistic and leadership awards. She is the author of the children's book, Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon, a finalist for the 23rd Annual Midwest Book Awards in 2012. Currently, Ka is the Director of Impact and Community Engagement for American Public Media Group/ Minnesota Public Radio.