UAS Power & Privilege Symposium: Promoting cultural change

University of Alaska’s Power & Privilege Symposium, the first of its kind at the Juneau campus, is a one-day event happening today to encourage students and the community to identify, discuss and promote equity and diversity in the community.

The UAS Student Activities Board attended the National Association for Campus Activities Conference last fall semester and saw a presentation about Whitman College’s Symposium, said UAS Activities Coordinator Tara Olson. They brought the idea back and began planning, gathering support from UAS as well as community organizations like National Alliance on Mental Illness and Southeast Alaska Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance, and Aiding Women in Rape and Abuse Emergencies.

The UAS Symposium goal is to have participants engage in thoughtful and often difficult and honest conversations on the ways social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in the community, Olson explained.

“I think it’s vitally important that non-students engage with the symposium because the issues we’ll be talking about are seen throughout our community, not just on campus,” she said. Subject matter discussion ranges from race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, body size, ability, mental illness, class and how they intersect.

“The UAS Auke Bay campus is not insular, and large-scale culture change will only have the chance to occur if people from many different parts of our community participate,” she said.

Keynote speakers will give lectures in the morning, afternoon and evening, and in-between, participants can choose from a multitude of breakout session discussions happening simultaneously in various rooms on campus.

The symposium runs from 8:15 a.m.-9 p.m. Keynote speakers are Andrew James Archer on “Manic Depression in America,” Muque’l Dangeli on “Dancing Sovereignty: Reclaiming the Grease Trail Through Movement and Song” and Aidan Key on “Gender Transition: A Personal Change for One or a Paradigm Shift for Everyone?”

For a full schedule of the symposium (and to know where to go to get catered food), go to: uas.alaska.edu/chancellor/power-and-privilege-symposium.html.

If you can’t make it in person, all keynote lectures and select lecture hall breakout sessions will be streamed live on UATV: uatv.alaska.edu/livestream.html.

• Contact Clara Miller at 523-2243 or at clara.miller@juneauempire.com.

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