Evergreen Equity Symposium

"Wade in the Water"
Tuesday, April 13 through Thursday, April 15, 2021
Wade in the Water: Equity Symposium 2021

Register to participate in the Equity Symposium

This year's symposium draws its inspiration from the ongoing struggle for Black liberation and Evergreen’s location on the Salish Sea. Our waters embrace the currents of change, while reminding us of the interconnectivity of our ecosystems, our Indigenous and local communities. Just as water carries a seed downstream along a rough and tumble journey to new shores, it provides nourishment for the seed to take root, blossom, and realize its transformative and lifegiving potential. This is how we envision equity work at Evergreen.

Tuesday, April 13

4-5pm: Opening Keynote, Matika Wilbur 

Matika Wilbur (Swinomish & Tulalip)

Matika Wilbur, a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, for the past five years has been traveling and photographing Indian Country in pursuit of one goal: To Change the Way We See Native America.

Matika began her career in fashion and commercial work in Los Angeles after completing the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography. Though in high demand professionally, Matika realized that she wanted a different path as a photographer: to create portrait art that deeply communicated people’s lives and experiences. She was especially drawn to remarkable personalities from the nation’s indigenous communities, who typically in massive media and the popular consciousness have been grossly neglected or stereotyped.

Matika chose to devote herself to photography as a creator and messenger, soon producing multiple acclaimed exhibitions in leading museums and other venues of her striking portraits of Pacific Northwest and other Native peoples.

She also began offering Native youth of her own community training and inspiration to explore and create visual art as a certified k-12 teacher; but she found that the representation of First Peoples in traditional curricula and the media as "leathered and feathered", dying races undermined her students’ sense of identity and potential. Thus began Project 562’s mission to photograph and collect stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized Indian tribe in the United States to create comprehensive visual curricula and publications representing contemporary Native America.

Matika has in this endeavor visited members of over 300 sovereign nations throughout 40 states, from Tlingits in Alaska to the Pima in Arizona, Pomos in California to Wampanoags on Cape Cod. Through her lens, we are able to see the diversity, vibrancy and realness of Indian Country, and in seeing, challenge and surpass stereotypical representations and refresh the national conversation about contemporary Native America.

Wednesday, April 14

9-9:50am: Concurrent Sessions

  • The Din of Silenced Voices
    Presented by Jasmin Faulk-Dickerson (she/her) & Kate Ayers (she/her)
  • All About Love: A Social Justice Praxis
    Presented by Amira Caluya and Mahkyra Gaines

10-10:50am: Concurrent Sessions

  • Graduating in Tribal Regalia HB 2551
    Presented by Sauncha Romey
  • The Rising Intersectional Movement of Disability Justice
    Presented by Tara Hardy and Carolyn Prouty

11-11:50am: Concurrent Sessions

  • Removing Barriers: “Conceptualizing Place” Publication on Tribal Alliances to Restore Salmon Habitat
    Presented by Zoltan Grossman, Alex McCarty, and students from Conceptualizing Place

  • There Is No Hierarchy of Oppressions—Challenging “Making Nice”
    Grace Huerta, Maria Isabel Morales, representing the Latinx Standing Committee

Noon-1pm: Lunch Speaker, Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams

From growing up with gunshot holes outside of his bedroom window, to sharing the stage with Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra, Justin Michael Williams knows well the power of healing to overcome. This dynamic millennial who grew up marginalized in almost every way teaches meditation as a means of self-empowerment to those who need it most. But he’s not your grandma’s guru. In breaking the meditation mold, he shows others how to break free from the past and take action to create a new future. He is an author, transformational speaker, and top 20 recording artist who has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Grammy.com, Yoga Journal, Billboard.com, The Root, and South by Southwest®. With his groundbreaking new book Stay Woke, and over a decade of teaching experience, Justin has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness.

Thursday, April 15

11:30am-12:30pm: Musical Guests James Pakootas & Tony Louie, and Maura Garcia Dance

James Pakootas

James "Just Jamez" Pakootas is an influential, multi-award winning hip hop artist, producer, and motivational speaker who cultivates change in the world through the power of words. He delivers attention-commanding shows leaving audiences of all ages and cultures impacted by his story-telling capabilities.

Tony Louie

Tony Louie is an international, award-winning performance artist currently gracing stages across the world. Whether performing soulful, original music or paying tribute to his favorite artists when playing cover songs, he brings his own unique flavor to every song he plays. Where the sounds of Chris Stapleton & John Fogerty intersect, you'll find Tony Louie's raw, genuine, unfiltered style.

James & Tony came together in 2019 and won a Native American Music Award for “Best Hip Hop Video,” then formed the group KnowMadic Mind.  Tony and James share powerful, soulful voices, and a depth of spirit and storytelling that set themselves apart from the pack. They are both enrolled members of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and were born and raised on The Colville Indian Reservation, in Washington State.  Their cultural ways, traditions, family, and connection to land and water are a woven thread throughout all of their art.

Maura Garcia Dance
Photo credit: Chris Randall

Maura Garcia Dance inspires audiences to liberate themselves through vibrant performances that uplift Indigenous cultural values and harness the sensual rhythms of the natural world. Artistic Director Maura García (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) is a dancer, choreographer and entertainer. From stages to music videos to the outdoors, Maura Garcia Dance creations reflect the power of stories to form and change our realities.

Maura’s work is powered by a desire to perpetuate ancestral knowledge, actively respect the living earth and bring happiness to people. Both as a soloist and with ensembles, she has performed throughout North America.

ln addition to dance for the stage, Maura choreographs for the outdoors and in response to specific places. She is particularly interested in creating stunning performance that is accessible, sustainable and has a low carbon foot print. Maura is dedicated to collaborating within Indigenous communities to celebrate group narratives through dance and other art forms. Maura is sought out for her community engagement and cultural advocacy work. She has facilitated master classes and residencies in the public schools, for national professional conferences, trauma support groups and universities. Through activist essays and panel speaking she has addressed issues from sustainability in the arts to the cultural rights of Native American students. Maura has completed both the Dismantling Racism Works and artEquity Facilitator Training programs.

1-1:50pm: Concurrent Sessions

  • Mass Incarceration by the Numbers, Numbers to Names, Formerly Incarcerated Student Panel (continues into next session)
    James Jackson, Education Reentry navigator and Reentry Students
  • Kendi Convo
    Presented by Merrill Pusey

2-2:50pm: Concurrent Sessions

  • Mass Incarceration by the Numbers, Numbers to Names, Formerly Incarcerated Student Panel (continued)
    James Jackson, Education Reentry navigator and Reentry Students
  • A Chaplain, Counselor, and Social Worker Walk into a Zoom...
    Presented by Amira Caluya, they/them, Melissa Bennett, she/her, Beth Schuurmans, she/her, and a student staff moderator 
  • A Mile in my Moccasins
    Presented by Kendra Aguilar (Luiseño), MPA-Tribal and the Native Pathways Program (NPP) Tacoma Site students

3-3:50pm: Concurrent Sessions

  • People with Disabilities Are Needed in the Fight Against Climate Disruption
    Presented by Carolyn Prouty
  • Reflections Open Mic
    Presented by Therese Saliba, Veronica Harris and Natalie (Lee) Arneson

4-5pm: Closing Keynote, Janaya Khan 

Janaya Khan

International Ambassador for the #BlackLivesMatter Network with a timely message about the transformational power of protest, Janaya Khan is a leading activist who engages you in a profound discussion about social justice and equality.

Janaya “Future” Khan is a Black, queer, non-binary activist, futurist, storyteller, boxer and social-justice educator. They are the International Ambassador for Black Lives Matter, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada and the former Program Director at Color of Change. Khan has become a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice and equality, with a mission to produce work that is a clarifying force.

Khan’s work encourages thought leadership, narrative intervention and bridge building. Through this passion, they hope to encourage people to use their words as tools and a lens through which they can orient themselves. Khan’s “Sunday Sermon” on Instagram Live is a weekly discourse in which they discuss various topics, from Black Lives Matter to finding one’s voice and more.

An accomplished lecturer and author, Khan has spoken to a vast array of College audiences, including Cornell, Duke, Smith and University of Toronto. Khan’s dedication and bold approach to storytelling has created opportunities to contribute to academic and frontline community dialogue, engaging audiences on the global impacts of the Black Lives Matter movement. Khan’s writing has been featured across a variety of outlets including Vogue, CNN, The Cut, The Root, Huffington Post, and Al Jazeera. 

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Khan received their Bachelor of Arts, with honors, in English Language and Literature from York University. Khan currently resides in Los Angeles.