Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: January 15, 2013 1:11:40 PM PST
WWU's Fairhaven College Announces Winter World Issues Forum Slate

Contact: Shirley Osterhaus, Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies coordinator, at (360) 650-2309 or shirley.osterhaus@wwu.edu.

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies has announced the upcoming winter slate of presenters for its World Issues Forum, with subjects ranging from community resistance against a coal terminal in Bellingham to immigrant healthcare and rights.

The following forums are free and open to the public, and are from noon to 1:20 p.m. every Wednesday in the Fairhaven College Auditorium, unless noted otherwise:

Wednesday, Jan. 16

A Line in the Sand: Cherry Point, Power Past Coal and Community Resistance

Presenters: Matt Krogh, North Sound Bay Keeper with RE Sources for Sustainable Communities; Dana Lyons, songwriter, performer and activist

The same conditions that make Cherry Point the last, best site for a deep water port on the West Coast also make it an immensely productive ecosystem, sustaining people for millennia. Cherry Point is squarely in the sights of coal companies desperate for new markets. Krogh and Lyons will discuss the economic roots of the problem and the probable impacts if Gateway Pacific Terminal goes forward, describe the growing resistance to coal exports in the Northwest, and offer ways both to resist and to affirm a positive vision for the future.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

“Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture through Food Sovereignty”

Presenter: Valerie Segrest, Muckleshoot native nutrition educator

Roots, berries, elk and salmon were at the center of traditional food culture for the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. During colonization these foods were replaced with a diet of a modern and dominant culture that impacted tribal communities with degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Several tribal communities, such as the Muckleshoot, are utilizing concepts of food sovereignty and reclaiming their food systems in order to collectively focus on the crucial role culture plays in successfully defining healthy food behaviors, revitalizing traditional food systems and increasing the health of the community.

Wednesday, Jan. 30

Fact & Fiction about Islam in Prison: Assessing Prisoner Radicalization in Post-9/11 America

Presenter: SpearIt, assistant professor of Law, University of St. Louis

This presentation assesses prisoner radicalization in the post-9/11 era. Using ethnographic data, it shows how Muslims have been characterized as a threat to national security, particularly due to foreign jihadist connections. These assertions, however, are false alarms. Neither extremist violence nor foreign infiltration has materialized in any meaningful way. The discussion will conclude by considering social and penal policies for keeping it this way.

Wednesday, Feb. 6

“Nicaragua Then and Now: Long Term Impacts of U.S. Policy”

Presenters: Pamela Fitzpatrick, teacher; Paul Dix, professional journalist

Working in Nicaragua with Witness for Peace from 1985 to 1990 documenting the effects of the U.S. funded Contra War on the civilian population, Paul photographed the war. In 2002, he and his partner, Pam Fitzpatrick, began return trips to Nicaragua searching for the people he previously photographed. In 2011, this culminated in the publishing of a compelling bilingual photo/testimony book, "Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of U.S. Policy." After a brief history of the Contra War, Dix and Fitzpatrick will talk about the genesis of the book and share testimonies of people who, otherwise, would have disappeared into the amnesia hole of history.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

“Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance”

Presenter: Christina López, Seattle-based immigrant rights activist and Radical Women organizer

Even though immigrant women endure economic hardships and a xenophobic culture, they have not accepted victimization and manipulation. Instead they provide indispensable working-class leadership in the social-justice movements. López, author of the pamphlet, “Estamos en la Lucha: Immigrant Women Light the Fires of Resistance,” will illuminate migrant women’s fighting spirit and impact. She will present strategies for unity and creating solidarity between latin immigrants, newcomers from other regions of the world, and U.S. residents of all races.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

“They Like to Work Bent Over: Latino Migrant Health and the Normalization of Inequality”
Presenter: Seth Holmes, Martin Sisters endowed chair and assistant professor of Health and Social Behavior at the University of California at Berkeley

Based on ethnographic fieldwork with undocumented indigenous Triqui migrant laborers from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Seth Holmes will present research from his forthcoming book, “Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Indigenous Mexican Farmworkers in the United States.” In following their migration circuit from the mountains of Oaxaca through the desert borderlands of Arizona to the farmlands of Washington state, his research explores indigeneity, ethnicity, citizenship, labor, and suffering as well as the processes by which these are rendered invisible, normal, and natural. He will address the structures of this injurious hierarchy and how they are channeled through international borders, domestic racism, classism, sexism and anti-“illegal” immigrant prejudices.

Wednesday, Feb. 27

“Just Getting Warmed Up: Why the Arctic and Antarctic matter to everyone”

Presenter: Eric Steig, Isotope Geochemist at the University of Washington


Wednesday, Mar. 6

Immigrant Rights in a Changing World

Presenter: Lourdes Fuentes, Seattle attorney focusing on immigration

There are few things in U.S. society today as controversial and politically and emotionally laden as our immigration policy. The complexity of the immigration system is perplexing even to those who dedicate their lives to helping people maneuver through its maze. It is further complicated not only by language and cultural barriers but by myths of who is allowed “in” and who is not. In this changing world, with issues of Mexican asylum, family-based asylum in light of same-sex marriages and deferred action for childhood arrivals, the consequences are life-altering and sometimes deadly.

Co-sponsors of Fairhaven College’s World Issues Forum include Western’s departments of  Anthropology, Canadian American Studies, Communications, Political Science, and Women’s Studies; various Associated Students organizations; and local community nonprofits.

For more information on the World Issues Forum speaker series presented by WWU’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, call Shirley Osterhaus at (360) 650-2309 or visit the World Issues Forum Website at http://www.wwu.edu/depts/fairhaven.

WWU's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, established in 1967, is nationally recognized for innovation in teaching and  learning, intensive advising, student-designed majors, narrative assessment, experiential and independent learning and a commitment to social justice.

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