Equity Speaker Series 2020-2021

Indigeneity: Decolonize our world

The Student Equity Workgroup invites you to participate in the 2020-2021 Equity Speaker series. This year we are offering a scaffolded and comprehensive exploration of indigeneity. By focusing on the survival and resurgence of ethnic and indigenous cultures, we hope to shed light on some of the most urgent problems that need to be addressed not only in our community but also for the entire planet. Participants are encouraged to attend all the events in the series designed to build our collective knowledge and facilitate growth. 

The goal of this approach is to engender a rigorous and respectful understanding of Indigenous peoples’ knowledges, cultures, histories, politics, arts, sciences, and intellectual traditions. The Equity Speaker Series will be invaluable for envisioning a robust Ethnic Studies Program at DVC. This year’s theme provides us an opportunity to think about, and with, the Indigenous, and other ethnic knowledges, and through race-related struggles in creative, and critical ways. Embracing a counter-narrative and intersectional approach will not only inform our burgeoning program but also have a transformative impact on how we all live, learn and act. Please join us in this critical conversation that will lead us towards strategic and cohesive action. 

The objectives of this year's series are to:

  • Develop Counter Knowledge
  • Foster Intersectionality
  • Cohesive Movement to Action

We are thrilled to partner with educators, scholars, and community leaders Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, who will facilitate the series in partnership with team members from the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.

Eve TuckEve Tuck is Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Methodologies with Youth and Communities, and Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto. Tuck is Unangax̂ and is an enrolled member of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Alaska. She grew up outside of her community, living in Pennsylvania as a child, and New York City as a young adult. As a whole, her research focuses on how Indigenous social thought can be engaged to create more fair and just social policy, more meaningful social movements, and robust approaches to decolonization. She makes a podcast with graduate students at OISE, University of Toronto, called The Henceforward, on relationships between Indigenous and Black communities on Turtle Island.

Wayne YangK. Wayne Yang is Provost of John Muir College and Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His work transgresses the line between scholarship and community, as evidenced by his involvement in urban education and community organizing. He was the co-founder of the Avenues Project, a non-profit youth development organization, as well as East Oakland Community High School, which were inspired by the Survival Programs of the Black Panther Party. Dr. Yang writes about decolonization and everyday epic organizing, often with his frequent collaborator, Eve Tuck. Currently, they are convening The Land Relationships Super Collective with several Indigenous and non-Indigenous community organizations engaged in land-based projects.

The overall goal of the DVC Equity Speaker Series

Education, equity, and inclusivity, is to provide safe space to identify, discuss and create solutions towards the academic and social challenges our disenfranchised low-income and communities of color face in order to gain access to equitable education and economic resources.

The Education, Equity and Inclusivity Speaker Series will:

  • increase engagement and inclusion across multiple identities,
  • enhance social equity and institutional access, and
  • co-create and support initiatives that promote diversity, social justice, empowerment, and community.

To learn more about DVC's commitment to equity, please read the student equity plan.

If you aren't able to attend the presentation you are interested in, you can either watch the live stream or view it at a later time by visiting our  "Equity Speaker Series" video streaming site.

Upcoming events:

 Corrina Gould

Corrina Gould 
Indigeneity: Decolonize our World

Colonization, Decolonization and Rematriation on Ohlone Land

Wednesday, October 21, 2020; 1-2:30pm; Zoom Webinar

Corrina Gould is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone. She is a lifelong activist that has worked on preserving and protecting the ancient burial sites of her ancestors in the Bay Area for decades.

We live in a country founded on genocide and slavery, built on stolen land, and stolen lives. Black and Indigenous peoples share a deep wound from these foundational violations. Corrina Gould will speak about the land that Diablo Valley College is on, Karkin Ohlone land, and the past, present and future activism of Ohlone peoples, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous visitors to restore right relationship to the land and to one another.

Facilitators: Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang

Past speakers - 

Please visit our video streaming site and search for "Equity Speakers Series" to see past speaker presentations.


April 14, 2020: Art Hazelwood -  Stories to Inspire Protest

Art Hazelwood has made a career of investigating the history of political print in the Bay Area from the 1930s to the present. In addition to exhibiting and publishing on his research, he is also himself a creator of political posters and has worked with unions, homeless rights organizations and the San Francisco Poster Syndicate to utilize political graphics as a tool in the struggle for social justice. Art Hazelwood will present an overview of the history of political graphics, focusing on their diverse functions and what makes them so impactful.

March 3, 2020:  Dr. Fatima Alleyne - Stories to Catalyze

Dr. Fatima Alleyne began her educational journey as a community college student in New York. While raising a family, she relocated to California where she attained an MS and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Berkeley, where she is now the Director of Faculty Engagement for Equity and Inclusion at the College of Engineering.

In 2016, she was elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Education and in 2018 became the first African American to serve as president of the board. In her talk, Dr. Alleyne will address the strategies she used to overcome obstacles on her educational journey, how she learned to listen to her own voice, and how to increase successful outcomes for students of color. 

February 19, 2020: Don Reed - Stories to Enlighten

Don Reed is a multi-talented actor, writer, producer, director and comedian who wowed DVC in 2017 with his play East 14th, about growing up in Oakland in the 1970s. We are excited to welcome Don Reed back for The Kipling Hotel, a one-man play based on his experiences as a struggling college student in the 1980s, getting by as a live-in waiter serving breakfast at an unforgettable retirement hotel populated by elderly drifters, actors, and drug-addicted dreamers. Reed explains his love of theater this way: “In theater, you can let the story live and breathe and within that flow, you can go back and forth from the dramatic to the funny. There are no limits.”


November 20, 2019: Jeff Chang

For Jeff Chang, Hip-Hop is a mouthpiece for social justice.  His thoughtful critiques of the racial complexities of modern American society include: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation (2005) and Who We Be: The Colorization of America (2014). His latest book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Resegregation (Picador) was published in September 2016. It was named the Northern California Book of the Year, and the Washington Post declared it “the smartest book of the year.” In May 2019, he and director Bao Nguyen created a four-episode digital series adaptation of the book. DVC is thrilled that Jeff Chang will be sharing his insights about race and Hip-Hop with our community.  

October 16, 2019: Eli Clare

Disabled people, trans people, fat people, people of color: they all know what it’s like to be stared at. Through word and image, Eli ‒ himself white, disabled, and genderqueer ‒ explores what it means to live in marked bodies and, in the process, challenges one to consider the tremendous power of language. A proud rabble-rouser, Eli has written two books of creative non-fiction, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, and a collection of poetry, The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion.

September 25, 2019: Voices of Witness

They are a mass migration of thousands of young people from Central America, yet each one travels alone: solito, solita. Their stories about fleeing countries, traveling for hundreds of miles to seek safety and protection in the United States shine a light on the plight of others desperate for the privileges this country can offer. They are more than refugees, more than child migrants; we must not forget that there are also moments of joy and laughter. This panel of narrators and editors describe why they fled their homes, what they confronted journeying through Mexico, how they crossed the borders, and for some, how they continue to struggle. In an era of fear, xenophobia, and misinformation, this is an important opportunity to hear the voices of witness at the center of the storm. 


November 14, 2018: Ehron Tool - Conversations about "unspeakable things": The power of a cup

Erhen Tool is an artist whose work is heavily influenced by his service in the Marine Corps and his subsequent return to the civilian world. He received his MFA in 2005 from the University of California, Berkeley. Tool has made and given away over 20,000 cups since 2001. He uses his pottery wheel to make cups that expose the large disparity between fiction and the realities of war. For the artist, each cup represents a human life. He uses the utilitarian objects’ familiar form to engage the user in a dialogue with the graphic photographs and press-molded war paraphernalia used to decorate each cup’s surface. Tool just makes cups and believes peace is the only adequate war memorial. Learn more about Ehren Tool.

October 25, 2018: Dr Amer Ahmed - Addressing Islamophobia: Dispelling myths to break down barriers

The post-9/11 era in the U.S. has exposed a significant degree of prejudice and bigotry towards Muslim people.  More recently, as a result of the 2016 Presidential election, broad vilification of Muslims has served political agendas resulting in calls for bans, registries and other civil liberty threats to the lives of Muslims in America. In 2012, a violent hate-motivated attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin highlighted the fact that Islamophobia is not just an issue that impacts Muslims in America. Meanwhile, there continues to be widespread racial profiling, hate crimes and bullying throughout the country. This program will benefit participants interested in learning more about Islam and Islamophobia, providing needed context to bridge divides. Learn more about Dr. Amer Ahmed.

October 24, 2018: Diana Abu-Jaber - Immigrants and others: Saying our stories out loud

Diana Abu-Jaber is a memoirist, food writer, and fiction writer. Born in Syracuse, NY, to a Jordanian immigrant father and a Catholic-Irish mother, Abu-Jaber writes about her experiences negotiating her cross-cultural identity and Arab background in America. Her novel Birds of Paradise won the Arab American National Book Award in fiction in 2012. Her novel Origin was named one of the best books of the year by the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. In her talk Abu-Jaber will discuss the times she has been told to stop talking and to keep her stories hidden. She will also tell about the ways to develop resilience and discipline, how to keep right on talking, and how to tell your story in the ways you want to tell it. Learn more about Diana Abu-Jaber.

September 20, 2018: Dr. Alfonso Gonzales - Derechos en crisis: Mexican and Central American refugees and the demise of democracy

See Dr. Gonzales' presentation

Since 2008, the US government has granted asylum to less than 5% of all Mexican and Central American asylum seekers who have requested it, despite the severe levels of violence in the Mesoamerican region. Dr. Gonzales will discuss how the asylum-detention regime came to grant so few claims while instituting coercive family detention and family separation policies. He will argue that since the 1980s the asylum regime has been configured to selectively produce migrant illegality and detain ability. Learn more about Dr. Alfonso Gonzales.

April 19, 2018: Thui Bui - The Best We Could Do

Graphic memoirist Thi Bui will present on The Best We Could Do, a poignant true story portraying her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to California. This intimate, beautifully composed text sheds light on the refugee experience. Famed author Maxine Hong Kingston has said of Bui’s work, “The Best We Could Do honors Vietnam the way Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis honors Iran.”

March 14, 2018: Catherine Kudlick - Understanding Disability through the Lens of Diversity

Catherine Kudlick speaks to a different way of viewing disability, not as an obstacle to be overcome, nor as a source of inspiration, but as an element of human diversity. Dr. Kudlick was born blind and now sees 20 percent of what most people can see, yet she participates in all the activities that others do. Disability can foster ingenuity, excitement and engagement in those who experience it, as it did in her.

February 21, 2018: Khalid el-Hakim - Black History 101 - Mobile Museum

Khalid el-Hakim (the “hip hop generation’s Arthur Schomburg”) is returning to DVC with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum featuring some 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia. The museum’s historical context leads up to '68 with original material from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Jim Crow era. Also included in the exhibit is a 45-60 minute multi-media lecture by Professor Griff of Public Enemy who will speak on how that era inspired the work of Public Enemy. The Mobile Museum will be open all day. Khalid El Hakim will be available to answer questions.

November 14, 2017: Dr. Keith Edwards - Ending Sexual Violence

Dr. Edwards is a scholar and educator on sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, curricular approaches, and leadership. Over the past 15 years, he has been speaking on college campuses nationally on sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, ally development, leadership, sustainability, and student affairs leadership. Attendees will leave the presentation with a vivid understanding of what we can do to confront the messages around us that foster a culture of violence.

October 18, 2017: Sarahi Salamanca - A Road to Activism

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is the Founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap, a mobile app platform that helps undocumented students navigate the necessary resources to access higher education. This is Sarahi’s latest project in a longer trajectory of activism within and for the undocumented community, which have placed her in the spotlight of continued conversations centered on national immigration policy. Sarahi was a Champion of Change at the White House in 2014, has received 2 House of Representatives Awards, and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30. A former undocumented student who once had to drop out of school to support her family, Sarahi’s personal experience informs her unwavering vision: to help hundreds of thousands of Latino students eliminate the barriers to success and achieve their full potential.

September 14, 2017: Dr. Manuel Pastor - Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas

Dr. Manuel Pastor is professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California where he also serves as Director of USC’s program for Environmental and Regional Equity and co-Director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrations Integration (CSII). As a recognized scholar and engaging speaker, Pastor discusses issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. Pastor’s current research is looking at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California – and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S. He brings not only a scholarly perspective to this analysis, but also challenges his audience with optimism and humor about our ability to be part of the evolving landscape of California.

April 12, 2017: Casualties of War

Dustin and Kelly-Ann Conover visited DVC and discussed their work with Casualties of War, a group committed to educating and informing the public about PTSD and how to improve support for veterans and first responders who have suffered as a result of their loyal service. 

Sponsors and partners: Student Equity Committee, Student Veterans Alliance Club and DVC President’s Office

March 29, 2017: El Comalito Collective

El Comalito Collective (ECC), is a Vallejo-based art gallery and community space that is committed to showcasing underrepresented artists and community through cultural arts programming. Co-founders Edgar and Abel-Arturo will be discussing the role the Arts play within marginalized communities, activism, and the current political climate. They will also curate an exhibition in the DVC Art Gallery of artists whose works reflect the importance of representation of narratives through a de-colonial lens.

Sponsors and partners: Student Equity Committee, Umoja and DVC President’s Office

March 7 and 8, 2017: Rosemary Henze

Join us in celebrating women's history month with a screening of Just a Piece of Cloth, a documentary about four Muslim American women from the Bay Area whose choice to wear the hijab sparked debate but also provided an opportunity for education. The half-hour screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q and A session with director Rosemary Henze. As Henze notes, "these stories are not only about Muslim women; they are about all of us and the power of our voices and stories to confront stereotypes about 'the Other'."

November 16, 2016: Brian Copeland

This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him. Copeland hopes this very personal and ultimately redemptive story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones.

October 18, 2016: Ralph Nader

To kick off the 2016-17 Equity Speaker Series, Ralph Nader will be on campus to discuss his most recent book, Breaking Through Power. In Breaking Through Power Nader makes the case for how the nation can—and must—be democratically managed by communities guided by the U.S. Constitution, not by the dictates of big businesses and the wealthy few.

March 29, 2016: Tres Vidas, featuring Rosa Rodriguez

A chamber music theater work conceived and performed by Core Ensemble. A chamber music theater work for singing actress and pianist based on the lives of three legendary Latin American Women.

March 7, 2016: Pamela Rose

Pamela Rose is a San Francisco jazz and blues vocalist who thrills audiences locally and internationally with her swinging, soulful style. Rose is that rare breed of entertainer who connects solidly with her audience by always delivering a personal and unforgettable musical experience.

February 24, 2016: Dr. Melanie Watkins Resilience: Cultivating Strength for Future Success

Dr. Melanie Watkins is a Stanford trained, board certified psychiatrist, author, speaker, who lives in California.  She had her son Jonathan at 17 years old and, despite many challenges, held on to her dream of becoming a physician. She specializes in a variety of clinical services including psychiatric evaluations and consultations, medication management, and psychotherapy.  Dr. Watkins has experience in treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, substance dependence, and personality disorders.   Dr. Watkins provides support for family members and friends of mentally ill patients who require hospitalization and/or ongoing support. She enjoys treating adolescents and adults. She works in a variety of settings: hospitals, jails, psychiatric emergency rooms, and residential treatment facilities. She is the author of three books and has written several journal articles on mental health.

May 5, 2015: Shakti Butler A Bold Dream: Creating a World That Works for Everyone

Filmmaker and racial justice educator Shakti Butler, PhD is a master at inviting people to see themselves as indelibly connected to each other and the world we live in. Dr. Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. Her work invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of social justice issues.

This workshop is directed towards building the kind of discourse, reflection and exploration that can open doorways into transformative learning, address cultural narratives and work towards building sustainable change. This session is designed to reframe and deepen the conversation on race, along with its intersectional relationships, that include other forms of oppression. Participants will gain a practical framework for understanding and deconstructing systemic racial inequities, for creating positive dialogue and for building skills that allow us to continue the discussion.

March 18, 2015: Tyrone C. Howard Race, Equity, Justice and Education

In this interactive session, UCLA Professor Tyrone C. Howard, author of the best selling book “Why Race and Culture Matters” will outline some of the biggest challenges facing youth of color in today’s educational context. In addition, Professor Howard will also discuss viable intervention, strategies, and solutions that can be taken at the institutional, community and individual level to disrupt chronic disparities. This address will be relevant for students, faculty, staff and concerned community members whose works are focused on educational access and equity.

Professor Tyrone C. Howard is a Professor of Education at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ Urban Schooling Division. He is also the Director of Center X, which is a consortium of urban school professionals working toward social justice and educational equity in transforming Los Angeles schools. He is also the Director and Founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA. Dr. Howard has been a member on the UCLA faculty for the past 14 years. Prior to his tenure at UCLA, he was a faculty member in the College of Education at The Ohio State University.