Donald Blake Center conference

WWU hosts speakers to discuss race and belonging


A conference sponsored by the Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture at Walla Walla University will take place April 12–14. During the week, the university will explore topics related to the conference theme, “Race and Belonging: Latinx Experiences in the PNW.” 

On Tuesday, April 12, at 11 a.m., Guadalupe Gamboa and Michael Fox will present “Fight in Fields: The Farmworkers Struggle for Economic and Social Justice in Washington State.” In 1971, Gamboa and his civil rights and labor lawyer, Fox, fought for the wage rights of migrant workers at the Rogers Walla Walla labor camp. Gamboa and Fox will talk about their roles in this continuing fight against structural racism and for farmworker justice.This event will be held in the Walla Walla University Church and is open to the public.

On Tuesday, April 12, at 12 p.m., Fox, Gamboa, and Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition will be holding a Q&A titled “Organizing Then and Now.” This event will be held at the WWU Church. 

On Wednesday, April 13, at 4 p.m., The Listener’s Project: Queremos Escucharte, will be a self-directed and interactive walking tour around the WWU. Participants will listen to the recorded stories of various Latinx community members highlighting the demands and struggles they face day by day.Please provide a mobile device with access to the internet and dress properly for a 50 minute walk.Accommodations regarding walking accessibility and device accessibility can be arranged at the kiosk during the event. This event will start on the Peterson Memorial Library lawn.

On Wednesday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m., María Isabel Morales will present “Culture, Land, and Play: Listening To and Learning From Mexican American Children of Immigrants." Morales earned her Ph.D. in cultural studies and social thought in education from Washington State University. Her dissertation research, an exploratory case study of Mexican American children of immigrants, shed light on the stories and experiences of migrant children working in cherry orchards in central Washington.  She will be presenting on these themes. This event will be held at the Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

On Thursday, April 14, at 7:00 p.m., Mario Jimenez Sifuentez will give a presentation highlighting his book, "Of Forests and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest." Sifuentez completed his Ph.D. at Brown University in American studies with a focus on immigration and labor. Sifuentez’s book analyzes the factors that brought ethnic Mexican immigrants to the Pacific Northwest and the ways in which immigrants responded to the labor conditions by demanding both labor rights and citizenship rights. This event will be held at the Fine Arts Center Auditorium. 

Learn more about the Donald Blake Center conference at 

Donald Blake Conter poster
Race and Belonging: Latinx Experiences in the PNW.