Blake Center conference

Conference theme to address ‘What Does Equity Look Like?’


A teach-in conference sponsored by The Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture at Walla Walla University and Adventist Health will take place April 13–16. During the week, the university will explore topics related to the conference theme, “What Does Equity Look Like?”

On Tuesday, April 13, at 11 a.m., Rebecca Parshall will present “Reckoning with Racial Equity: It’s Time.” Parshall is a doctor of philosophy candidate in educational administration and policy at the University of Georgia, is program officer at Learn4Life, and is a leader with the Change Action Networks. Watch Parshall’s presentation live at

A world-renowned specialist on social impacts on public health, Dr. David R. Williams, will present the conference keynote address, “Social Inequities in Health and What We Can Do About Them,” on Wednesday, April 14, at 5 p.m. Williams is the Norman Professor of Public Health and chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University. His prior faculty appointments were at Yale University and the University of Michigan. The author of more than 500 scientific papers, his research has enhanced our understanding of the ways in which social factors, including, stress, race, economic status, racism, health behavior, and religious involvement can affect health. Williams’ presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required for participation in this Zoom lecture.

On Thursday, April 15, at 3:30 p.m., Dr. Donald Blake will present “Equity and Respect for All People.” The Donald Blake Center at WWU is named in honor of Blake who was a member of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1962 to 1969. When Blake accepted the position at WWU, he was one of the first Black tenure track faculty to be hired at a predominately white Seventh-day Adventist college or university. His teaching positions include serving on the faculty of Oakwood University, University of Rhode Island, Ohio State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Kentucky State University, and University of Hartford. He has also held administrative positions in higher education, including vice president for academic affairs at Kentucky State University and dean of instruction at Mississippi Valley State University. Registration is required to attend Blake’s online webinar.

The Donald Blake Center at WWU is dedicated to combating racism and its effects on contemporary social and cultural life. To this aim, the center promotes academic research, holds conferences, offers pedagogy workshops on curriculum inclusiveness and multiculturalism, and encourages student-led involvement in inner-city missions and social justice campaigns.

For more information about the Donald Blake Center and the conference, visit

Posted April 6, 2021

Portrait of Donald Blake wearing a dark suit.
The Donald Blake Center at WWU is named in honor of Blake who was a member of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1962 to 1969. (Photo: Brandon Hill)