DBC Conference

Four speakers invited to speak on the local history of Asian Americans


In early April, Walla Walla University’s Donald Blake Center will be bringing well-known authors and college professors to campus to share about Asian American experiences in the Pacific Northwest. The focus of the annual conference is a continuation of recent years’ emphasis on race and belonging in Walla Walla and the Pacific Northwest. A primary emphasis for this year is understanding the role of Asians in local history, especially those from China and Japan during the 19th and early 20th century.

On Monday, April 10, at 7 p.m., Rosie Marie Wong will present “Building Tradition: The Legacy of Seattle’s Chinatown and the Single-Room Occupancy Residential Hotels” in room 209 of the Winter Educational Complex (WEC). She currently works as professor emerita at the Institute of Public Service, Asian Studies, and Public Affairs. In addition to teaching, Wong has over 25 years of experience in the public and private sector urban planning. 

On Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m., Shawn Wong will present “How I came to understand diversity and inclusion (DEI) in only 50 years” in the Walla Walla University Church. There will be a Q&A in the University Church Fellowship hall with lunch provided at 12 p.m. Shawn wrote two novels and teaches Asian American literature and beginning and advanced screenwriting at the University of Washington. 

On Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m., Frank Abe will present “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration” in room 209 of the WEC. Abe is co-author of the graphic novel, We Hereby Refuse, which tells of Japanese American resistance to wartime incarceration. 

On Wednesday, April 12, at 12 p.m., Susan Monahan will present “Chinese In Change: Domestics in the Homes of Walla Walla” in room 209 of the WEC. Lunch will be provided.

This annual conference is organized by the Donald Blake Center at Walla Walla University in pursuit of its goal to create an intellectual community dedicated to the study of race, ethnicity, and culture. Inherent in this work is a commitment to understanding how inequalities grounded in race, ethnicity, and culture are maintained, developing initiatives that challenge these injustices, and pursuing transformative changes on our campuses and across the region.  

The DBC conference is open to students and the public. To learn more about the Donald Blake Center, visit wallawalla.edu/DBC


Posted March 31, 2023.

DBC Conference flyer