Donald Blake Center academic conference

Keynote speaker to address the lives and experiences of indigenous Americans


The Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture (DBC) at Walla Walla University will hold its second annual academic conference on April 19-20, 2018. The conference will feature essays from both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. The conference will be moderated by Timothy Golden, WWU professor of philosophy and DBC director, and will feature keynote speaker Benjamin Madley, associate professor of history at UCLA.

The essays presented at the conference will largely address the lives and experiences of indigenous Americans. Madley, an expert in the history of native America, the United States, and colonialism in world history, will provide the keynote address on Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. in the WWU Fine Arts Center auditorium.

The Donald Blake Center, named for Donald Blake, WWU professor of biological sciences from 1962 to 1969 and one of the first African American tenure track faculty members hired by the university, is dedicated to combating racism and its effects on contemporary social and cultural life. To this aim, the DBC promotes academic research, holds conferences, and offers pedagogy workshops on curriculum inclusiveness and multiculturalism and encourages student-led involvement in inner-city missions and social justice campaigns.

The DBC hosts acclaimed keynote speakers, seeking out leading academics in the fields of race, ethnicity, and culture—qualifications that Madley has in abundance. A native of northern California, Madley is the author of “An American Genocide: the United States and the Californian Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873,” an account of the state-sanctioned slaughter of California’s Indian population, which fell from around 150,000 to 30,000 in just 27 years. The book has received rave reviews and has been endorsed by the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, who says, “Madley corrects the record with his gripping story of what really happened: the actual genocide of a vibrant civilization, thousands of years in the making.”

The lecture may include graphic material.

Those interested in learning more about or watching past conferences can information here. For more information about the conference, visit

Posted April 11, 2018

Portrait of Benjamin Madley
Benjamin Madley, a native of northern California, developed an interest in the relationship between colonizers and indigenous populations at an early age.
Donald Blake Center logo featuring black and white profile silhouette of Donald Blake
The Donald Blake Center promotes academic research through annual conferences featuring keynote speakers who are leading academics on subject matter related to the study of race, ethnicity, and culture.