The 4th annual Donald Blake Center Academic Conference with speaker Claudia Castro Luna has been canceled.

This disruption is a result of campus-wide closure as an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The safety and optimal health of all students, staff, faculty, and campus guests, are a top priority at Walla Walla University.
Our Emergency Management Team is carefully monitoring the situation. You can find the most recent information about how this affecting WWU at wallawalla.edu/covid19.


4th annual Donald Blake Center Academic Conference

May 14–15, 2020 [canceled]


Keynote speaker: 
Claudia Castro Luna, 2018–21 Washington state poet laureate
Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 7 p.m. in the University Church


Presentation and paper proposals:
The Donald Blake Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture at Walla Walla University is hosting its annual Donald Blake Center Academic Conference on May 14 and 15, 2020, on the WWU campus. The DBC is calling for papers from undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty. Essays will be considered that address topics related to race, ethnicity, and culture.

  • Presentation proposals and paper proposals are due by March 16, 2020.
  • Authors whose presentations or papers are accepted for the conference will be notified by March 30, 2020
  • Papers will be presented on Friday, May 15, 2020, on the campus of Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington. 
  • All proposals should be sent to: cheris.current@wallawalla.edu.
  • Both presentation and paper proposals must be prepared for blind review with the author’s name and academic affiliation only in the body of the email.

Conference registration:

To register to attend the Donald Blake Center Academic Conference, complete the registration form below.
For more information on visiting for the conference see:


Keynote speaker

Claudia Castro Luna

 2018–21 Washington state poet laureate

When she was 14, Claudia Castro Luna fled with her family from civil war in El Salvador. After earning a master of fine arts degree in poetry and a master’s degree in urban planning, Castro Luna worked as a K–12 teacher before being appointed by the mayor of Seattle as the city’s first Civic Poet. She is the author of the poetry chapbook “This City” and the collection “Killing Marías.” Castro Luna has also received national acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map showcasing poems about different locations around the city. Castro Luna was appointed in 2018 as Washington state poet laureate. She will speak for the Donald Blake Center Academic Conference on the subject of immigration.


Keynote presentation

May 14, 2020 | 7 p.m.
Walla Walla University Church


Event Details

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