Donald Blake Center

For the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

7th annual Donald Blake Center Academic Conference 

The Blake Center is hosting its annual conference on April 10-12. We are in the midst of a series of conferences on the significance of race and place. This year we are highlighting the experiences of Asian and Asian American people in Walla Walla and the PNW more broadly.

Click the following link to learn more about the 2023 academic conference and its keynote speakers. Click the dates below for event titles, locations, and YouTube videos

Marie Rose Wong presented, “Building Tradition: The Legacy of Seattle’s Chinatown and the Single-Room Occupancy Residential Hotels” at the Winter Educational Complex (WEC) in lecture hall 209 on April 10, 2023. Click here for YouTube Video

Shawn Wong presented, “How I came to understand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in only 50 years” on April 11, 2023 at CommUnity in the University Church. Click here for YouTube Video. 

A Q&A session with Shawn Wong occured after his CommUnity presentation on April 11, 2023 in the Fellowship Hall of the University Church.

Frank Abe presented, “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration” at the Winter Educational Complex (WEC) in lecture hall 209 on April 11, 2023. Click here for YouTube Video. 

Susan Monahan presented, “Chinese In Charge: Domestics in the Homes of Walla Walla” at the Winter Educational Complex (WEC) in lecture hall 209 on April 12, 2023. Click here for YouTube Video

The purpose of the Donald Blake Center at Walla Walla University is 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 center is named in honor of Donald Blake, a member of the faculty in the Walla Walla College Department of Biological Sciences from 1962 to 1969. When Blake accepted the position at WWC, he was one of the first Black tenure track faculty to be hired at a predominately white Seventh-day Adventist college or university. He has also held teaching positions at Oakwood College, University of Rhode Island, Ohio State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Southern Illinois University, University of Kentucky, 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.


Past Events

6th Annual Academic Conference
April 12-14, 2022

Keynote Speakers: Guadalupe Gamboa and Michael Fox, María Isabel Morales, Mario Jimenez Sifuentez

Learn more about the 2022 conference >

5th Annual Academic Conference
April 13-16, 2021

Keynote Speakers: Rebecca Parshall, David Williams, Donald Blake

Learn more about the 2021 conference >

4th Annual Academic Conference
May 14-15, 2020 [CANCELED]

Keynote Speaker: Claudia Castro Luna

Learn more about the 2020 conference >

3rd Annual Academic Conference
April 11-12, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Terrence Roberts

Learn more about the 2019 conference >

2nd Annual Academic Conference
April 19-20, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Benjamin Madley, associate professor of history, University of California at Los Angeles

Learn more about the 2018 conference >

Inaugural Academic Conference
April 20-21, 2017

Keynote Speaker: George Yancy, professor of philosophy, Emory University

Learn more about the 2017 conference >