YVC’s 2020-2021 Diversity Series Continues with a Conversation on the History of Water Activism

YVC’s 2020-2021 Diversity Series continues with a virtual conversation with Kessie Alexandre, a leading scholar on the subject of water insecurity and assistant geography professor at the University of Washington. The free event will be held on Friday, October 23, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PST. Register for the event.

This talk titled, “Water Justice as Social Justice,” will focus on the history of water activism, specifically activists’ efforts to keep their water system public and why that is important today. Following the presentation will be a Q&A.

Alexandre’s research explores questions of public health risk and ethics; environmental racism; climate justice and the social implications of climate change adaptation; Black geographies and diaspora; and the politics and ethics of infrastructure. Her other research projects include a long-term study of water and sanitation access in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak.

Her first book, “Floods and Fountains,” is an ethnographic study of water insecurity and civic participation in Newark, N.J., which uncovers concurrent processes of racialization and toxification in a period of industrial waterway pollution, climate change vulnerability, and tap water contamination. Looking beyond the Newark Lead Crisis, the project examines how residents have mobilized around unsafe water flows since the Black Power Movement and how water insecurity continues to shape political subjectivities and social relations in the moment of ongoing crisis. Her second writing project reframes water and land access for Haitians from disaster response to legacies of dispossession and ongoing infrastructural development. Lastly, she is writing on the figure of the “climate refugee” in contemporary discourse and its convergence with racialization at borders in various parts of the Americas.

Since 2005 Yakima Valley College has partnered with several local area organizations to host events and lectures through its annual Diversity Series. The events provide YVC the opportunity to bring diverse perspectives to everyday topics and push the boundaries of the term beyond race, gender, social class and sexuality.

For more information contact Counselor Vicente Lopez at vlopez@yvcc.edu.