Diversity Series

Diversity Series Logo YVCWhat is the Diversity Series?

The series benefits the college and the greater community by extending the concept of education beyond the classroom.

Since 2005 Yakima Valley College has partnered with several local area organizations to host events and lectures through the 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.

Theme for 2020-2021: DISMANTLE RACISM

racism written on a black board
Kessie Alexandre

History of Water Activism

Friday, October 23, 2020, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

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

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

Diversity Series Film Series

2020-2021 Diversity Series will present a special film series that will explore dismantling racism in society. Each event will provide one week of free access to viewing a film, followed by a virtual discussion on that film. See the following details for a complete look at the upcoming film series.

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement

Watch the Film then Join the Discussion: October 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Film Description: “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement” is an original documentary film that chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first-person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists and others. Dubbed the new “civil rights movement,” #BlackLivesMatter launched a transformative grassroots movement that moved from social media to the streets across America. From scheduled marches to assembled sit-ins and to heated rallies across the country, protesters and communities pushed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a worldwide rallying cry.


Watch the Film then Join the Discussion: November 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Film Description: The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars this film examination the U.S. prison system and looks at how the country's history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.


Watch the Film then Join the Discussion: January 14, 2021  (Time and Movie link TBA)

Film Description: “Selma” is a historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches initiated and directed by James Bevel and led by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams, and John Lewis. “Selma premiered at the American Film Institute Festival in November 2014 and expanded into a wide theatrical release in January  2015, two months before the 50th anniversary of the march. The film was re-released on March 20, 2015, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical march.

Freedom Riders

Watch the Film then Join the Discussion February 18, 2021, at 5:00 pm

Film Description: “Freedom Riders” is the powerful, harrowing, and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives — and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment — for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in order to test and challenge a segregated interstate travel system, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, “Freedom Riders” features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Watch the Film then Join the DiscussionApril 15, 2021, at 5:00 pm

Film Description: The film follows a young woman who, with her family's support, seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.

I Am Not Your Negro

Watch the Film then Join the Discussion: May 20, 2021, at 5:00 pm

Film Description: “I Am Not Your Negro” is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript Remember This House. The film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history.

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

Additional events will be hosted throughout the academic year. For more information: visit 509.574.6800 ext. 4965/ diversityseries@yvcc.edu

Students of Color Conference logo

Students of Color Conference 

30th Annual Students of Color Conference sponsored by the Multicultural Student Services Directors Council (MSSDC).

Canceled due to COVID19, announcements about SOCC 2021 will be posted here as soon as they are available.

To learn more contact YVC Counselor Elizabeth DeVilleneuve at 509.574.4978, edevilleneuve@yvcc.edu.

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