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PLU will launch into Earth and Diversity Week with the Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture and the Steen Family Symposium

PLU will launch into Earth and Diversity Week with the Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture and the Steen Family Symposium

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Image: PLU’s 2024 Earth and Diversity week kicks off with two keynote events on campus, the Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture and the Steen Family Symposium.

April 9, 2024
By Jeffrey Roberts
PLU Marketing and Communications

Earth & Diversity Week is an opportunity to explore the interconnected relationship between diversity, justice, and sustainability and how these values experienced in our contexts today.

Earth & Diversity Week is hosted annually during the week of Earth Day and features Earth Day lectures, campus activities, and dialogue groups. Two key events this year are the Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture on April 17, and the Steen Family Symposium on April 22.

PLU’s Department of History is excited to welcome award-winning author Joshua L. Reid to give this year’s Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture on April 17 at 7 P.M. in Xavier 201.

About the Author:

Joshua L. Reid was born and raised in Washington and is a registered member of the Snohomish Indian Nation. Reid is currently an associate professor of American Indian Studies and the John Calhoun Smith Memorial Endowed Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington.

Reid’s presentation is titled “Makah Voices and the Sea” and will be related to his inaugral book “The Sea is my Country.” This award-winning book explores the Makahs, a tribal nation in the northwest United States, and the unique ways the sea has influenced their culture and identity.

Reid prepared the following abstract for his lecture:

“Twenty-five years ago, the Makah Nation successfully hunted a gray whale. This action drew the ire of animal rights activists who often rooted their criticism in racism and stereotypes of Indigenous authenticity. Drawing from the tribal nation’s historical and contemporary relationship with the sea, this talk will focus on Makah statements and actions from the eighteenth century onward that illustrate how they have made and continue to maintain the surrounding marine waters as their own.”

The cover of "The Sea is my Country" by Joshua L. Reid, published by Yale University Press.

The lecture will be on April 17 at 7 p.m. in Xavier 201. Admission is free and open to the public!

This lecture is being held amidst many notable anniversaries. 2024 is the:

170th anniversary of Medicine Creek Treaty
100th anniversary of the Native American Voting Rights Act
20th anniversary of the exoneration of Chief Leschi
50th anniversary of Boldt Decision
100th birthday of Nisqually historian and PLU alumna Cecelia Svinth Carpenter

About the Lecture:

The Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture is named after Dr. Walter C. Schnackenberg (1917-1973), who graduated from Pacific Lutheran College in 1937. One of Dr. Schnackenbergs most frequently expressed wishes was that Pacific Lutheran University might establish a lectureship which would, on a regular basis, bring to the campus distinguished members of the world academic community to discuss significant topics of historical interest. Accordingly, the Department of History and the Schnackenberg family announced on February 8, 1974, the creation of the Walter C. Schnackenberg Memorial Lecture, to be inaugurated during the 1974-1975 academic year.

The Steen Family Symposium on April 22 officially kicks off PLU’s Earth & Diversity Week.

Steen Family Symposium Steen Family Symposium on Environmental Issues
April 17-19 | Free and open to the public

Established in 2022 through a gift from David ‘57 and Lorilie Steen ’58, the Steen Family Symposium brings informed speakers who challenge current thinking and propose healthy change to the PLU campus for the purpose of contributing to educate for “lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care — for other people, for their communities and for the Earth.”

Organizers say the symposium reflects the PLU environmental studies program’s commitment to thinking about environmental issues from intersectional perspectives that bring into focus the connection between the health of the environment and the health of people and their communities.

The 2024 Steen Family Symposium invites us to consider this question through the lens of collaboration, trust, and stewardship.  The day will be filled with dialogue, a community dinner, and will end recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Boldt Decision and the 170th anniversary of the Medicine Creek Treaty, with a panel discussion focused on collaboration, trust, and stewardship of resources after the Boldt Decision. The event is free, but we ask that you register so that we can provide adequate accomodations.

The Steen family poses for a picture after donating $100,000 to PLU to establish the Steen Family Symposium on Environmental Issues at PLU.