Juneteenth: Remembrance and Reflection
A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, June 21
5:00-6:30 p.m. PDT | 8:00-9:30 p.m. EDT
This is a live, in-person event that will also be webcast.
The purpose of this panel discussion is to offer an intellectually stimulating conversation on the continued persistence of white supremacy, the racial wealth gap, unequal education, and persistent health disparities that African American contend with every day in the United States.
Understanding our history is critical to the development of our understanding of ourselves. Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of enslaved peoples in the United States, is a time for remembrance and reflection. As a historical event with broad sweeping humanitarian consequences, it exemplifies both “roots” and “routes” to democracy. We cannot help but reflect on American history without deeply considering Black Liberation and Indigenous Sovereignty—with the understanding that our history is rooted in land stolen from Indigenous peoples, and built by people stolen from their land.
To that end, we find Juneteenth a time not only to celebrate a collective liberation, but also a time to reflect on how different our country would be had this event not happened at all. In what ways have the vestiges of this colonial framing continued? And more importantly, how are we responding to the historical challenges laid before us with hope, innovation, compassion, and a willingness to commit to change. As a nation, Juneteenth is not just about Black liberation, it is also about the liberation of America from the chains of slavery that shackle the mind to illusions of supremacy and bigotry. As Americans we all know our potential lies within ourselves, to be our best selves. Juneteenth is an opportunity to raise up those ideals and move forward.
Thyonne Gordon, Ph.D.
Holding a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University, Dr. Gordon brings an extensive experiential background in organizational structure and management to Pacifica’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Gordon is a Business Profit Strategist, Producer and Writer working with small business Executives to accelerate their growth through her proven methodology of S.T.O.R.Y. (Structure, Targets, Ownership, Relatability and YOU).
According to Dr. Gordon, “Many businesses fall into the trap of using a head focused model and approach to build their business. My S.T.O.R.Y. process integrates a “head” and “heart” approach, which accelerates financial profits and offers a sophisticated way to handle even the toughest decisions.”
Dr. Gordon also uses this “head / heart” approach through her philanthropic endeavors, which includes mentoring young people through challenging issues. Her ability to shed light on causes that provide positive impact was documented in the film, From Watts to Africa, which showcased at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival. JOIN Dr. Gordon and bring your business to life with Purpose, Passion and Profit.
She joined the Pacifica Board of Trustees in 2007 and became Chair in 2015. Read more at: drthyonne.com
Tracy Fisher, Ph.D.
Tracy Fisher, PhD works at the intersections of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Black Diaspora Studies, and Cultural Anthropology. She takes a critical intersectional approach to explore the ways in which people of different racial-ethnic backgrounds have actively transformed racial meanings and struggle to build transracial-ethnic gendered solidarities within a particular constellation of intersecting political-economic and socio-cultural circumstances. She comes to Fielding Graduate University with much experience in teaching, researching, organizing, and participating in a range of interdisciplinary projects and collaborations rooted in social justice.
Dr. Fisher is the author of What’s Left of Blackness: Feminisms, Transracial Solidarities, and the Politics of Belonging in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan Press, Comparative Feminist Studies Series). The book analyzes the transformations in black women’s grassroots socially engaged political work in England—from anti-imperialist groups to service providers—alongside shifts in Britain’s political economy and the deployment of blackness as a political imaginary from the late 1960s until the 2000s. She is also the co-editor of Gendered Citizenships: Transnational Perspectives on Knowledge Production, Political Activism, and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan Press, Comparative Feminist Studies Series). This book’s central epistemological intervention lies in the critical linkages made between feminist theories of intersectionality, ethnographic studies of citizenship, and feminist theories of citizenship. It features ethnographic research on cultural citizenship and women of color in the US and beyond. Her work has also appeared in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies.
Before joining Fielding Graduate University, Dr. Fisher was visiting faculty at Scripps College and Pitzer College, and she was on the faculty at UC Riverside. Read more at: expertfile.com/experts/tracy.fisherphd
Ivory Toldson, Ph.D.
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the national director of Education Innovation and Research for the NAACP, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education. Previously, Dr. Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs). He also served as president and CEO of the QEM Network and contributing education editor for The Root, where he debunked some of the most pervasive myths about African-Americans in his Show Me the Numbers column. Dr. Toldson is the executive editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. He is also the author of Brill Bestseller, No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People. Dr. Toldson is ranked among the nation’s top education professors as a member of Education Week’s Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, an annual list recognizes university-based scholars across the nation who are champions in shaping educational practice and policy. Dr. Toldson serves on the board of Fielding Graduate University. Read more at: https://toldson.com/biography
Wendi Williams, Ph.D.
Psychologist, advocate, and educator, Dr. Wendi Williams applies her work at the intersection of education and psychology to her scholarship and leadership praxis. Williams completed undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis where she majored in psychology and minored in African and African American Studies. She completed graduate study at Pepperdine University (MA in Psychology) and Georgia State University, where she earned a doctorate in counseling psychology, with an emphasis in multicultural psychology and family systems.
In a career spanning two decades, Williams’ work delves into the contours of Black women’s and girls’ inner lives, leveraging deep knowledge of their interiority as source content for the development of culturally-responsive educational and psychological interventions. Applying critical lenses of liberation psychology and Womanist, Black, and Intersectional feminist theoretical frames with an equity-centered systems power analysis, Williams develops and implements educational, wellness, and leadership intervention programming with individuals, groups, and organizations. Her work attends to the individual and organizational transformation required to foment the optimal growth and development of diverse women and girls, while attending to the organizational and societal systems-level change required for sustainable equity practice. Read more at: expertfile.com/experts/wendi.williamsphd
Allison Davis-White Eyes, Ph.D., VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Allison Davis-White Eyes currently serves as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Fielding Graduate University. Her professional areas of expertise focus on strategic organizational change, strategic partnerships, community building, inter-departmental collaboration, interdisciplinary teaching and research, international partnerships, Indigenous policy, academic partnerships, and student development (both graduate and undergraduate).
Allison earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in American History), and her Master of Arts from UCLA in American Indian Studies with a specific focus on History and Law. In addition, Allison earned her Ph.D. from OSU in Adult Higher Education with an emphasis on International Education. Currently, Dr. Davis-White Eyes is affiliate faculty within the School of Public Policy and the School of Language, Culture and Society at Oregon State University.
Her research areas of interest include: post-colonial cosmopolitanism, trans-national feminism, subaltern research ethics and decolonizing methodologies, inclusive democracy, mobilities of culture and identity, queering of identity and space, critical nation-building and sovereignty, as well as intersectionality in theory and organizational praxis.
Dr. Allison’s bio: https://expertfile.com/experts/allison.daviswhiteeyes