The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Writers Give Voice to open conversation and process of racial healing

Student, faculty readings allow space for people to heal for National Day of Racial Healing
Doc+D+facilitates+a+drum+circle+in+the+Terrell+Library+Auditorium+during+the+inaugural+National+Day+of+racial+Healing+event+at+WSU+in+2023.
Doc D facilitates a drum circle in the Terrell Library Auditorium during the inaugural National Day of racial Healing event at WSU in 2023.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is hosting the second annual reading and open mic event titled Writers Give Voice as a response to the university celebrating National Day of Racial Healing.

While National Day of Racial Healing has been around since 2017, WSU did not start celebrating the day until last year, said Kristin Becker, museum education and programs curator.

National Day of Racial Healing is on January 16. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation first proposed the day to address racism in society in a positive way, Becker said.

To celebrate National Day of Racial Healing, WSU is holding a number of events on Tuesday, including Writers Give Voice as a part of the Visiting Writers Series.

Normally, the Visiting Writers Series brings in one guest to speak and do a reading, but the Writers Give Voice event will allow multiple students and faculty members to bring their own work for a reading, Becker said.

While last year the museum only held the open mic and reading, this year there will be a writing workshop in the morning hosted by faculty members in the English department to give people the opportunity to bring in work they wrote at the workshop, she said.

Cameron McGill, WSU scholarly assistant professor, said the event features student writers and creative writing students, as well as faculty and student editors from various WSU publications including Blood Orange Review and LandEscapes.

Writers Give Voice opens a space for people to share poetry about their experiences; last year, multiple campus civic poets attended, and McGill hopes for the same outcome this year.

The event puts people in conversation with each other. McGill said a refuge of art is healing, and the process of creating a space that allows the process of healing starts conversations.

“We wanted to create a space that would be able to do that for students, faculty members, staff, community members,” he said. “It’s important because it promotes conversations in and outside of the classroom, and my hope is that it promotes empathetic practices and compassion and self-awareness as well.”

Becker said she is looking forward to hearing the voices of faculty and students because it is a rare opportunity and something valuable. 

“We’re oftentimes siloed in our departments or academic areas, and the museum is one venue where we try to get people from different disciplines, and from outside the university as well, to come together as a group,” she said. “Seeing that variety of perspectives is what I’m really looking forward to.”

Writers Give Voice will be at 1:45 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Other events honoring the National Day of Racial Healing can be found on the WSU Provost Office website.

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About the Contributor
ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Editor-in-chief
Alexandria started working for the Evergreen in October 2020 as a news reporter and eventually hopped around to the roots/life, opinion and culture sections. She was a copy editor for three semesters beginning in January 2021 and was the Life editor in fall 2022. She was the copy chief for the summer and fall 2023 semesters, and is currently the editor-in-chief for the spring 2024 semester. She is from Tri-Cities, WA, and is always writing in her free time.