In December 2018, Seattle University kicked off the first installment of its inclusive excellence speaker series Red Talks which features intersectional voices on a range of topics. The Red Talks series is led by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the Office of the Provost. The first talk was entitled “Who Makes the Rules? Often, They Are #SoWhiteMale. What Does That Mean and Why Should We Care?” showcasing School of Law professor Brooke Coleman, JD.
We sat down with Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Natasha Martin to learn more about this exciting new speaker series.
Red Talks, inspired by the popular TED Talks series, offers a signature opportunity to explore and grow together. “When I think about who we are as a university, we are a community filled with talented thought leaders and innovators and we are in the heart of one of the most vibrant, creative cities in the world. I wanted to find a way for SU to contribute to engagement around diversity, equity and inclusion and really lean into it in a different way. As a university, producing knowledge and facilitating academic excellence is what we do here in our efforts to educate leaders for a just and humane world. We have incredible faculty, staff, students and alumni. These are folks who are having a real impact on the world – we want to elevate the conversations we are having on campus in a way that leverages all of our treasures and helps us to become better known for our robust talent and expertise.”
While you can invite TEDx conferences to a college campus, Natasha wanted this to be a series that Seattle U can own, grow, and further advance as significant partners with the broader Seattle community and beyond. The aim is that this series includes a range of individuals and perspectives, perhaps not often heard from or engaged with, a platform for impactful “uncommon voices” as the tag line references. Each installment of Red Talks is professionally produced and will be posted online. You can learn more about the series and find the video here once it is made available.
The theme for this year’s series is Women Voices at the Intersection. Of this year’s series, Natasha noted, “It’s important to think about who is telling the stories and whose voices are missing. At a time when women’s voices are being diminished, dismissed and distorted in a way that doesn’t give full agency to women, I want to offer a forum to explore a range of women’s voices and leadership. That was really important to me.” Natasha went on to add that, “To me, this effort is very much tied to who we are as a Jesuit Catholic university. We are modeling inclusive dialogue and how using one’s authentic voice in a complex world stretches all of us to think differently about what it means to be an engaged citizen of society in service to the greater good.”
Natasha would like alumni to get engaged with Red Talks, both by attending the events and by partnering on the program and presentations. If you are interested in engaging with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion on Red Talks, send your ideas to email@example.com.
Check here for the most recent updates on topics and upcoming Red Talk sessions, as well as access to videos of past segments of the series.