Day of Discovery 2017

February 22 & 23, 2017

The university came together for the third consecutive year to further our conversation about diversity and inclusion.
Watch the Recorded Broadcast 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Medical Campus

parking and getting there

5–6:30 p.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Will Ross, Associate Dean for Diversity and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine

Keynote Address: Janice Mirikitani
“Giving Power to Voices Endangered by Silence”

Janice Mirikitani is a visionary poet, community leader, and educator. Interned as an infant with her parents in a World War II-era camp for Japanese Americans, her struggles with identity have, throughout her life, informed her activism and art. She is San Francisco’s second poet laureate, founding president of the Glide Foundation, and a commissioner on the San Francisco Arts Commission.

More on Janice Mirikitani.

A Conversation and Q&A

Moderated by Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost and Willam Van Cleve Professor of Law

Featuring Joe Loewenstein, Professor of English, Director of the Humanities Digital Workshop and the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities, Ruby Aurora, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2018, and Kevin Garza, second-year student in the School of Medicine

6:30–7:30 p.m.Reception and Book Signing

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Danforth Campus

parking and getting there

8:30–8:45 a.m.


Lori S. White, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Professor of Practice of Education

8:45–10:15 a.m.

Session 1
Forging a Collaborative Path for Inclusion and Change in St. Louis: The Role of Higher Education

A panel discussion featuring regional college and university leaders

Moderated by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton

Local higher education leaders will reflect on finding common ground through the lens of higher education, and discuss how colleges and universities in the region might collaborate to make an impact on related issues in the St. Louis.  Panelists will address how their respective institutions are responding to issues of class (e.g., increasing access for lower income students, programs supporting St. Louis communities) and offer any thoughts regarding joint efforts that can positively impact our region. Panelists will also offer broader thoughts on the idea of forging common ground in our current era.

10:15–10:30 a.m.Break
10:30 a.m–12 p.m.

Session 2
The Impact of Class: A Discussion Based on Film Excerpts from People Like Us: Social Class in America

Introduction by Provost Holden Thorp; Moderated by Mark Rank, Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare

People Like Us: Social Class in America is a PBS film exploring questions of how income, family background, education, attitudes, aspirations, and appearance impact perceptions of one’s social class. This session will include excerpts from the film and offer perspectives on issues of class from Washington University scholars.

12–1:30 p.m.


We will discuss the morning session in facilitated small group sessions.

1:30–2:45 p.m.

Session 3a
A Mosaic of True Stories

Facilitated by Denise DeCou, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Continuing Development/Program Delivery for Human Resources

A Mosaic of True Stories recounts real, though anonymously told, experiences of Washington University students, staff and faculty in short monologues.

Submit your story.

2:45–3 p.m.Break
3–4 p.m.

Session 3b
Mapping Our Narratives: Visions of Identity

Facilitated by Emelyn dela Peña, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Dean, Center for Diversity and Inclusion

What parts of your identity would you like to see affirmed and better supported? Please join us in sharing your name and story through a visual mapping of your identity. We will provide art supplies for you to share your narrative in text, picture, collage, or other creative means. We invite you to leave your vision map with us (or allow us to photograph your creation) to be included in a future Day of Dialogue publication or displayed in the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.

4–4:30 p.m.

Closing Reflections

Emelyn dela Peña

Thursday, February 23 (Evening)

6:30 p.m.


Join us in Tisch Commons for ice cream, popcorn and candy.

7 p.m.

Film Screening

People Like Us: Social Class in America
(directed by Louis Alvarez and Andy Kolker, 2001, 2h 4m)