Keynote Speakers on racial justice

Keynote Speakers on racial justice

How much do you know about freedom and equality? Do you believe both are still challenged in society today?

Stan Yogi and Elaine Elinson will talk about racial justice and its links to oppression as part of Humboldt State’s 15th annual Campus Dialogue on Race.

Yogi and Elinson have each spent more than a decade working at the American Civil Liberties Union fighting to defend and preserve individual rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

Yogi and Elinson co-authored “Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Share Civil Liberties in California.” The book tells the stories of individuals who stood up for their rights against social hostility, violence and hardship.

Cherry Sripan, HSU junior international studies major, read the book in her critical race, gender and sexuality studies class. She also attended the last presentation Yogi and Elinson gave at HSU two years ago.

“Hearing them talk opened my brain and my mind to topics that were previously untouched,” Sripan said. Her emotions were evoked when she heard stories of Chinese immigrant discrimination as well as the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans.

“Yogi and Elinson are passionate speakers and passionate people spark others.” Sripan said. “The talk was emotional and kept the fire inside going.”

Kumi Watanabe-Schock, HSU Library media coordinator, also read the book after it was recommended to her in 2010. She was so impressed she arranged for Yogi and Elinson to speak at HSU twice.

This time, Watanabe-Schock only knows the title of the presentation the two co-authors gave her, “Standing on the Shoulders of Those Who Came Before Us: Unsung California Heroes and Heroines.”

She predicts they will talk about their book, people’s struggles and upcoming election issues.

“You’ll learn a lot from what they have to say,” Watanabe-Schock said.

A traveling exhibit created from the book is currently on display in the library. The exhibit documents minorities’ fight to overcome prejudice and discrimination.

Clarissa King, freshman art major, is planning on attending the presentation.

“I am interested in learning about California’s diverse history,” King said.

In their presentation on Friday, Nov. 2 Yogi and Elinson will talk about California’s history and will present ways to improve from the past mistakes.

The presentation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Kate Buchanan Room. Admission is free.

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