2022-2023 Global Grants Events and Projects
Celebrating Cesár Chávez & Dolores Huerta
Professor John Quevedo
Matika Wilbur Closing Ceremony
Art Department & Decolonizing the Academy Committee
Widely acclaimed photographer, writer, podcaster, and public speaker, Matika Wilbur, wraps up her one year residency at Santa Monica College. Wilbur delivered closing remarks about her book, the accompanying gallery exhibition, and spoke about the student-focused workshops and activities she led over the past months.
"Attending Matika Wilbur's closing ceremony on May 15, 2023, was very inspiring to learn how ambitious she was to showcase the known and unknown indigenous tribes in the United States and how she was affected by each of the connections she made ... The main point that stood out in Matika's closing remarks was how indigenous mothers are forced to surrender their aggressiveness once they have a child. Historically, women were not allowed to be vigorous or dominant with their counterparts, which has dictated how women respond. Yet, throughout colonization and imperialization, indigenous women could not afford to be weak because their communities were being massacred. As Matika explained, indigenous women had to sacrifice being aggressive and violent because it would affect how they raised their children. Instead, indigenous women had to learn to become more patient and gentle to support and guide their kids. This part of her presentation stood out to me because I had not thought about surrendering our aggressiveness to benefit ourselves and others. I was moved to hear that because I believe this was a sign for me to become more compassionate and kind to myself, especially during times of urgency. I've realized not everything has to be a battle and it's okay to make mistakes." - Brigette A.
"The Matika Wilbur exhibition was a fantastic experience and I am so glad I went to this event. I found Matika's story so inspiring that she sold everything she had so she can go accross the country to take pictures. She's a free spirit and dropped everything to do something that she is proud and passionate of. I really like how she uses her platform to share the stories to the people she photographs; [especially] the story of the man who traveled across states by foot to get an education, and now the university has honored him. This story really resonated with me because I am first generation American so I can relate with having someone travel that far for a better life." - José Ramos
Roya Hakakian's Talk about the Women's Movement in Iran
Professor Elham Gheytanchi, Philosophy & Social Sciences
Writer and founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Roya Hakakian, spoke about the ongoing Women's Movement in Iran after the death of 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini.
"My motivation to invite Roya Hakakian was to have an opportunity for SMC students, faculty, staff and the greater public to acquire an in-depth understanding of the struggle of young Iranian women inside Iran in the latest uprising that started about a year ago. The speaker is a long time activist who has also presented to Congress and in front of the Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC.
In her talk, Roya informed the audience about Iranian peoples' longtime struggle for democracy that, in her view, started century ago with the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911. The revolution of 1979 was hijacked by the extreme Islamists and the people of Iran have risen up many times since then to end the theocracy. The religious government based on a strict interpretation of Shia Islam has formed a mafia-like chain of command that has benefited their own inner circle and other extremists in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Roya's talk contributed to a broad sense of global citizenship as she identified the theocratic Iranian government and its military wing called IRGG, which is--economically as well as ideologically--heavily invested not just in Iran, but also in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. The young women in Iran, like their counterparts in the US and other parts of the world, yearn for freedom from the yoke of their government and Roya highlighted why their struggles matters most for the women of the whole MENA (Middle East and North Africa)." - Professor Gheytanchi
"The 'women movement in Iran' talk was for the great cause of freedom in Iran and the women role in the ongoing revolution. It was very well organized and informative for the community on the west side. I hope to see more events like this in Santa Monica College." - SMC student
Addressing Equity in Healthcare: Open Panel for SMC & the Community
Professor Collin Ellis, Biological Sciences & the SMC Pre-Health Professional Association
Dr. Marco Angulo and Dr. Jennifer Lucero spoke to pre-health SMC students about the shortage of primary care clinicians in the U.S. and the necessity to practice medicine in undeserved communities.
Matika Wilbur Keynote Address
Art Department & Decolonizing the Academy Committee
Matika Wilbur is a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes from Washington State. She created and runs Project 562, a multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized Tribes in the United States resulting in an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans.
Living with Ice: Glaciers and Climate Change
Professor Christyanne Melendez, Earth Science
Geographer, glaciologist, TED Fellow, and National Geographic Society Explorer Dr. M. Jackson has dedicated her life to examining climate change where people and melting ice meet. In her talk, she speaks about her experience living and working directly with communities impacted by climate change - specifically melting glaciers. Dr. M. Jackson alse shares her insights and offers an inclusive approach to understanding climate change.
South Korea: Art of Lotus Lantern Making and Technology Today
Professor Juhyeon Cha, Modern Languages and Cultures
With the help of the Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Program (KSCPP), participants learned how to make beautiful Korean lotus lanterns. The lotus flower symbolizes Buddha’s compassion and pure mind. It also represents creation, birth, and reproduction and is one of the most important symbols in Korean culture. The KSCPP workshop also touched on the technology advancements in South Korea.
A total of 92 people came and participated in the event, including Superintendent and President, Dr. Kathryn Jeffery.
I liked “the opportunity to learn about the wonderful cultural heritage of Korea, the uniqueness of their language and their celebration of compassion and altruism.”
“I enjoyed learning about the history and social aspects of Korea in addition to learning about the lotus flower's roots.”
“I liked that there were people to help you when you needed it and the history of Korea and the reason behind the event. I also loved that the teachers were willing to wear their beautiful hanboks (Korean traditional dress).”