Professors to Examine Race, Racism

hands diversity raceAn interdisciplinary panel of Westmont faculty, including Yi-Fan Lu (biology), Tom Knecht (political science), and Meredith Whitnah (sociology), with moderator Kya Mangrum (English) will explore “What Is Race and Racism?” on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. Off-campus attendees can register at to be sent the link to the Zoom event.

The Ethnic Studies Lecture, which will examine the keywords “race and racism,” is the first in a series of events supported by the English and modern languages departments.

“As a community that places Christ first, we hope to facilitate a conversation that helps us to see each other the way that God sees each of us,” says Dinora Cardoso, Westmont professor of Spanish and ethnic studies faculty member. “We aim to establish a foundational understanding of race and racism in the U.S. that will allow each participant to feel empowered to ask honest questions. Even as we hear different disciplinary perspectives and recognize different points of view, we hope participants leave the panel with a shared set of concepts that can further our understanding and engagement in the work of racial healing and justice.”

Lu, who uses multi-electrode arrays to model human neurological disorders in the laboratory, earned a doctorate in molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke University.

Knecht, who’s current research examines the politics of sports, graduated from Stanford University before earning a doctorate from UC Santa Barbara.

Whitnah, who earned a master’s and a doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, studies the role of religion in both perpetuating and mitigating different forms of social injustice.

Mangrum, who earned a master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan, is completing a manuscript that examines how photography transformed U.S. slave narratives.