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5th Annual SJcon: Call for papers, presentations, and panels

April 19 @ 8:30 am - April 20 @ 5:30 pm

Flotilla of boats in a harbor.


WSU Vancouver Native Programs
Collective for Social and Environmental Justice,
Native American Club
Columbia River Indian Center
WSU Department of English
WSU Department of History
WSU Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Register Today

Call for Papers, Presentations, and Panels
Submissions due by March 31, 2024

WSU SJCon is an interdisciplinary social justice conference launched in 2019 by WSU graduate students in coalition with BIPOC- and LGBTQIA2S-led groups. We are pleased to accept proposals for presentations, panels, films, creative and multimodal media, art, and workshops that focus on action-based approaches to building and sustaining coalitions across communities.

This year’s conference is focused on “Health & Environmental Justice: Constructing Coalitions at the Intersections of Extraction, Militarism, and Climate Collapse.”

Despite ever-more alarming annual reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), globally in 2023, carbon emissions hit a new record high. Meanwhile, low wealth frontline climate communities in the United States and globally contend with ever more erratic and catastrophic weather.

Climate collapse is a biproduct of colonial violence and imperialism. Climate justice organizing, however, has yet to really tackle the carbon impacts of war and militarism. The U.S. military is the largest single institutional emitter of carbon worldwide. The economy of the Pacific Northwest is interwoven with the military-industrial-carceral complex. BIPOC communities locally and globally bear disproportionate environmental burdens, from tsunamis to nuclear waste, to oil and chemical spills.

As of 2022, more than 1500 institutions globally “with over $40 trillion in assets, have committed to some level of fossil fuel divestment.” Still, more action is needed to mobilize institutions of higher education, faith communities, unions, and local and state governments to divest from extractive industries–along with the war industries they fuel.

As academics and community organizers, we acknowledge the need to move beyond theorizing social problems. Social justice requires action, but that action must be rooted in lived experiences and the land, which connect us all.

How do we expand, build, and maintain coalitions to divest from fossil fuels and other extractive industries/institutions, reinvest in Indigenous communities and repair the violence inherent in settler colonialism? What traditional and contemporary models of grassroots action, activism, organizing, and coalition-building can we draw from?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Multimedia storytelling/retelling: the importance of narrative in arts that challenge and makes visible: BIPOC joy and resistance, and pathways to healing.
  • Making visible the health and environmental impacts of nuclear waste, including from small modular nuclear reactors.
  • Repairing the harms of colonialism/militarism, lateral violence and the extractive violence of settler colonialism on BIPOC communities.
  • Links between landback and Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) and colonial violence against women, girls, and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Decolonizing academia/curriculum and land-grab universities to build sustainable futures.
  • How we provide BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities with access to first foods/food sovereignty in rural and urban areas.
  • Organizing to divest from fossil fuels and the military industrial carceral complex to reinvest in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities that are leading with accessible and inclusive activism, and social movements.
  • How do we build coalitions to address the intersections of colonialism/militarism, extractivism, climate collapse, and neoliberalism/austerity and their impacts on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities?
  • Pathways to Indigenous Curriculum: TITLE VI and removing institutional barriers in creating new connections, re-shaping local, regional, and national political policies, processes, and practices.
  • The legacies of BIPOC autonomous zones/zones of radical resistance: the work that still needs to be done.

Panel presentations should range from 15-20 minutes. Please send a 250-300-word abstract, 3-minute video, single-page graphic, or other short explanation of your work, and a short biography (no more than 100 words) to the WSU SJCon planning committee at desiree.hellegers@wsu.edu by March 31, 2023.

Please note in the body of your email if you prefer to present virtually or in-person from the WSU Vancouver campus. Works in progress are very welcome! We highly encourage undergraduate and graduate student submissions! The 5th annual WSU SJCon will be offered virtually via Zoom with in-person networking and some workshops available at the WSU Vancouver campus.


April 19 @ 8:30 am
April 20 @ 5:30 pm
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