Shine a Light Speaker Series

At UAF, we are growing into a socially just and caring institution of higher education. This ongoing speaker series, titled Shine a Light: Promoting Conversations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is designed to encourage understanding, build empathy and engage us in thinking critically about our worldviews.

The series is led by UAF Northwest Campus, UAF Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability, and the Nanook Diversity and Action Center and is open to ALL! Thanks for being here! Join us on the third Tuesday of every month for a new speaker and topic.

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus
University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability Logo
University of Alaska Fairbanks Office of Rights, Compliance and Accountability
Nanook Diversity and Action Center Logo
Nanook Diversity and Action Center

Current events

Understanding the Real Needs of Latinos in Alaska Flyer
Understanding the Real Needs of Latinos in Alaska

with Joan Ryan Estay

Tuesday, Sept. 19, Noon-1pm, via Zoom

Over the last decade, Latinos made up 46% of the state's population growth. Today, they account for 7.3% of the state's populationand are the second biggest minority group, after Alaska Natives. So, what are their needs, challenges, joys, and why do they stay in the Last Frontier?

Joan Ryan Estay (two last names), originally from Viña Del Mar, Chile, is the Board President of Enlaces; a Hispanic/Latino non-profit in Alaska. Joan holds a BA in performing arts, an associate's degree in health and natural therapy, and an MBA in Strtegic Leadership. She is a Program Coordinator for the Healthy and Equitable Communities Unity for the State of Alaska and is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at UAF.

Past events

Murdered/Missing Indigenous Persons

May 16, 2023
Lonny Piscoya

Murdered / Missing Indigenous Persons

Alaska Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian people experience disproportionally high rates of violence, murder, and disappearances. In 2021, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation created the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative to address active and cold case missing and murdered persons cases. Current MMIP Investigator Lonny Piscoya will share details about the initiative, their work, and how they’re working to bring closure to families and communities across Alaska.

Lonny Piscoya is Inupiaq Eskimo and was born and raised in Nome, Alaska. Piscoya has over 25-years of experience in law enforcement and recently came out of retirement fall 2022 to serve as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Investigator for the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.

Video Forthcoming

Sivuqaq, Toxins, & Research

April 18, 2023
Vi Waghiyi

Sivuqaq, Toxins, & Research Flyer

The Yupik people of Sivuqaq (St. Lawrence Island) report high rates of cancer, thyroid disease, diabetes, heart disease, and birth defects. One cause may be persistent toxic pollutants related to abandoned military installations from the Cold War era. Hear how collaborative community-based research is helping to identify contaminants and find solutions.

Vi Waghiyi is from Savoonga on Sivuqaq. She started working for Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) in 2004. Vi is a nationally recognized environmental justice leader and has devoted her life to bring environmental health & justice to her Sivuqaq Yupik People and the people of the Arctic.

Video Forthcoming

Co-Production of Knowledge: Critical Reflection on Arctic Research

March 21, 2023
Margaret Anamaq Rudolf

Co-Production of Knowledge: Critical Reflection on Arctic Research Flyer

Co-production of knowledge is the trending research approach in the Arctic, which, in theory, means shared decision-making, prioritizing relationships, and co-produced outputs. In practice, this aspirational approach has failed to reach potential, receiving criticism from Indigenous leaders. Learn how research has and can be a colonial act, the current state of co-production of knowledge, and the challenges faced when put into practice.
Margaret Anamaq Rudolf is a UAF PhD student focusing on improving research processes with Alaska Native communities, specifically the perspectives of success and those who facilitate successful projects.
Video Forthcoming

Death by 1000 cuts: Surviving in a World of Microaggressions & Marginality

February 21, 2023
Traci Gatewood

International Law of Colonialism in Alaska

January 17, 2023
Robert Miller

Art as Storytelling

December 6, 2022
Jenny Irene Miller

Indigenous Representation in Media

November 15, 2022
Alice Glenn


Lost Alaskans: The Morningside Hospital Project

October 18, 2022
Robin Renfroe

Ladawan: Making Images

September 20, 2022
JR Ancheta

5 C's of Healing Centered Engagement

June 21, 2022
Dr. LaVerne Xilegg Demientieff

Decolonizing the Classroom - Critical Reflections on Equity & Inclusion

May 17, 2022
Dr. Jessica Black

Footprints for the Future

March 22, 2022
Carol Seppilu

Black Organizing in Alaska

February 15, 2022
Alyssa Quintyne

Preserving & Teaching Inupiat: Renewing Relationships to the Land and Each Other

January 18, 2022
Roy Apaagzuk Agloinga

Truth and Healing: Alaska's Native Boarding Schools

November 16, 2021
Jim LaBelle

Data for Indigenous Justice: Addressing MMIWG2S in Alaska

September 21, 2021
Charlene Aqpik Apok

Lifting the Veil: Colonization, Critical Consciousness and Community Development in Rural Alaska

September 21, 2021
Charlene Stern

The Queer Art of Holding Still

August 23, 2021
Jonathan VanDyke

Beyond Stonewall: Past and Present Movements for LGBTQ+ Equality

June 21, 2021
Ronnie Houchin

The Complexities of Anti-Asian Racism

May 17, 2021
E.J.R. David

Finding Value at Home

April 19, 2021
Ana Hoffman

Who Is Elizabeth Peratrovich, Our Alaska Native Civil Rights Leader?

March 29, 2021
Jaquline Kus.een Pata

Black in Hindsight: A Review of Black History in Alaska

February 22, 2021
Jo Malbert Narváez

Uncivilized: A Context for Alaska Native Equity

January 25, 2021
Former UAF Vice Chancellor Evon Peter.