Us vs. Them: A Conversation on Race and Culture on the Palouse

Monday, February 9 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho – The City of Moscow Human Rights Commission will present a Social Justice Forum at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the 1912 Center, 412 Third Street in Moscow. The purpose of this forum is to raise awareness of racial and cultural differences and common grounds among community members: to be aware of our differences; to celebrate differences and see them as pillars of strength; to learn from one another; to be diligent in recognition of racism before it manifests itself through violence; and to create a more healthy community that embraces all of humanity. Co-sponsored by UNITY- The Umbrella Multicultural Student Organization Group at the University of Idaho, the event is free and open to the public. The forum will explore several questions: What does it mean and how does it feel to be one of “Us” or one of “Them”? How does our sense of group membership affect our actions and interactions, our empathies, and our dreams? How does our inflexibility of affiliation impact the well being of our community? The panel will include:
  • Ed Galindo, director of National Resources Tribal Cooperative and associate director of American Indian Education in Science, Aquaculture Research Institute, University of Idaho. He also is a NASA Fellow.
  • Richard Hill, graduate student in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Idaho. He is past president of, and current adviser for, the University of Idaho Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He recently served as a Democratic Delegate for the State of Idaho for President Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo.
  • Victor Mazo, undergraduate student at the University of Idaho. He is a founding member of Lambda Theta Phi Latino Fraternity and serves as programming chair for the Multicultural Greek Council. He also acts as co-chair for UNITY and is a social action intern at ASUI Center for Volunteerism and Civic Engagement. He is a member of OLEA and MECHA.
  • Elizabeth Siler, ESL specialist and a clinical professor in the English Department at Washington State University. She is an advocate for human rights, global connectedness and international students concerns.
The rich dialogue among and with the panelists will afford the community a deep and engaging view into these and other questions about race and culture on the Palouse.
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About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit Media Contacts: Contact: Tom Carroll, City of Moscow Human Rights Commissioner , (208) 882-0370,; or Rula Awwad-Rafferty, University of Idaho UNITY Faculty Advisor and Moscow Human Rights Commissioner, (208) 885-6832,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit