Bastian Foundation Diversity Lectures

About the Bastian Foundation Diversity Lecture Series

The B. W. Bastian Foundation generously and graciously sponsors the Bastian Foundation Diversity Lecture Series at Westminster College. The Foundation, established in 1996 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Bruce W. Bastian, strives to build community and understanding by supporting local and national institutions. Financial support is directed to educational outreach, cultural and HIV/AIDS programs. A strong commitment is placed on programs and organizations that benefit, encourage, and preserve the rights of individuals and promote equality for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community.

Entering its 20th year in Fall 2020, the Diversity Lecture Series is one of the College’s most stimulating and thought-provoking initiatives that reflect its commitment toward the active and critical engagement of timely and relevant issues of diversity and inclusion. Each year, we focus on a specific theme articulated through a variety of creative and innovative presentation formats that address the theme from a range of perspectives.

Upcoming Lectures


Past Lectures

2020-21 School Year

Oct. 22, 2020

About this Conversation

This knowledgeable, charismatic, and well-studied trio of scholars will present, through the lens of queer and trans college student contexts, a wide-ranging intersectional conversation about LGBTQIA students that expands the connections and possibilities of identities, policies, and contexts of campus life and work.

Drs. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Devika Dibya Choudhuri, and Jason L. Taylor will explore these topics to expand the discussion across race and ethnicity, (dis)ability, age, gender, and class, inviting us to join them in this necessary struggle to reimagine a world that is safe, livable, and nourishing for all.

About the Panelists

Drs. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Devika Dibya Choudhuri, and Jason L. Taylor are the co-editors of the 2019 text "Rethinking LGBTQIA Students and Collegiate Contexts: Identity, Policies, and Campus Climate".

Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Ph.D., is a Professor in Higher Education and Director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She also serves as the Executive Director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). Previously, Zamani-Gallaher served as Associate Dean of the Graduate College and was Associate Head of the Department of Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership at UIUC. Dr. Zamani-Gallaher holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a specialization in Community College Leadership and Educational Evaluation from the UIUC. Dr. Zamani-Gallaher’s teaching, research, and consulting activities largely include psychosocial adjustment and transition of marginalized collegians, transfer, access policies, and women in leadership

Devika Dibya Choudhuri, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the Counseling Program at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She currently serves as the chair of the President's Commission for Diversity and Inclusion at Eastern Michigan University, and has been working on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion for much of her professional life. She is a licensed professional counselor in Michigan and Connecticut with over 20 years of experience working with clients individually, as well as in couples, families, and groups. Clinically, she specializes in cross-cultural and diversity issues, as well as trauma, assault, and abuse, working with refugee populations, sexual assault, and abuse survivors, and immigrant and multicultural populations. She is also a certified coach, consultant, and frequent presenter on cultural competence, diversity, and ethical issues. She teaches courses such as cross-cultural counseling, advanced multicultural counseling, counseling skills, group work, crisis and trauma, couple and family, and counseling women and LGBTQ populations.

Jason L. Taylor, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a research specialization in evaluation methods and concentration in public policy. His broad research interests are at the intersection of community college and higher education policy and educational and social inequality. Dr. Taylor has conducted and led several quantitative and mixed methods studies related to college readiness, developmental education, college affordability, adult pathways to college, dual credit/enrollment and early college experiences, transfer policy and reverse transfer, LGBTQ students, career and technical education, and educational access and equity. The goal of his research is to examine and better understand how public policies impact underserved students’ access to, transition through, and success in community colleges and institutions of higher education to contribute to both theory and practice.

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Sep. 22, 2020

Dr. D-L Stewart is a professor in the School of Education, Co-Coordinator of Student Affairs in Higher Education, Co-Director of Campus Initiatives for the Race and Intersectional Studies for Educational Equity (RISE) Center, and affiliated faculty in the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research at Colorado State University. Over the course of his faculty career, he has focused most intently on the history and philosophy of higher education, as well as institutional systems and structures that affect the postsecondary experiences, growth and development, as well as success of racially minoritized and queer and trans* students. Dr. Stewart examines these topics through intersectional, critical, and poststructural frameworks that incorporate ableism, religious hegemony, and classism alongside racism, patriarchy, and queer- and trans-antagonism. In addition to over 50 journal publications and book chapters, D-L is an author or editor of four books, most recently, Black Collegians’ Experiences in U.S. Northern Private Colleges: A Narrative History, 1945-1965 (Palgrave, 2017) and co-editor with Elisa Abes and Susan R. Jones of the text, Rethinking College Student Development Theory Using Critical Frameworks (Stylus, 2019).

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2019–20 School Year

Dec. 5, 2019

Dr. Grzanka is a professor of psychology and women, gender, and sexuality studies at The University of Tennessee. In this lecture, he will discuss the social implications of scientists’ search for the biological origins of sexual orientation. An expert in intersectionality, Grzanka’s work broadly investigates the psychosocial consequences of complex structural inequalities at the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality.

Oct. 3, 2019

Dr. Rivera is a professor at Queen’s College in New York City. In this lecture, he will discuss college access in the context of social class and in the lives of first-generation college students. His research focuses on cultural competency development, and issues impacting the marginalization and health of people of color and sexual minorities.

Sept. 11, 2019

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Genius Grant. She draws from state-of-the-art technology, innovative experiments, and meticulous data to uncover how implicit bias shapes our visual perception, attention, memory, and behavior. For more information on Dr. Eberhardt visit

2018–19 School Year

May 3, 2019

Hear from business and non-profit leaders on how diversity shapes their operating practices, business decisions, talent development in their industry, and leadership approach. This living room conversation will include:

Raymond Hall, Chief Human Resource Officer
Larry H. Miller Management Corporation

Barbara Melendez, Attorney
Richards Brandt Miller Nelson

Davis Smith, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

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March 21, 2019

Carlos Maza is a video producer at He writes, produces, and hosts a video series called Strikethrough, in order to wed timely, research-based media criticism with comedy and pop culture.

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January 17, 2019

Westminster College collaborated with Salt Lake Community College to host W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN’s “United Shades of America," for the MLK Keynote Lecture and B.W. Bastian Foundation Diversity Series.

The Emmy-nominated comic is known for delivering incisive, scathingly funny commentary on modern society. Bell travels the country, offering viewers a look inside the various subcultures of American life. He first captured audiences’ attention with his thought-provoking, one-man show, "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour,” and later, with his widely praised FX comedy series, “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell."

The multitalented entertainer also hosts the podcasts, "Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period" and "Politically Reactive," as well as the live public radio show, "Kamau Right Now!" Kamau’s book, "The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell," will be released May 2. His one-man show "Ending Racism in About an Hour" has been praised by audiences and critics from leading outlets, including The Guardian and Time Out New York.

November 2, 2018

In fall 2018, not only did Westminster join the NCAA, but it also launched its Diversity Strategic Plan, which captures the College’s intention to make Inclusive Excellence a cornerstone of the institution. Having an inclusive excellence mindset means that Westminster sees diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of democratic culture. This luncheon will introduce the College’s strategic plan and feature an inclusive excellence trailblazer and thought leader, Dr. Katrice Albert, chief inclusion officer for NCAA. Albert will share lessons on inclusive leadership learned as a chief diversity officer for flagship institutions, a D&I consultant, and now, the chief people and inclusion officer for the NCAA.

October 16, 2018

Kay Ulanday Barrett is a nationally recognized poet, performer, and cultural strategist, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx-amerikan transgender queer person. On top of performing on stages globally, Barrett’s ideas have been featured in POOR Magazine, Huffington Post, Colorlines, and BuzzFeed.

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2017–18 School Year

February 6, 2018

Dr. Yaba Blay is the Dan Blue Endowed Chair in political science at North Carolina Central University. A professor and ethnographer, her scholarship centers on Black racial identity, Black aesthetic practices, and Black beauty, with particular attention given to hair and skin color politics.

February 27, 2018

Dr. E. Patrick Johnson is the chair of African American Studies and Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar/artist, Johnson performs nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality, and performance.

April 3, 2018

Dr. Kevin Kumashiro is an internationally recognized expert on educational policy, school reform, teacher preparation, and educational equity and social justice, with a wide-ranging list of accomplishments and awards as a scholar, educator, leader, and advocate.

2016–17 School Year

March 23, 2017

A scholarly and practical exploration into how sexuality is politicized and why we need to reframe discourses about sex toward inclusivity and positivity.


Emerson L.R. Barrett

Senior in sociology and gender studies who is the co-founder of the art activist collective, Be a Human. His research is on race and gender in LGBTQ+ communities.


Amp Somers

American blogger, producer, sex worker, and activist who co-founded the YouTube channel "Watts the Safeword," and is affiliated with Mr. Leather.

Dr. Amy Foley

Professor at Scott Community College who researches the history of the carnival in the US—and the intersections of ableism, imperialism, racism, heterosexism, and ethnocentrism.

Ocean Candler

Sophomore in public health and gender studies who leads the education branch of Students for Choice at Westminster College.

Michael Sanders

Business owner, activist, and rebel-rouser who is a leading force in sex education in SLC through blackBOOTS, blackBOARD, Mr. Friendly TEAM UTAH, and PrEP information outreach.

January 19, 2017

During this Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture, Dr. Marco Barker takes the audience through a reflective and educational experience. Drawing from his lived, personal experiences as a young Black male growing up in Arkansas' Mississippi Delta and now as a career diversity professional, Barker introduces the notions of reflecting and learning from personal experiences and narratives and offers frameworks for making sense of these life lessons—particularly given the uncertainty of our national climate for diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Barker serves as Westminster’s inaugural chief diversity officer and has the responsibility of providing leadership for campus diversity initiatives. His research focuses on cross-race doctoral advising with a focus on critical race theory, doctoral socialization, and cross-cultural interactions. He currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and is a member of the advisory board for KeyBank of Utah. Dr. Barker earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas, his MBA from Webster University and his PhD in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University.

October 27, 2016

Taking place less than two weeks before this year's unprecedented US presidential election, Brazile's talk will discuss the complexities of the current US political landscape from an insider's perspective.

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee and former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee as well as the former chair of the DNC's Voting Rights Institute.

Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New Orleans, Brazile's passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office. Since 2000, Brazile has lectured at over 125 colleges and universities across the country on such topics as "Inspiring Civility in American Politics," Race Relations in the Age of Obama, Why Diversity Matters, Women in American Politics: Are We There Yet.

She first got involved at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing set was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign.

Author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal Uclick, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and O, The Oprah Magazine, an on-air contributor to CNN, and ABC, where she regularly appears on ABC's This Week. Her secret passion is acting; she has recently made two cameo appearances on CBS's The Good Wife. Ask her and she'll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.

In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Brazile as one of its 20 "remarkable visionaries" for the magazine's first- ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women byWashingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's highest award for political achievement.

She is currently on the board of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Last, but never least, she is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. In the aftermath of the two catastrophic hurricanes that made landfall in the Gulf region, Brazile was appointed by former Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve on the Louisiana Recovery Board to work for the rebuilding of the state and to advocate for the Gulf recovery on the national stage.

Brazile is the proud recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.

Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.

Statement from Westminster College: As an educational institution, Westminster College is committed to promoting the free exchange of ideas, which includes providing a forum for speakers who express a wide variety of political views. The college’s tax-exempt status, however, requires that it not engage in any political campaign activity, which means the college is prohibited from endorsing or opposing any candidate for public office. Westminster College takes its obligation in this regard very seriously. This event does not represent an endorsement by Westminster College of any candidate for public office.

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September 22, 2016

Rocío Rosales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this appointment she was a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She completed her PhD in Sociology at UCLA in 2012 and received her A.B. in Sociology (cum laude) with a certificate in Latin American Studies from Princeton University. Her research interests include international migration, immigrant and ethnic economies, race and ethnicity, law and society, Latinas/os in the US, and qualitative research methods. Her work has been funded by the American Philosophical Society (2011), John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation (2010), Ford Foundation (2005–2008), and Mellon Mays Foundation (2003–2012). Her research appears in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies. She is currently working on her book manuscript based on over four years of ethnographic research among street vendors in Los Angeles.

Based on over four years of ethnographic research among street vendors in Los Angeles and interviews with family members of vendors and former vendors living in Mexico, this talk will examine the influence of a sending community and its social networks on migrant outcomes in the US. I explain how these social networks affect migration patterns, ease entry into the street vending business but also facilitate exploitation. Furthermore, I show how these social networks do not always function as effective conduits of information because its members, due to feelings of shame or embarrassment, often fail to add to the existing body of knowledge. As a result, international migration patterns, job placement, and exploitative practices do not change or improve for subsequent migrants. This creates a cycle in which social networks become stagnant and successively fail to function as effective conduits of information and resources in ways that might help network members equally and in the aggregate.

Five Resources from Dr. Rocío:

  • Duneier, Mitchell. 2000. Sidewalk. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Light, Ivan. 2006. Deflecting Immigration: Networks, Markets, and Regulation in Los Angeles. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Ramirez, Hernan and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo. 2009. "Mexican Immigrant Gardeners: Entrepreneurs or Exploited Workers?" Social Problems 56:70-88.
  • Valenzuela, Abel, Jr. 2001. "Day labourers as entrepreneurs?" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 27:335-352.
  • Waldinger, Roger, Howard Aldrich, Robin Ward. (1990). Ethnic Entrepreneurs: Immigrant Business in Industrial Societies. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

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