St. Olaf College | News

Reeb Memorial Lecture to focus on social justice

The Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington’s will deliver this year’s Reeb Memorial Lecture, titled ‘Social Justice 2018: The Work Continues …’

The Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington will visit St. Olaf College March 19 to deliver this year’s James Reeb Memorial Lecture, titled Social Justice 2018: The Work Continues …

The lecture, which will begin at 4 p.m. in Tomson Hall 280, is free and open to the public. It will be streamed and archived online.

Washington will also offer a talk in Daily Chapel at 10:10 a.m., and that will be streamed and archived online as well.

Social Justice 2018: The Work Continues… centers on the idea that building people’s capacity to engage injustice and create more welcoming communities requires commitment and real work. Washington will invite people to consider just what it takes to do this work both in 2018 and in years to come.

Washington has spent the past 33 years working as an educator, administrator, and consultant in higher education. He is the president and co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and the president of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

The recipient of many awards and honors, Washington most recently received the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Legends of Excellence Award for his contribution to the lives and education of Black and LatinX faculty, staff, and students.

Washington is also the president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group (WCG). In 2015 The Economist named the WCG as one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world. Alongside his work with WCG and higher education, Washington serves as the pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore.

He earned a B.S. degree from Slippery Rock State College and double Masters’ of Science degrees from Indiana University/Bloomington. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in College Student Development from the University of Maryland College Park. Washington also holds a Master’s of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity.

Washington views himself as an instrument for change and tirelessly works to help people find the best in themselves and each other. He lives by the lyrics to one of his favorite songs: If I can help somebody, as I pass along: / If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song: / If I can show somebody, that he, she, ze or they, are traveling wrong, / Then my living shall not be in vain.

About the Reeb Memorial Lecture
The James J. Reeb Memorial Lecture series brings nationally and internationally renowned speakers to campus each year whose life, work, and dedication to the cause of social justice and human rights are an inspiring example for the St. Olaf community.

The endowment to support the lecture series was established by Paul Jeffrey Parks in memory of his companion, Stephen Henry Oertel, who died of AIDS in 1989. Parks hopes that this annual series contributes to ongoing conversations about social justice and serves to remember Oertel and his commitment to these issues.

The lecture series is named in honor of St. Olaf alumnus James Reeb ’50, who in 1965 answered Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy to march with him in Selma, Alabama. Shortly after arriving in Selma, Reeb and two other clergy members were attacked by white supremacists as they were leaving a diner. Reeb died from his injuries two days later. His death inspired a wave of nationwide protests and served as a catalyst for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.