walidah imarisha


We Are the Changemakers Keynote Speaker Bio

walidah imarisha pete shaw
Being a changemaker means being accountable to oppressed communties. It means doing your work in the context of a long history of resistance. It is about envisioning beyond the present, and dreaming collective visions of the future
— Walidah Imarisha


Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar & spoken word artist.  

She has co-edited two anthologies including Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements.  Imarisha's nonfiction book, Angels with Dirty Faces:  Three Stories of Crime, Prison, & Redemption  won a 2017 Oregon Book Award.  She is also the author of the poetry collection Scars/Stars.  & is currently working on an Oregon Black history book, forthcoming from AK Press.

For six years, she presented statewide as a public scholar with Oregon Humanities' Conversation Project on topics such as Oregon Black history, alternatives to incarceration, and the history of hip hop. Imarisha has taught in Stanford  University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Portland State University's Black Studies Department, Oregon State University's Women Gender Sexuality Studies Department, & Southern New Hampshire University's English Department