Wo/men's Conference 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Soda Center, Saint Mary's College of California

Timeline (Approximate)

  • 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Poster Session and mini-Lounge open mic event (check-in with continental breakfast)
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Keynote Speaker, Betty Reid-Soskin

She's the oldest active National Park Service Ranger at 92 years old and works at the park six hours a day, five days a week, doing community outreach and giving guided tours of the now dormant Kaiser Shipyards where she worked during WWII. She's also committed to bringing awareness to the struggles of women of color faced during the Rosie the Riveter era of feminism.


  • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM: Break-out Session #1 

Pursuit of Truth: Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Seeking Justice (Claeys Lounge)

Karinah Guzman, Survivor and Business Major at St. Mary's College of CaliforniaMegan Lebre, California State University, East BayRebecca Viard, DancerAmber Butts, Activist & Student at St. Mary's College of California

1 in 4 girls, 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Karinah Guzman is a survivor who was sexually abused as a child. After 12 years of keeping silent and with strong suspicion that the abuse was continuing onto a younger cousin, Karinah broke her silence and took her abuser to court. At 23, she was interviewed in the documentary, "Pursuit of Truth". The 24-minute film exposes the pitfalls for survivors in entering the legal system and the inherent problems facing them in confronting their abusers. The survivors describe their individual journeys to obtain justice and the obstacles that obstructed their paths. The film will be followed by a Q&A discussion with survivor and St. Mary's student, Karinah Guzman.

Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery: What is it and how can we stop it? (Moraga Room)

Patrice Young, Graduate Student in Leadership-Social Justice at Saint Mary’s College of California

Through victim stories, hands-on activities and background research, this workshop will provide a well-rounded look at the issues of human trafficking and modern day slavery. The anti-slavery movement focuses on basic human rights, as well as the specific areas of women’s rights, immigrant rights, and children’s rights. This workshop will help people make the connections between various forms of oppression and also identify ways that they can challenge the issues.

Moving Through Change (Lafayette Room)

Maura Wolf, Leadership Program at Saint Mary's College of California

In this workshop, we will move through a series of somatic techniques and exercises that are yoga and dance based. We use this movement as a way to look at how we respond and relate to social change issues we care about. We will begin to incorporate the themes of getting grounded in the body, engaging with issues, engaging with others and finding a place of deep rest.

The Disney Effect: How Disney has Reinforced the Marriage Plot (Orinda Room)

Alyson Runke, Integral major and Event Manager/Co-Finance chair of SMC PRIDE, Andee McKenzie, Communication major and WRC Gender and Justice Facilitator, Brianna Foster, WRC Student Worker

Everyone at some point has dreamed the “Princess Dream”. The classic damsel in distress whose problems are miraculously solved by the gorgeous prince, marriage, and of course, a happily ever after. This workshop will discuss the Disney complex in relation to the institution of marriage and life for women.


  • 11:50 AM - 12:35 PM: Break-out Session #2 

Healing the World of Sexual Assault and Racism with Poetry (Claeys Lounge)

Amber Butts, English major and co-chair of the Lounge

The everyday pressures of racism and sexism can be overwhelming. Through writing exercises, this workshop aspires to give you the power to take on the 'isms' affecting your life in a way that is both constructive and healing. By reflecting on our lived experiences, writing and sharing pieces of our own narrative, authentically interacting with each other and genuinely listening, we will experience the kind of community that can be built through poetry and story sharing.

Pro-Feminist Men in Blogosphere: What's Next on the Conversation? (Moraga Room)

Michael Urbina, Student, Activist, & Blogger

Online feminist writers and activists have proven that the Internet is a revolutionary tool for voicing one's opinions, promoting community and solidarity, and advocating for social justice. In recent years, pro-feminist men have slowly begun to join the conversation, working with feminists to address several issues such as sexism, racism, unhealthy masculinity, violence against women, and rape culture. Join us for this virtual panel discussion (via Google Hangouts and Twitter), where we will be speaking with several pro-feminist writers and activists about their experiences and discussing men's involvement in the blogosphere. 

Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth: A Social Injustice Issue (Lafayette Room)

Meredith Webb, Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth Project Coordinator

The epidemic of commercial exploitation of children targets all young people, especially girls of color, LGBTQ youth, and youth living in poverty. This workshop will offer a basic introduction to the issue of commercially sexually exploited youth in Contra Costa County, and an in-depth analysis on the role of sexism, racism and homophobia in the crime of sexual exploitation. 

Healthcare is a Human Right (Orinda Room)

Alireza Rezapour, MD and Director of Health & Wellness Center

What has happened with healthcare in the United States? If health care is a basic human right, how and why did it become so expensive and inaccessible? How will the affordable healthcare act impact the accessibility of healthcare in the United States? What can we do to make our communities and families healthier? This presentation will address he broken elements of the healthcare system and explore what we can do to be stake holders in our own health.


  • 12:45 PM - 1:50 PM: Lunch & Keynote Speakers: Wanda Johnson, Mother of Oscar Grant, & Cephus Johnson, "Uncle Bobby", Founder of the Oscar Grant Foundation. (Moraga Room)


  • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM: Break-out Session #3 

ACTivate- Caring for Ourselves & Our Communities (Lafayette Room)

Building Respect Across Inclusion and Diversity

Corliss Watkins and Undergraduate Student Peer Facilitators

Through interactive activities, student Peer Facilitators will expose participants to issues of oppression and privilege. Through guided dialogues and experiential exercises designed to explore these issues in the context of sexism and racism. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own identities in the world and how others interact based on pre-conceived notions and social identities.

Social Justice Burnout Prevention

Travis Becker, Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center

While doing social justice work to challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism and all forms of oppression, can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be exhausting. This workshop will creatively address ways to care for, nurture, and sustain yourself while working to make the world a better place.

Transformation Through Education (Claeys Lounge)

Si Se Puede - Educar a Todos! "Yes We Can - Educate All!"

Lluvia de Milagros Carrasco, SMC Teachers For Tomorrow Student & Activist

The United States - filled with rich opportunity and the so-called American Dream creates the illusion that driven individual can mobilize and succeed if he/she works heard enough. However, in order for people to have a fair chance at finding opportunities to get ahead in this society, education is an entity that needs to be equally accessible to all. Unfortunately, there are a number of barriers that leave many Latino children behind. This session will address the issue and talk about pro-active measures communities can take to empower youth from that community.

From Jail to School and Beyond--Exploring the Transformative Power of Education

Maura Wolf, Leadership Program at Saint Mary's College of California

Come reflect on how education has changed your life.  Hear stories about how it has had an impact on women transitioning out of jail.  And take some time to envision how education might play into your future.  In this workshop women who participated in the MOMS Leadership Course in Oakland will share their stories alongside Saint Mary's Leadership Center faculty.  Highly interactive and inspirational.

From Bystander Intervention to the V-Day Movement: Grassroots Ways to Stop Violence Against Women (Moraga Room)

Until the Violence Stops: The V-Day Movement at SMC -2014 VDAY Cast

Participants in this workshop will learn about the joys, challenges and process of bringing a production of The Vagina Monologues to life on campus. The 2014 Cast will reveal how to put on a VDAY production in a way that promotes inclusivity, respect for all persons, and social justice, while actively challenging racism and sexism through intentional reflections, in-depth dialogue and team building. Participants will leave this workshop with ideas about what they can do to contribute to or participant in the movement to end violence against women.

Improv. Communication : Inspired by V-Men: Using Improv. Techniques to overcome bystander attitude in the real world

Alfred Day, Care Manager, Dean of Students Office, UC Berkeley 

Participants will learn to use theatrical improv techniques to strategize and "pre-game" language to use in bystander intervention situations. By utilizing these techniques, participants will learn how to avoid “parroting” institutional language around areas of intervention, and instead learn how to use their own language to intervene on behalf of others. This session relates to the theme “We Can Do It” in that it addresses the realities of addressing social change amongst a peer group, being mindful of the need to maintain relationships.

The Politics of Food (Orinda Room)

Everyday Activism: The Power on Your Plate

Katie Cantrall, Executive Director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition

One of the most basic ways to challenge racism, sexism and social injustice all at the same time is by making conscious choices about what we eat. Every meal we consume has the potential to be a powerful form of activism. Participants will learn the surprising ways that our food choices are linked to sexism, women’s health issues and environmental racism. The workshop will conclude by discussing ways that we can make positive, empowering change on a daily basis.

The Politics of Coffee

Ali Carroll, Theology Major and Catholic Relief Services Campus Ambassador 

On average, Americans collectively spend $18 billion dollars a year on coffee. Yet, do we ever question where our coffee comes from? In response to traveling abroad, Ali will detail the politics of coffee.


Special Appearance and Concert by Las Cafateras (Moraga Room)

Sponsored by CCIE, SJCC, Disney Forum, and Communications.

  • 3:35 PM - 4:15 PM: We Can Do It! Discussion with Las Cafeteras & Cephus Johnson
  • 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM: Concert Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras are a unique band that blends "Afro-Mexican rythyms", traditional spanish sounds and dance, and an "East LA" type sound. They combine their unique sound with a focused political message to portray their opinion, and reflect their background.

Learn more: http://lascafeteras.com/

Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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