Womyn of Color Conference

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5th Annual Womyn of Color Conference
Saturday, November 16th from 9am- 5pm

The conference explores the different identities women of color embrace and experience, as well as issues related to the arts, political involvement, community activism, and personal wellness and empowerment. Space is limited.
FREE for current Cal State L.A. students
$35 for non-Cal State L.A. students.

Registration required by Friday, November 1. Space is limited and on a first-registered, first-served basis. Off campus guests must submit payment in advance to be fully registered. Register (and pay) by Friday, November 1 at 5 pm at the Cross Cultural Centers or Call (323) 343-5001 for more information.

All conference materials and space availability in each workshop are on a FIRST COME-FIRST SERVE basis on the actual day of the Womyn of Color Conference. Early arrival is suggested.
(Early registration does not guarantee your slot/materials).

Womyn of Color Conference 2013
Session Workshop details can be found below.

10:05 am – 11:00 am

"Viviendo" with The Valenzuelas:
Coming Out in a Multi-Generational Latin@ Family

Being queer is our norm! We are the Valenzuelas - a Trans*, Queer, Ally, Latin@ Family - not quite the conventional family! As Allies to our children, we have become a part of the movement to children loving themselves and becoming their best selves without boundaries, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Through our presentation, we hope to share our unconventional techniques of parenting and how we have created our own unconventional family unit. We have learned that when one family member is exploring sexuality/gender or transitioning, the whole family is transitioning alongside with them. In addition, we would like to share how we continually create and change an environment where our children (and perhaps future generations) can develop being who they are while educating themselves and others in the process. As allies to our children, we have become a part of the movement of children loving themselves and becoming their best selves. We hope that sharing our stories will create an inspiration of mentorship, whether that's through parenting, friendships, relationships with others and the self, with the underlying message - that of unconditional love.

Topics addressed: art & expression, community, diversity, empowerment, identity, self-reflection, sexuality

Making the Invisible, Visible: Identifying and
Overcoming Microaggressions in Our Everyday Lives

"For someone who is dark skinned, you're really pretty!", Were you born here?", "What are you?!", "You're very articulate", "You are so exotic!", "You speak English very well!", "Do you wash your hair?" These are examples of microaggressions. The subtlety of these daily verbal and behavior indignities, whether they are intentional or unintentional, often times make it difficult to validate and problematize or sometimes may feel invisible. These everyday occurrences may appear quite harmless and trivial, but research indicates they have a powerful impact upon the well-being, classroom and work performance of marginalized groups. In this interactive workshop participants will understand, explore, and engage the impact of microaggressions have on the intersecting identities of womyn of color. Participants will also learn ways to approach microaggressions in their academic, professional, and personal lives.

Topics addressed: Diversity, Empowerment, Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Self-Reflection

Being Shy in the New Millennium:
Thriving in a Socially Demanding World

Do uncomfortable silences seem unbearable? Would you like to be able to strike up a conversation with anyone? Are you tired of people always labeling you as shy or "the quiet one?" There may certainly be some perks to being a wallflower, but to those that want to shed their wallflower status, this workshop is for you! Researchers that have studied shyness have developed strategies to combat the fears of talking to someone new, and initiate small talk using 5 easy steps. We'll also discuss why it is we may be perceived to be shy, and how being shy impacts us on the interpersonal, romantic, and professional levels. Often, it's not that we're just born quiet; many people have just been silenced, and now is the time to get your voice back. You'll learn how to initiate any conversation and sail the seas of the social world with ease!

Topics addressed: Career & Profession, Empowerment, Identity, Relationships, Self-Reflection

Take That Cape Off, Girl!:
The Truth About Finding Balance and Having it All

There has been a great deal of discussion in mainstream media this year about the question of whether or not women can have it all. Some schools of thought say we can, others say we can't, and still others say we can -- just not all at once. In this session we'll discuss if it is indeed possible for us to fly around with our Superwoman capes on and "find balance" (as women are often told to do) in our quest toward having it all.

Topics addressed: Health& Wellness, Self-Reflection

Reflective Writing for Mindfulness

There’s little room for reflection in this fast-pace world we live in. The art of journaling allows the individual to access a special place in the mind that can help alleviate stress that our daily routine delivers onto us. This fun and interactive workshop will provide space for attendees to learn easy techniques journal- writing to relieve stress, allow for self-reflection and goal-building, as well as finding peace of mind.

Topics addressed: Art & Expression, Empowerment, Health& Wellness, Self-Reflection

11:05 am - Noon

Media for Social Change

The documentary film Justice for my Sister has screened in over 150 communities in Guatemala, in over 10 countries, and in several community spaces. Panel discussions, leadership training, art interventions, workshops, and other initiatives surrounding the film have constituted a transnational campaign to prevent gender-based violence and promote healthy relationships. This presentation will look at the Justice for my Sister campaign as a case study to examine the possibilities of using media for social change.

Topics addressed: Activism, Media & Marketing, Art & Expression, Community Service and Organizing, Empowerment, Womynism/Feminism, Social Justice, Health & Wellness, Leadership Development

Being Comfortable in My Middle-Eastern Skin

I am woman. I am Middle-Eastern. I am Caucasian. I am Muslim. I grew up as an illegal immigrant. I grew up on welfare. I grew up with English as my second language. I grew up in a household where the concept of acculturation was never an option. I grew up different from everyone around me and micro-aggressions were a part of my everyday life. I was a part of a majority group and yet still a minority in many aspects of my life. I grew up not being comfortable in my own skin and through guidance of my mentors, clinical experience, education, researching culture, traveling, and other many life experiences, I found my way.

Learning to be comfortable in your own skin helps you leant to become the best YOU that you can be at this point of your life. Learning to be the best YOU is not an end goal, a task, or a gift that someone can give you. It is a continual process that may become the best tool in your life. This presentation will explore different ways you can become the best YOU through lecture, my personal experience, self-reflection exercises as well as other interactive exercises.

Topics addressed: Career & Profession, Community, Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, Health & Wellness, Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Relationships, Self-Reflection, Sexuality, Social Justice

I AM: Autonomy Mommy

We all have a story. A collection of life experience that reflects who we are and who we are becoming. My story is changing frequently but there are two things that remain constant which are my being a womyn of color and a mother. These things define some of the most important aspects of my life including how I relate to the world and the call to action at the center of my being to create something new and different for my little ones and the generations to come. Inspired by our sisters in the struggle down south, I connect the dots between autonomy and family. I trace interweaving concepts of a new household and a new world where womyn engage with each other, their partners, and most importantly their children to bring about a sovereign society. Self-determination and balance are key. Join me as we discuss these questions we as womyn, as daughters, as sisters, as partners, as mothers, as an individual who is always transforming. How do we balance this unfolding? How do we relate to our different roles? How do we retain our freedom? How do we use the gifts of feminine wisdom in our community? How do we begin to dismantle gender roles? How do we create a new vision of the womyn as activist? How does one keep the warm fire lit at home while sharing this fire with the world?

Topics addressed: Activism, Community, Feminism/Womynism, Relationships: Mother & Life Partner, Autonomy

Claiming the Academy:
Challenging Conformity within the Classroom

This panel features speakers sharing stories, analysis, and hopes around various challenges and opportunities offered by the Academy and within the classroom. Featured presentations include: Las Hijas del Campo: Testimonios of Mexican/Chicana College Students, California Community College Transfer Students Academic Adjustment, and Zapatismo as a Decolonizing Methodology in the Community College Classroom

Topics addressed: Activism, Community Service and Organizing, Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, Health and Wellness, Identity, Leadership Development, Race and Ethnicity, Sexuality, Social Networking, Social Justice, Scholarship

MOVEMYNT PAINS: Fleshing Feminism & Dealing
with Sexism and Patriarchy within Social Justice Circles

A presentation and dialogue regarding gender politics and dealing with issues of sexism within academic and social justice circles, as well as a sharing of resources and ways to begin to not only challenge patriarchy but also to flesh out and embody feminism and create spaces of healing and empowerment for all peoples.

Topics addressed: Activism, Community Service and Organizing, Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, , Identity, Leadership Development, Race and Ethnicity, Sexuality, Social Networking, Social Justice

1:40 pm - 2:35 pm

Bi-Cultural Vision-Being Multi-Racial in a "Post-Racial" World

It is often presented that we exist in a post-racial world, however, race is still a global institution. The separations between racial/ ethnic identities make it difficult for our biracial/ethnic and multiracial/ethnic communities to embrace their fluid intersections. This workshop will explore this struggle in relation to gender, class, sexuality, relationships, education, and access. Through group activities and reflections, this workshop will explore how we as individuals and as communities have been programmed into a racial institution and further how we can begin to de-program ourselves, and love and embrace multiplicity.

Topics addressed: Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Relationships with Self and With Others, Self-Reflection Sexuality, Social Justice

Pronouns & Gender & Trans*, OH MY!

Have you ever noticed how often pronouns are used? She, her, he, him. Have you ever thought about gender in language? Hey guys! Bye ladies! Ma'am. Sir. For many Trans* identified people, PGPs (Preferred Gender Pronouns) are sacred and a form of respect and acceptance of one's gender identity. Take the first step to becoming a stronger ally to the Trans* community-Transgender, Genderqueer, Gender Non-Conforming, Two-Spirit, and Agender folks. Let's practice PGPs, language sensitivity, recognizing Cisgender privilege, gender-neutral pronouns, and challenging norms and ourselves.

Topics addressed: Activism, Diversity, Feminism/Womynism, Identity, Leadership Development, Self-Reflection, Social Justice, Ally, Inclusive, Trans*

A Feminine Ethos: The Social Memory of Womyn Muralists

As a self-identifying womyn's collective, we will explore the social memory of womyn through muralism. The art world has historically been a male-dominated space, but the realm of community-based art, especially in the mural art form has been a chosen space for many female artists. We will explore why public space is important to womyn muralists from modes of rejecting commodification to archives of cultural memory. By providing personal stories from interviews with the female muralists, our work seeks to intimately explore the underbelly of the female experience.

Topics addressed: Activism, Art & Expression, Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Social Justice

The "Mean Girl" Syndrome: Sisterhood, Accountability and You

How do we build transnational sisterhood solidarity? As a product of patriarchy and capitalism, misogyny has been well maintained and enforced leading to its conquest in our everyday lives, from institutional practices to interpersonal relations. Most often men are charged as the main culprits to impose patriarchal values and regulations; however this assumption disregards the participation of women. In this presentation, the discussion of the “girl-on-girl hate� phenomena and dominant ideas of “womanhood� will lead us into a discussion about accountability and the current projects the East Los Angeles Women’s Center is using to highlight these issues and current strategies community activists in East L.A. are putting into practice to build sisterhood and challenge misogyny in all of its levels will be highlighted to continue a dialogue

Topics addressed: Activism, Community, Empowerment, Feminism/ Womynism, Relationships, Self-Reflection, Social Justice

Womyn of Color in the Media: A Discussion on
Misrepresentation, Colorism, and the Power to make Change.

Womyn of Color in the media are cast into stereotypical roles that give us a bad reputation that precedes us before anyone knows who we are. Whether it's the neck rolling feisty sapphire or the mammy fantasy millions of people view this imagery and hold it to be true. These negative images of womyn of color are further perpetuated through advertisement, television, and social media outlets. This workshop will provide a safe space for womyn of color to discuss misrepresentations, while collectively finding ways to generate change. Through presenting research of the negative impacts these misrepresentations have on womyn of color and their counterparts we will be able to educate womyn through the discussion while empowering them to actively make change. Participates of this workshop will leave being educated on propaganda strategies while learning how to feel and be empowered by creating their own counternarritiv(s) to the misrepresentation of womyn of color in the media.

Topics addressed: Activism, Empowerment, Feminism/ Womynism, Identity, Media & Marketing, Race & Ethnicity Relationships, Self-Reflection, Social Justice

Color and Whiteness: A Guide to Allyship

There is a pattern of 'naming' within women of color (woc) feminist movement politics. From the black womanist to the xican@ mujeristas it's clear that feminists of color find the need to separate themselves from the mainstream white centered feminisms. Some of us woc have separated ourselves from a white dominated feminism but where do white feminists find themselves in our movement? This workshop will pose the questions: How does white allyship affect woc activism? What roles do white allyship play in antiracism activism? When does white allyship become problematic for woc activist? Although this workshop is about whiteness, we will center the experiences of womyn of color in relation to white allyship. This type of workshop is necessary in a womyn of color space to better understand white allyship for our communities and to help us be better allies for other communities. We will work collectively towards building a stronger understanding of allyship; through discussion and creative energy. This workshop will equip us with tools to effectively provide a forum between womyn of color and white allies.

Topics addressed: Activism, Empowerment, Feminism/ Womynism, Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Relationships, Self-Reflection, Social Networking, Social Justice

2:40 pm - 3:35 pm

"We won't go back, we will fight back!"

The last few years have seen a shocking number of attacks on the rights of womyn, through anti-abortion legislation, slashing of social services and new heights of misogyny in the rhetoric of the right wing--all of these things disproportionately affecting poor womyn, LGBTQ womyn, and womyn of color the most. Now more than ever, a new, fighting womyn’s movement is needed. This workshop would be hosted by skilled organizers from a womyn's organization called WORD (Women Organized to Resist and Defend) who will come and talk about their experience in the movement for equality and share with interested womyn, the skills needed to organize a public forum, a film screening or a speak out etc.This workshop allows for womyn of all backgrounds to come together and talk about how living in a sexist/racist/classist society has affected them. Attendees will experience a number of exercises and learn the skills to organize a march, build coalitions, make flyers, give speeches and learn how to agitate is needed to empower womyn to take on the system that oppresses them.

Topics addressed: Activism, Community, Diversity, Empowerment, Feminism/Womynism, Leadership Development, Race & Ethnicity, Social Networking, Social Justice

Honoring the Temple:
Reconstructing Health in Young Bodies of Color

As young womyn of color, we do not often describe our bodies as targets for diabetes, breast cancer, and other debilitating diseases. Still, we all can name someone we know who is experiencing these diseases, or struggling with their health. This workshop will highlight how to remain healthy, understand the impact of unhealthy exposures to our communities, and how to keep our bodies healthy, active, and alive. Presenters will share personal stories and inspire attendees to 'take your body back.'

Topics addressed: Health & Wellness , Self-reflection

Finding and Embracing the Leader in You

This workshop is an upbeat, interactive session that explores self-awareness and choice, the steps in the transformative inner leadership journey to being a more compelling, self-confident woman leader. It takes courage to step into your own unique style of leadership. Women's natural gifts of inclusion, connection, responsibility and listening, provide a strong basis for leadership which is nurtured through learning and action. The opportunity that awaits is realizing the potential of the real leader that is within each of us.

Topics addressed: Empowerment, Identity, Self-Reflection, Leadership Development

Queer Films and the Policing of Race

Same-sex desire and Blackness are often framed as mutually exclusive concepts. However, for many people these two experiences co-exist together as part of their everyday life. Film is one place where we can study what it means to be both black and queer. By analyzing the following films: Tongues Untied, The True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, Pariah, The Watermelon Woman, and Brother to Brother, my work hopes to add to the growing body of literature on the queer black experience. Through an application of media, feminist, and race theory, I analyze how the representation of interracial relationships in these films was symbolically used to reassert boundaries around authentic blackness. This is particularly interesting when thinking about how non-normative sexualities are often coded by communities of color as white. While these films challenge the division between queerness and blackness, I argue they do so through a problematic policing of race.

Topics addressed: Community, Diversity, Feminism, Identity, Media, Race & Ethnicity, Sexuality

Relationships Are Hard: 5 Ways to Make them Work Without Losing Your Mind

You're in love, but the butterflies are gone and the honeymoon phase is over. What happens now? It doesn't take long for the reality to set in that relationships are hard! Being in love is easy, but staying in love and maintaining happy, healthy relationships takes work. This session identifies the issues that can make relationships difficult, and offers tips on how to deal with them without losing your mind!

Mon - Fri : 8:00am - 5:00pm
Sat - Sun : Closed
5154 State University Drive
Room 206, U-SU
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Phone: 323-343-5001
Fax: 323-343-5101