2023: Unity & Belonging | Healing & Overcoming Barriers

This year’s conference will focus on navigating a new reality after a year of hybrid and virtual engagement, using joy and healing as a form of resistance and activism, and putting out a call to action to enable our future leaders. We do this by following the paths of our ancestors, paved through sacrifice and selfless dedication, and continue moving forward in the pursuit of equity and justice. As we struggle to find calm in today’s storm, we use this moment to begin anew with our learned experiences and the strength we did not know we had.

Our keynote speaker Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. She is an interdisciplinary scholar of education and immigration. Her research focuses on the educational and political lives of undocumented young people; deportation, immigrant families and violence at the border; and the educational navigations of Latinx communities. Dr. Negrón-Gonzales was presented with the Madrina Legacy Award by the conference committee for her scholar-activist work, and mentorship provided to women of color scholars.

Our sessions included:

  • Nurturing Growth, Development and Inclusivity in the Sports Industry | Ashley Sloper & Tina Marie Sturdevant
  • What does support look like? Balancing Professional and Educational Spaces in Attempt of Resisting Burnout | Cassidy Steele & Carla Trujillo
  • The Role of Forgiveness in Healing Trauma | Hamaseh Kianfar
  • Muslim Feminist Voices and Faith-Based Activism | Sabiha Basrai & Aysha Hidayatullah
  • An Intersectional Approach to Healing through Emotional Wellness | Carol Umanzor
  • Hesitantly Unapologetic: Navigating Personal and Professional Spheres as our Most Authentic Selves | Annette Miramontes


2022: Me, Myself, and We

As womxn of color, we are the cultivators, the healers, and the caregivers of our communities. We have selflessly given until there was nothing left to give. It’s time we unlearn and dismantle the shame and guilt associated with choosing to care for ourselves. In choosing ourselves, we are able to cherish ourselves, find solace in one another as womxn of color, and create new and sustainable practices of (self) care. The collective work of uplifting and sustaining our communities thrives on the practice of nourishing ourselves first.

Our keynote address was provided by Two Spirit Yaqui and Tongva community educator, organizer and drumkeeper Zamora, and Lalin St. Juste closed out our conference with an invigorating performance.

Watch the Conference Opening & Keynote

Watch the Closing Performance

Our sessions included:

2021: When All My Tears Have Dried: What’s Next?

We cry in times of difficulty, pain, grief, and anger. We cry for ourselves, our loved ones, and communities. Each time tears overtake us, we finish with a deep breath. A deep breath of hope, renewal, and resiliency. It is in this collective deep breath that we aim to imagine for ourselves, communities, and the greater world with what is next.

During our conference opening, we had Calina Lawrence '16 (Suquamish) read the university's land recognition statement and Dr. Candice Harrison, give our opening address.

Watch the Conference Opening

Our sessions included:

  • Too Deep for Tears | Claudia Miranda, MA and Marriam Zarabi, MA
  • Emergent Strategy for Political Engagement | Angeline Vuong, Assistant Director of Public Service Programs, Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good
  • Can't Cancel Grandma: How to Address Anti-Black Racism Within Latinx Families | Chanel Manicato and Bianca Fregoso
  • Black Women's Relationship to Political Engagement | Aniah Francis, Sociology major and Kailyn Goodwin, Biology major
  • What's Your Role In This Fight? | Jinni Pradhan, Assistant Director, Cultural Centers and Juno Chambers, Graduate Student Coordinator, Gender and Sexuality Center
  • Las Lagrimas Que Me Cuidan (The Tears that Care for Me) | Diana Garcia Rodriguez and Chanel Manicato

For our keynote address, we had the RyanNicole. GRAMMY®-nominated quadruple threat, RyanNicole “utilizes every gift available to her for the liberation of all people”. Affectionately titled the “4A”, RyanNicole seeks opportunities to empower and inspire by way of her pursuits as an award winning artist, actress, athlete, activist.

Watch the conference keynote

2020: Tu Eres Mi Otro Yo | You Are My Other Me

For 2020, we bring together two conferences with interlocking histories - Latinas in Leadership and the Womxn of Color Conference - each focused on centering the experiences of womxn of color. As we move forward, we acknowledge the importance of recognizing what braids us together as one community. Critical Connections honors the knowledge bestowed upon us by our elders and recognizes the importance of developing a pipeline of leaders. This radical new space will thrust us forward into new beginnings that we hope will be filled with laughter, light, and liberation.

Our keynote address was given by Melanie Cervantes. Born in Harbor City, California and raised in a small city in the South Bay of Los Angeles Melanie now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area where she creates visual art that is inspired by the people around her and her communities’ desire for radical social transformation. Melanie’s intention is to create a visual lexicon of resistance to multiple oppressions that will to inspire curiosity, raise consciousness and  inspire solidarities among communities of struggle.

In 2007 she co-founded Dignidad Rebelde, a graphic arts collaboration that produces screen prints, political posters and multimedia projects that are grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from histories of colonialism, patriarchy, genocide, and exploitation. and Dignidad Rebelde’s purpose is to illustrate stories of struggle, resistance and triumph into artwork that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.

Our sessions included:

  • We Lead from the Soul: Leveraging Legacies and Spirituality in Women of Color
    Leadership | Shabnam Koirala-Azad, Dean, School of Education, Professor, International and Multicultural Education
  • Thousand Paper Cuts: Reflection on Managing Microaggression from an Asian
    Pacific Woman's perspective | Eileen Chia-Ching Fung, Professor of English, Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Amor a las Lonjitas | Joanna Villegas, Graduate Intern, Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Juno Chambers, Graduate Student Coordinator, Gender and Sexuality Center
  • Surviving Thriving “In Living Color”: Navigating Race and Gender in Professional
    Spaces | Britni Wilcher, Gerardo Marín Dissertation Fellow and Instructor, Department of Economics
  • Breaking the Social Media Trap: What Healing Looks Like in 2020 | Chanel Manicato, Mental Wellness Programming & Accessibility Leader, San Francisco Art
  • Asian/Asian American Women: Using Racial Ambiguity Towards Solidarity | Ria DasGupta, Diversity and Community Relations Program Manager, Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion