Cal Poly Center for Service in Action Selects Workshop Topics for Social Justice Conference

The Center for Service in Action is hosting the 20th Annual Changing the Status Quo Leadership Conference on February 26 at the Multi-Activity Center. The Center for Service in Action reviewed and accepted 20 applications for the conference workshops.

The Changing the Status Quo Conference is a social justice leadership conference designed to educate and empower students on different social justice topics. The one-day event consists of a keynote speaker and several workshops held throughout the day.

The conference was started in 2002 by Cal Poly students to educate the Cal Poly community on a variety of issues. The workshops coincide with specific themes related to social justice issues and topics. Workshops can be led by faculty, staff, students, organizations and community members.

This year, the workshop themes are racial justice and covenant, service, leadership, social justice, intersectionality, socio-economic justice, gender and sexuality, environmental justice and Jewish culture and anti-Semitism.

“Our hope is that through different workshops, [students] will receive new information and feel truly empowered to make a difference,” said Ava Farriday, Cal Poly alumnus and Center for Service in Action board member. “We really encourage anyone interested to register for the conference.”

In addition to the workshops, the Changing the Status Quo conference features a keynote speaker. According to the Change the Status Quo website, the keynote speaker series aims to encourage attendees to act on everything they learned at the conference.

This year the keynote speaker is Hoda Katebi who is a writer, community organizer and creative educator. Katebi is the founding member of a garment manufacturing worker cooperative called Blue Tin Production. It is led by immigrant, refugee and working class women of color and serves to improve labor and sustainability standards. She is also the host of a digital book club called #Becauseweread and involved in several other projects.

Students were also able to get involved in the event by helping the planning committee or volunteering on the day of the conference. Additionally, Farriday said students can meet and get involved in different local clubs and organizations during the conference.

“We really want students to engage with it,” Farriday said. “It’s a great way to learn new information outside of a classroom, to engage with your peers on a variety of issues, to think critically about different topics, and really just to grow. and broaden your learning.”

Registration details and tickets are available now via Eventbrite.

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