Teach In

Seventh Annual Social Justice Teach In

February 9, 2023


Join the Cal Poly Community for the seventh annual Social Justice Teach In, a daylong series of talks and workshops centered around equity and social justice designed to inform and inspire.

See a list of previous years' Teach In sessions.

Five tracks of sessions are focused on specific topics, as marked on this schedule.

HSI Icon Pathways to Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Camera Icon Pop Culture and Media

RJ Icon Reproductive Justice

Calculator Icon DEI in Engineering

Chains Breaking Icon Restorative Justice: Beyond Incarceration

We need student volunteers! Sign up now to volunteer for the 7th Annual Social Justice Teach In.

Topic and Time Presenter(s) Registration/ Location

8:10 — 9 a.m.

RJ Icon Texas: The New Jane Crow

This presentation will outline a brief history of abortion access, leading up to our current situation, using Texas as an example. I will discuss why not having abortion access matters to individuals and to society as a whole. I will also discuss projections for future directions of abortion access and action items that we can take.

  • Ophra Leyser-Whalen (she/her), Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

Using Social and Behavior Change Research to Improve Health Outcomes in Low and Middle-Income Countries

I will present on the typical roles and responsibilities of applied researchers working in the global health field. I’ll use two recent examples from projects that I lead: 1. Social and behavior change research to improve hygienic environments and reduce childhood stunting in Ethiopia 2. Social and behavior change research to improve uptake of Covid 19 vaccinations in Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo During my discussion I’ll talk about the work that researchers do, from working across collaborative teams, to writing proposals, developing protocols, and designing and executing data analysis plans. These insights will give participants a window into working in the global health and development field as social researchers.

  • Gretchen Thompson (she/her), Sociologist, FHI 360 Global Health Research Department
Register Here
(Bldg. 35, Room 209)

Chains Breaking Icon Authors Inside: Building a Writing Community to Reduce Recidivism in CA Prisons

This presentation will describe the work of Authors Inside, a local nonprofit dedicated to empowering currently and formerly incarcerated authors to make sustainable change in their lives and in their communities through writing and publishing.

  • Jason Peters
  • Otis Greene III
  • George KL Smith
  • Emmanuel Gaisie
  • Laura Gaisie
Register Here
(Bldg. 10, Room 225)

Calculator Icon DEI in STEM: "Creative Destruction"

Conventionally, 'creative destruction' is defined as the dismantling of long-standing practices in order to make way for innovation primarily for capitalistic ends. This workshop will explore examples of racial and gender disparities within STEM and discuss how we as members of the Cal Poly community can make positive change on our campus and beyond.

  • Arnold Deffo
  • Michael Whitt
Register Here
(Bldg. 10, Room 231)

Incorporating Social Justice Projects Into Thermodynamics and Thermal System Design Classes

Topics and assignments related to social justice are being integrated into thermal systems design and thermodynamics courses with the goal of disrupting the social/technical dualism present in engineering curriculum that often discourages engineering students from learning about and participating in social justice issues and discussions. Using a modular four-step process the social justice assignments have students do engineering analysis while at the same time think about the impact of the engineering technology on different groups of people. This presentation will give examples of the assignments, talk about the student reception and instructor's experience and tips.

  • Jennifer Mott (she/her), Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Register Here
(Bldg. 192, Room 321)

9:10 — 10 a.m.


Trust Your Students: How To Grade in Plain Sight

This presentation will highlight the experiences of faculty members from three different disciplines who have implemented changes to grading practices in their courses to make them more equitable. The book “Grading for Equity” was used as a guide for rethinking the traditional approaches to grading and how these practices that have been used for so long by so many instructors have actually created inequity in the classroom. There will be a discussion on the ideas behind why they changed their approaches to grading and assessments and the outcomes of these changes. An example of some of the changes that have been made include ungrading, removing late policies, minimum grading, and more! The presentation will also provide attendees with information on small changes they can make in their classes that can create big impacts for their students.

  • Stefanee Maurice (she/her)
  • Brian Bates (he/him)
  • Kevin Ross (he/him)
  • Patrick O'Sullivan (he/him)
Register Here
(Bldg. 186, Room C101)

Camera Icon "Killing Him Will Risk Eternal War”: Black and Indigenous Tensions and Solidarities in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The 2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever film illuminates insightful and provocative tensions that arise for Black and Indigenous peoples when settler colonial nation states violently pursue valuable natural resources. Drs. Castilow, Heberling, and Moraga will bring their varied expertise to a lively conversation about popular media, settler colonialism, and Black and Indigenous relations.

  • Dan Castilow (he/him)
  • Lydia Heberling (she/hers)
  • Jorge Moraga (he/him)
Register Here
(Bldg. 192, Room 106)

Calculator Icon My Team and Me: Team Contracts to Support Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Nothing in Aerospace (or engineering in general) gets designed or built without a team. Likewise, in the classroom many projects, labs, and research are conducted in teams. However, team dynamics are not always equitable, and student identities can impact their experience on a team. For example, not everyone on the team has the same kind of free time or the same style of working, so communicating is the cornerstone for a positive teamwork experience. As instructors, although we normally provide explicit instruction to understand mathematical concepts, there was an expectation that students would know how to productively work in a team without explicit instruction or discussion. As an instructor, I have made a pedagogical decision in my Intro to Aerospace Engineering course, to make space to hold discussions regarding what it means to be an inclusive team member, what are ways to make each person’s voice heard, how they were going to deal with heated discussions, and when it is appropriate to involve the instructor. The intention of this work is to provide students with more tools to build successful teams where everyone can succeed and feel included in the learning. Following this discussion, students spend time in their lab groups creating a team contract, building on the discussion from the classroom with specific solutions for their individual groups. This process is formalized as an aspect of my course, and includes the submission of the team contract as an assignment, and a self-evaluation reflecting on their team and their teamwork. The overall goal is to increase inclusive team practices to support learning for all students via explicitly making class time for discussions about teamwork, and promoting practices to involve all students in the team, and to recognize that inclusive teamwork takes practice, just like everything else.

  • Kira Abercromby (she/her), Professor, Aerospace Engineering
Register Here
(Bldg. 192, Room 321)

Calculator Icon Thriving in the College of Engineering - a Student Perspective

A panel of student leaders from CENG clubs discuss challenges and opportunities for thriving in engineering for students with diverse backgrounds and identities.

  • Clubs from the College of Engineering
Register Here
(Bldg. 197, Room 104)

Why Does it Matter Whose Land We Are On?

Aligned with Cal Poly's Learn by Doing motto, many of our students find themselves outside, working the land and connecting with the wide variety of natural resources in the county and beyond. How many of these students know who stewarded the land for time immemorial and why does that even matter? This session will explore many questions, such as how do we reconcile the promotion and use of Indigenous land management practices in class, without acknowledging their roots, while we live in a settler colonial society? Can we divorce the use and recognition of Indigenous land management practices without giving land back?

  • Becca Lucas (she/her)
Register Here
(Bldg. 21, Room 105A)

RJ Icon Sex Education @ Cal Poly

In Spring 2020, students in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Lab on campus assessed knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of sexual health among Cal Poly students. The results revealed a lack of knowledge about many sexual health topics and varying sexual scripts among students. These results led to the development of sex education modules for the campus community.

  • Joni Roberts (she/her), Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health  
  • Gabriella Snow (she/her), Frost Fellow, Kinesiology and Public Health  
  • Alexa Asson (she/her), Biology
Register Here
(Bldg. 05, Room 105)

10:10 — 11 a.m.

Chains Breaking Icon Artistic Activism to Disrupt the Single Story of Incarcerated Populations

In her infamous Ted Talk, Chimamanda Adichie discusses the danger of a single story and how it limits our ability to see people, places, and things in their totality. This is often the case in the United States when it comes to beliefs and perceptions about incarcerated populations. There is an inherent refusal to see them as anything other than criminals because that narrative is all we have been exposed to through media outlets, observations, experience, and language. This perception is not only dehumanizing, but it is also detrimental to community reentry. This presentation demonstrates how what we say influences what we see and how we can use language to shift narratives about who incarcerated people are. It showcases two projects that use artistic activism to challenge the single story of what it means to be a “prisoner” or ”criminal.” 

  • Unique Shaw-Dismuke (she/her), Adjunct Professor
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

Discussing Colonial Narratives of APIDA Gender and Sexuality

The APIDA community has a unique history with not only the construction of gender narratives, but also how that affects stereotypes of sexuality. These gender roles often affect the way that our families and communities interact with each other as well as how others perceive our community. In this presentation, we unpack this history and look towards ways to deconstruct and heal from this. Content Warnings: Exoticization/Fetishization, Emasculation, Sexual violence, Racialized violence, Sexual Assault.

  • Caprial Koe (She/hers), Coordinator of the MultiCultural Center
  • Matilda Bunchongchitr (She/hers), SAFER Advocate
Register Here
(UU 111F)

RJ Icon The Sex Talk: Access to Comprehensive Sex Education and Redefining Parenting

This session will discuss barriers and access to comprehensive sex education as it relates to reproductive justice in the US. Other topics include, how to equip parents for conversations on sex, and resources to help redefine parenting where sex education is not political but rather a naturally ingrained part of what it means to raise children to be respectful to themselves and others. The goal of this session is highlight how a less violent world is possible through sex education.

  • Christina Kaviani (she/her), Lecturer, COMS/WQGS
Register Here
(Bldg. 05, Room 105)

Camera Icon Monoracism in Popular Culture: Examining Multiracial Microaggressions on TV

Monoracism is a system of oppression rooted in “assumptions and beliefs in singular, discrete racial categories” (Johnston and Nadal, 2010, p. 125). This session will utilize video clips from several television series to illustrate a range of multiracial microaggressions and prompt critical dialogue around dominant narratives of mixedness in popular culture and action steps to disrupt monoracism on campus and beyond.

  • Jacob Campbell (he/him), Retention Specialist
Register Here
(Bldg. 21, Room 105A)

The “Karen” of Women’s Soccer: an Analysis of Carli Lloyd’s Mediated Neoliberal and Postracial Discourse

We will be presenting research concerning neoliberal messaging in Women's Professional Soccer. Specifically, in an interview with the Fox Sports State of the Union podcast, two-time FIFA World Cup champion, Carli Lloyd, criticized her 2015 World Cup teammates, claiming there was a “shift in people’s mindset. It became more about what can I do to build my brand off the field…and less about what we can do between those lines” (Kilander, 2022). Many interpreted Lloyd's comments as a critique of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) increasing political justice efforts, including some players refusing to take a knee during the national anthem and fighting for equal pay (Cash, 2022). Lloyd, who is white, was seemingly suggesting that athletes of color should not discuss the politics of race, class, and gender, and just focus on playing the game. Despite cultural presumptions of meritocracy and postracism in sport (Hylton, 2009), Black players struggle to gain the same level of respect as white players from fans, the media, and even their white teammates (as evidenced by Lloyd’s comments). As explained by Hylton (2009), the combination of discourses of neoliberalism and postracism reinforce the idea that race and racism are no longer relevant, invalidating and perpetuating racial and socioeconomic disadvantages. For instance, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the USWNT recruit heavily from elite private club teams, which require a level of financial access and stability (e.g. tournament fees, as well as travel and equipment costs) that many athletes of color may not have (Hinjosa, 2017). As U.S. women’s soccer faces critique about a lack of diversity (Hinjosa, 2017), many athletes of color have sought to remove barriers for future women athletes. This joint effort of emancipation and resistance has been actively criticized by Lloyd in camouflaged discourses of “work hard, play hard” and “focus on the game.” In this presentation, we textually analyze Lloyd’s media interviews and her social media to argue her use of neoliberal narratives of personal responsibility, hard work, and self-control functions to silence women athletes of color and stem the tide toward more diversity in the NWSWL and USWNT.

  • Megan Lambertz-Berndt (she/her), Associate Professor in Communication Studies
  • Emily Ryalls (she/her), Associate Professor in ISLA
Register Here
(Bldg. 35, Room 209)

Calculator Icon Encouraging Sociotechnical Connections in Engineering Science Courses

Evident in calls such as the NAE Grand Challenges, UN Sustainable Development Goals, and numerous guest editorials, current and future engineering problems are fundamentally sociotechnical. That is, these problems both shape and are shaped by social, cultural, political, environmental, and other contexts in ways that are vast and complex. Engineers work on problems in, for example, healthcare, environmental protection, transportation, and others that involve complex interactions between diverse systems and stakeholders. And while engineering almost always entails sociotechnical thinking, most engineering science courses are taught in ways that minimize—intentionally or otherwise—the ways in which technical content can connect to contexts and experiences beyond the classroom. This presentation will share some preliminary findings from different interventions in an engineering statics course to help students make connections between course topics and broader social, cultural, environmental, personal, etc. dimensions that are relevant to their lives. In particular, I will present findings in the form of student passages from a “problem redesign” assignment as well as a Utility Value Intervention. I will highlight the different ways that students make connections to course concepts and encourage a rich discussion around potential approaches for integrating sociotechnical topics into other engineering science courses.

  • Ben Lutz (he/him), Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Register Here
(Bldg. 197, Room 104)

11:10 a.m. — 12 p.m.

RJ Icon Decolonizing Sex Positivity

Mo will take a deep dive into the harmful beliefs we have about sex and how these beliefs are in service of oppressive, colonial systems. They will explore the pitfalls of the sex positive movement on U.S college campuses and rely on the narratives and lessons from Black and brown queer scholarship. Their book It's My Pleasure: Decolonizing Sex Positivity was born from the following questions: What do you feel is never questioned? Where does shame reside in your body? What is the script you’ve been taught about sex? And more. To decolonize sex positivity is to ask ourselves where the truths we learned about sex came from. In this Social Justice teach in, we will explore how sex education can be a path to liberation.

  • Mo Asebiomo (They/Them), Author
Register Here
(Chumash Auditorium)
Mo Asebiomo

Mo Asebiomo is a queer Nigerian-American author based in Oakland, California who loves to write and be outside. Mo grew up mostly in South Georgia and came to California to study Psychology and Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Mo is committed to building a liberated and radically inclusive future in all the work they do. When they’re not cloud watching, they love to dance to Afro-beats, make zines and sleep under the Sun.
Their debut book, “It's My Pleasure: Decolonizing Sex Positivity,” is a book intended as a tool to examine the harmful beliefs we have about sex and how these beliefs are in service of oppressive, colonial systems. The book urges readers to reflect on their own sex education while also guiding them in reimagining their own paths towards freedom and liberation

12:10 — 1 p.m.

Bringing Disability Culture to Cal Poly

Participants will learn what disability culture is and have the opportunity to choose an aspect of disability culture to participate in.

  • M.W. Kaplan (they/them)
  • Sydney Lehr (they/them)
  • Reina Knowles (she/her)
  • Chau Nguyen (she/her)
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

12:10 — 2 p.m.

Art and Design Activist Artmaking Workshop

Participants can experience screen printing, stencils, button making, and other forms of activist art!

  • Elizabeth Folk (she/her)
  • Linh Dao (she/her)
  • Allison Myers (she/her)
Register Here
(Bldg. 34, Room 128)

Woman, Life, Freedom

This presentation will be centered around the 2022 protests that started in Iran against Mahsa Amini's death and the unrest and revolution that has occurred since. We will talk about the the past of this humanitarian crisis and what the future holds. Additionally, we will discuss what Cal Poly students have been doing to join these movements.

  • Alla Abolhassani (she,her, hers)
  • Melissa Toussimer (she, her, hers)
Register Here
(Bldg. 186, Room C202)

Camera Icon Talkin' About A Revolution: Women's Voices Lifted in Protest

An old adage says “when a black woman speaks in public, it’s a political act”. This idea captures the power of silenced voices ringing out and taking space in political discourse. Making ourselves heard. Music is a particularly loud way for women to assert their voices in social space. And so, women’s music has been the backbeat of the history of activism around the world. Where is the music in today’s social protests? How does the music of protest - particularly women’s voices lifted in protest - connect us to today’s demonstrations for justice? Where are women taking up space through music? What is the power of women’s voices lifted in song? Join us for a sonic exploration of women’s voices lifted in protest, from Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Freedom Singers of the Black Civil Rights Movement, to Rhiannon Giddens, the Resistance Revival Chorus, and protests in Chile, Mexico, Iran, and China. We’ll play some music, talk about music, and maybe make some of our own!

  • Amanda Frye (she/her/hers)
  • Thanayi Jackson (she/her/hers)
Register Here
(Bldg. 38, Room 131)

A Space of Our Own

R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County, a SLO-based nonprofit organization, invites students, faculty and staff to explore and imagine a Black-centered/Multicultural space in the heart of San Luis Obispo. The nonprofit was recently awarded $40,000 from the city of SLO as part of a one-year, high-impact DEI grant for activation of such a space, with the ultimate goal of a permanent location. As part of this teach-in forum, R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County would invite input and feedback from staff, faculty and students, with a focus on the needs of Black students given the ongoing concerns around student enrollment and belonging on and off Cal Poly's campus. We'd welcome an opportunity to gather as a community to dream, share and drum. As part of the forum, we would also like to open a window into R.A.C.E. Matters events and activities. To that end, we will invite drummer and facilitator Tracy Morgan to lead us in a drum circle as drumming and dialogue have become a key component of many of our programs.

  • Julie Lynem (she/her)
  • Courtney Haile (she/her)
  • Tracy Morgan (he/him)
Register Here
(Dexter Lawn East)

1:10 — 2 p.m.

Understanding (White) Privilege and Dismantling Oppressive Systems: A Hands-On Approach

This presentation will introduce folx to the topics of privilege, white privilege, and power. After exposing folx to these ideas and talking through examples, we will all engage in two larger activities: one that asks folx to explore their own privileges and discuss them in small groups and one where folx learn about and practice intervening as bystanders.

  • Leslie R. Nelson (she/her), Assistant Professor, Communication Studies 
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

Liberation Through Cross-Racial Solidarity: Reducing Racism and Improving Youths' Wellness Through Unity

Cross-racial solidarity happens naturally in many settings, but we do not talk about it often enough. Join us for a passionate student-led panel on cross-racial solidarity and how it can create relief from oppression(s) and foster wellness. The local students moderated by two mental health clinicians will speak about their experience building community and unity with different racial groups and working together for a common social justice goal. There will be an opportunity for discussion and, questions and answers after the panelists share their lived experiences and recommendations on how to achieve this in your groups of care.

  • Susana A. Lopez (she/her/ella)
  • Carey Alvord (she/her)
  • Israel Perez (he/him), highschool student
  • Melissa Gonzalez (she/her/ella), college student
  • Ana Lopez (she/her/ella), highschool student
  • Ne'Jai Bryant (she/her), highschool student
Register Here
(Bldg. 05, Room 105)

HSI Icon We Have to See to Serve: Latinx Students On Being Seen in the Curriculum

Latinx students from WLC 312 (Humanities in Chicano/a Culture) will reflect on seeing their experiences and culture highlighted in a GE class.

  • Karen Muñoz-Christian (she/her), Chair, World Languages and Cultures Department
  • Marivel Lozano
  • Yarely de la Cruz
  • Yeilen Fernández-Ortiz
  • John Vilarino
  • Evelyn Tostado
  • Sophia Robledo
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

Transgender Athlete Participation in Collegiate Sport

Transgender participation in high level sports is one of the most debated and complex topics in sport today. The presentation will dissect the the major arguments and present perceptions that have yet to be through considered. Preview of our national study of collegiate athlete perceptions will be discussed as well.

  • Joey Gray
  • Aliya Adegoke
  • DeLorean Rosales
Register Here
(Bldg. 14, Room 246)

Social and Environmental Justice and Public Parks and Recreation

What is the role of public parks and recreation spaces in creating a more socially and environmentally just United States?

  • Jerusha B. Greenwood (she/hers), Professor, Experience Industry Management
  • Marni Goldenberg (she/hers), Professor, Experience Industry Management
Register Here
(Bldg. 186, Room C302)

HSI IconMoving from the Matter of Resources to the Mattering of Lives: Applying Public Health Concepts to ‘Servingness’ in Hispanic-Serving Institutions

The inequitable distribution of physical resources in neighborhoods - supermarkets, parks, community centers - is a recognized determinant of health disparities. Neighborhoods are also geographic anchors for social spaces, providing social resources as well as webs of interconnection that people are part of and give back to. In this presentation we will explore some of the issues around neighborhood, connectedness, and health: What kinds of evidence will ‘prove’ to decision-makers that neighborhoods can help people feel like they matter, and that mattering matters? How do we use that evidence to make neighborhoods better for everyone? We will apply the same questions to the concept of ‘servingness’ in Cal Poly’s journey to becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

  • Marilyn Tseng
Register Here
(Bldg. 35, Room 209)

Calculator Icon Advances in Research Collaboration

We compare the collaboration networks at a research-focused university (UCSB) compared to a teaching-focused university (Cal Poly). We are particularly interested in the effects of gender and ethnicity and on how the adoption of the teacher-scholar model has changed things at Cal Poly.  Our examination shows that over the last 30 years, Cal Poly has seen relatively more growth in researchers and their corresponding collaborations each year than UCSB. This early analytical work appears to show that the teacher-scholar model has positively impacted the overall research and collaboration community within Cal Poly. 

  • Mugizi Rwebangira (he/his), Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Theresa Migler (she/hers), Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Register Here
(Bldg. 192, Room 321)

2:10 — 3 p.m.

Camera Icon ANDOR: Writing Resistance in the Star Wars Universe

In Star Wars, why did some citizens support the Galactic Empire while others joined the Rebellion? This is the central question of ANDOR, the television prequel series to the film, ROGUE ONE. This lesson will be a dramatic analysis of how the show’s writers depict radicalization, organized resistance, and colonial power. NOTE: We will discuss the entire first season of ANDOR, so there will be spoilers!

  • Ramón Esquivel (he/him), Assistant Professor, Theatre
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

Outlasting Systems that Oppress: Voting, Institutional Engagement, and Beyond

This presentation aims to inform participants about strategies for responding to and outlasting oppressive systems. Particularly, this session will focus on the history of voting as one tool for institutional engagement alongside other strategies with which to engage systems of power and build community.

  • Darrian Carroll (he/him), Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Register Here
(Bldg. 24, Room 108)

Mapping for Social Justice| Women Life Freedom

This presentation will be about a research project under the title of mapping for social justice for the ongoing revolution in Iran. This research is supported and consulted by the Situ research group. Working on this research project with Situ helps to: Document this unprecedented uprising led by women in the middle east/ world. As an architectural designer and educator, It would be interesting to see the relationship between people's behavior and the space they occupied during protests. For instance, it would be interesting to analyze what happens at the corners, boundaries, or centers of urban areas when peaceful protests turn violent. Because of such collective mental phenomena, we may find recognizable/repeatable patterns between different protest maps across various locations. One of the potential research outputs could be a handbook for urban designers and architects about how different urban spaces could empower protestors as active populations fighting for social justice.

  • Zahra Rasti (she/her), Lecturer, Architecture
Register Here
(Bldg. 186, Room C301)

Machine Learning in Precision Medicine - Promises and Pitfalls

How computational biology has the potential to radically improve equity and access to precision medicine, but also can reinforce exclusionary social establishments.

  • Jean Davidson (she/her), Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Paul Anderson (he/his), Associate Professor of Computer Sciences,
Register Here
(Bldg. 33, Room 258)

Calculator Icon Increasing Justice and Reducing Oppression in Student-Led Community-Based Engineering Development Projects and Practices

This workshop introduces, interactively explores, and evaluates an approach to increasing justice and reducing oppression in student-led community-based engineering development projects and practices. Developed, implemented, and tested in a co-curricular context by Cal Poly alum Michael Reyna in their master’s thesis, this approach draws from Design Justice (Design Justice Network; Costanza-Chock, 2020), feminist qualitative science and technology studies, Latin American decolonial theory, and critical participatory action research. Workshop participants will engage in hands-on practice with this approach and will be invited to collaboratively crowd-source additional tools, frameworks, and practices for creating and sustaining more just and transformative partnerships between engineering students and community partners in local, national, and multi-nation contexts.

  • Liz Thompson (she/her) , Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Jane Lehr (she/they), Professor in Ethnic Studies and Women's, Gender and Queer Studies
  • Gabriel Medina-Kim
Register Here
(Bldg. 192, Room 321)

HSI Icon Financial Wellness and HSIs

What does financial wellness mean for students at a Hispanic Serving Institution? This presentation will explore institutional challenges and opportunities for serving all students

  • Adrienne Garcia-Specht (she/her), Financial Aid Counselor
  • Blanca Martinez-Navarro (she/her), Associate Dean of Students
Register Here
(Bldg. 14, Room 246)

2:10 — 4 p.m.

Chains Breaking Icon Transformative Justice 101: Safety Beyond Police

How do we create communities of care that prevent, interrupt, and intervene in violence? How do we work towards accountability for interpersonal harm? This workshop will seek to answer these questions by providing participants with tools, frameworks, and resources to practice Transformative Justice in their everyday lives.

  • Alexia Arani (she/they), Assistant Professor, WGQS
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

2:30 — 4 p.m.

HSI Icon The Role of Social Media, Memorial Museums and NGOs in the Memorialization Process in Guatemala

This presentation aims to provide an overview of the mechanisms and factors that have influenced the creation of physical and virtual spaces to represent the struggles of various groups and Maya indigenous communities in Guatemala, represented by memorials and murals in cemeteries created by NGOs in Guatemala. The historical background, forced disappearances, and displacement of many Achí Maya allows analyzing the different levels of systematic discrimination against these groups during the conflict and post-conflict. Moreover the role of social media and these NGOs in the process of Memorialization.

  • Martha C. Galvan Mandujano (she/her), Assistant Professor, Spanish
  • Bili Alejandra Chavez (they/them), student at Cal Poly
  • Evelyn Alondra Hernandez (she/her), student at Cal Poly
  • Tess McIntyre, student at Cal Poly
  • Grace Therriault, student at Cal Poly
  • Victoria Renee Tsinker, student at Cal Poly
Register Here
(Bldg. 35, Room 209)

3:10 — 4:30 p.m.

Camera Icon "We Care So Much We Refuse to Burn Out:" Representations of Culturally Responsive Teaching on TV Sitcom "Abbott Elementary"

A facilitated panel discussion of the ABC hit television show Abbott Elementary. Filmed as a mockumentary style sitcom, Abbott Elementary chronicles the daily lives of students and teachers in a predominately Black school community in Philadelphia. Expert panelists from the fields of sociology, teacher education, and K-12 education will examine the show's portrayal of race, class and culture in teaching and learning.

  • Amanda Frye (she/her), Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies
  • Tina Cheuk (she/her), Assistant Professor, School of Education
  • Briana Ronan (she/her), School of Education
  • Mariana Carlon (she/her), Santa Maria Bonita School District
  • Courtney Moore (she/her), Cal Poly School of Education
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

3:10 — 4 p.m.

Empowering Autistic Students in the Classroom and Beyond

Are you a faculty or staff member interested in learning ways you can better support autistic students? Then please join us for this collaborative session, where we will discuss recommendations from autistic students at Cal Poly and the greater autistic community and ways to implement these suggestions in your classes, programs and services.

  • Luna Larsen (she/her), Program Manager, Empowering Autistic Scholars Mentoring and Research Training Program
  • Molly Morgan, Empowering Autistic Scholars Graduate Student Assistant
Register Here
(Virtual Event)

RJ Icon College Student Right to Access: Medication Abortion Services at Cal Poly

In January, Cal Poly will begin offering medication abortion services in compliance with Senate Bill 24, also known as the College Student Right to Access Act. Our session will discuss what students can expect regarding abortion services at Cal Poly, situate the service within a reproductive justice framework and discuss two longitudinal studies launched to examine campus perceptions of abortion and reproductive care.

  • Kara Samaniego (she/hers), Assistant Director of Wellbeing, Campus Health and Wellbeing
  • Christine Hackman (she/hers), Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health
  • Joni Roberts (she/hers), Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health
Register Here
(Bldg. 14, Room 246)

Chains Breaking Icon Entrepreneurship After Prison: Challenges, Insights and Opportunities

What is it like to start a business after serving time in prison? Entrepreneurship is increasingly being taught both within prison systems and afterwards through re-entry programs, as having a felony and history of incarceration can make it difficult to find employment once released. Yet, little is known about how the experience of being convicted of a crime and subsequent imprisonment impacts the ability to start and operate a business. This is especially pertinent for long-time offenders who spend five or more years in prison. For this research, we build upon the challenge-based model of entrepreneurship (Miller and Le Breton-Miller, 2017) to explore the adaptive requirements that emerge from being in prison and how these adaptive requirements can both help and hinder the entrepreneurial process once released. This will allow us to then further explore what resources and support are most beneficial when pursuing entrepreneurship after prison. Finally, we move beyond a sole focus on economic implications to explore how the entrepreneurial process affects previously incarcerated individuals in other ways related to hope and wellbeing. The presentation will cover early findings of pilot interviews and the literature review.

  • Fiona Robinson (she/her), Lecturer, Entrepreneurship
  • Student presenter
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(Bldg. 2, Room 210)

HSI Icon Aprender Haciendo: Elementary and College Students Learning Science in Spanish Together

Nuestra Ciencia is a university-community partnership where college students teach microbiology concepts in Spanish to bilingual elementary students. The program was designed to address microbiology misconceptions and elevate undergraduates as STEM role models for Latinx children. Interdisciplinary teams develop experiments and educational resources, and visit classrooms to lead activities in Spanish. We are also running a section of SCM 302: Learn by Doing Lab entirely in Spanish. Faculty and CP student partners will describe the importance of asset-based bilingual instruction in science. CP students will talk about their experiences and share bilingual student work at the elementary and undergrad level and describe future directions for this work.

  • Alejandra Yep
  • Jasmine Nation
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(Bldg. 24, Room 108)

Fat and Fit: Navigating Anti-Fat Bias in Sport

A paradox exists within sport which suggests that fat cannot equal fit, that thin bodies are athletic and fat bodies are not. We often talk about the ways in which sport is a microcosm of society, but that conversation is usually limited to discussions of racial and gender inequities. The ways bodies are judged and valued for their size and physical appearance in society also rings true within the world of sport. Athletes who do not fit neatly into the “athletic physique” are often criticized and socially shamed for their size. These negative experiences can have significant consequences for athletes such as quitting their sport or developing an eating disorder. This presentation will dive into the ways anti-fat bias is present within sport, the outcomes experienced by athletes and what we can do as spectators and participants in sport to change the way we talk about athletes’ bodies.

  • Stefanee Maurice (she/her), Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Public Health
  • Jillian Chandler (she/her), student, Kinesiology and Public Health
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(Bldg. 186, Room C101)

Calculator Icon Integrating Social and Environmental Justice into the Program Educational Objectives of Cal Poly's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, an undergraduate student coalition in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CE/ENVE) Department at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo proposed that the curriculum be updated to address the topics of social and environmental justice and their role in Civil and Environmental Engineering. As a result, the CE/ENVE faculty collaborated with the student leaders to integrate social and environmental justice into the CE/ENVE program educational objectives (PEOs).  PEOs reflect the goals that program graduates will achieve within a few years of graduation, reflect the mission of the Department, and provide guidance for specific student learning outcomes in the classrooms.  As such, they are the principle tool for guiding lasting and significant modifications to the curriculum.  As part of the student-initiated PEOs revitalization, additional educational objectives were incorporated, including: resilient, sustainable, and safe design; systems-thinking; and, inclusive communications. This update of the PEOs is a critical step towards re-shaping the CE/ENVE curriculum to educate the students about social justice and its strong connection to engineering design and practice. The new PEOs will result in a modern CE/ENVE curriculum that helps students develop the knowledge and skills needed to address the contemporary challenges facing the world. This presentation discusses the bottom-up, student-centric process used for updating the CE/ENVE PEOs, the stakeholders involved, and the students’ key contributions to the process.  The focus of the work encompasses the challenges encountered during this experience and the lessons learned. Additionally, this presentation including specific examples of implementation of the PEOs into selected courses and development of appropriate activities and assignments. 60-minute version – This presentation includes opportunities to work with attendees to re-consider the PEOs and Learning Objectives for their programs and/or develop specific social-justice focused modules for their classes. 

  • Rebekah Oulton, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Amr El Badawy, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
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(Bldg. 192, Room 321)

4 – 5:30 p.m.

Keynote Address


Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat The Science of a Diverse Community

  • Claude M. Steele
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(Chumash Auditorium)
Claude M. Steele

Claude M. Steele is an American social psychologist and a professor of psychology at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors.

5:30 — 6:30 p.m.

Keynote Reception


Join us for a catered reception immediately following Claude Steele's keynote address.


Efren's Restaurant will be serving tacos and a chips and salsa bar.

Chumash Auditorium (Bldg.  65)

7:30 p.m.

An Untitled Love (Dance Performance)

An Untitled Love is Kyle Abraham’s new evening-length work. Drawing from the catalog of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo, this creative exaltation pays homage to the complexities of self love and Black love, while serving as a thumping mixtape celebrating our culture, family and community. 

  • A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Purchase Tickets

dancers from Untitled Love

Founded in 2006 by choreographer Kyle Abraham, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham is a Black-led contemporary dance company that provides multifaceted performances, educational programming, and community-based workshops. Abraham is one of the most sought after choreographers and dancers of our time. The bold creator has choreographed for New York City Ballet, NYCB dancer Wendy Whelan, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and more. Student Pricing: $15 tickets available in-person at the Cal Poly Ticket Office with student ID.

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