A keynote presentation by state Sen. Connie M. Leyva,  a panel discussion and several breakout sessions will be part of Cal State San Bernardino’s 2020 Womxn’s Leadership Conference held virtually Friday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Because 2020 marks 100 years since women were granted the right to vote in the United States, the theme of this year’s conference is “The Future is Female: 100 Years of Voices.” To register for the event, visit the CSUSB's Womxn's Leadership Conference 2020 webpage at https://bit.ly/2YlbC6F.

Sen. Leyva (D-Chino), the keynote speaker, was reelected to represent the 20th State Senate District in 2018 and is serving her second term in the California State Senate. Currently serving as chair of the bipartisan and bicameral California Legislative Women’s Caucus and Commissioner on the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Leyva continues to be a committed leader on improving the lives of women, children and families in California. 

Since being elected to the state senate, Leyva has authored 38 bills signed into law, including important legislation to require all public universities to provide medication abortion (SB 24), eliminate the statute of limitations on rape (SB 813), and require the prompt testing of rape kits (SB 22), among others. As a Women’s Caucus leader, Leyva has worked collaboratively with other caucus members to expand access to childcare, help secure important funding for afterschool programs, protect victims of domestic violence, end childhood deep poverty, require women on corporate boards and many other woman- and family-oriented efforts.

The Womxn’s Leadership Conference will also feature a six-person panel discussion. The panelists include:

  • Manijeh Badiee, CSUSB associate professor of psychology and a licensed counseling psychologist in California;
  • Rueyling Chuang, CSUSB dean of the College of Arts and Letters and professor of communication studies;
  • April Clay, founder and CEO of Clay Counseling Solutions, a premier counseling organization serving San Bernardino and Riverside counties;
  • Hannah Kivalahula-Uddin, member of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians from Washington state who holds three master’s degrees in education;
  • Maria Molina Solano, executive director for the National Latina Business Women’s Association, Inland Empire, a nonprofit organization; and
  • Michelle Skiljan, executive director of the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley Women Business Centers, programs of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at CSUSB’s Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration.

The event will also offer numerous breakout sessions that explore various topics. The breakout sessions include:

Effective Networking Strategies
By: Sevelyn VanRonk
This experiential 60-minute presentation is focused on helping women learn how to strengthen and/or diversify their networks. Today’s workplace is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), so it can be difficult to navigate career advancement and development. Networks provide women access to career opportunities because personal networks increase information-sharing and idea generation.

Female Leadership in the Religious Realm
By: Larry Hygh
This segment features a panel of female bishops of The United Methodist Church, both active and retired, for a discussion on what it means to be a female leader in a male-dominated vocation. The discussion will explore leadership styles, SHEroes and heroes in their lives, racism and sexism, and leadership tips for both women and men.

Detour to Self-Care
By: Ashley Howard

Research has shown that “70 percent of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime” (The Recovery Village®). Many are unaware that they are not equipped to manage their emotions or their stability while going through a traumatic/stressful experience. “Detour to Self-Care” will be an opportunity for you to have a plan in place if an unexpected traumatic/stressful experience were to take place in your life. In this presentation, individuals will be given the tools they need to equip themselves to navigate through a traumatic/stressful experience.

Peace in the Present
By: Jasmine Curtis
A simple and informative experience with mind and body relaxation techniques. An introduction to basic breathing, body scan techniques, and intention setting. Cultivate awareness and ownership of your peace, regardless of what situation you are faced with!

Being Different
By: Doris Egbo

Being Different will explore the pressures and insecurities of women and girls to be pretty and popular like celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Ciara, etc. This workshop is focused on empowering women to be themselves.

A Polluted Earth Endangers Our Womxn's Bodies
By: Yvette Relles Powell
During this workshop we will discuss how environmental racism targets and impacts the bodies and minds of womxn of color and how to use your voting power to combat this phenomenon. Participants, please note that this discusses sensitive content such as rape and may be triggering to some members of the audience.

News from the ShEconomy
By: Francisca Beer
It is time to replace the adage: “Small businesses are the engines of the economy” by a new one: “Women are engines of the economy.” The presentation will review the state of the “women economy” and identify the factors that remain a problem for women.

What’s Your Story 
By: Andrea Okoh
This presentation gives the attendees the tools necessary to explore their story. Using information gathered from Aaron Sorkin and B.J. Fogg, attendees are guided in how to identify their story/purpose in doing what they are doing. Being able to verbalize and identify your story allows you to set small goals to achieve the outcome you are looking for.

Gender Equity & Title IX: Advocating for Women in Higher Education
By: Samantha Cuillier
The Title IX landscape has shifted dramatically from issues concerning women’s access to higher education to equity in sports and now, ensuring safe environments free from sexual violence and harassment. Is it impossible to understand and support women in higher education without paying tribute to Title IX?

More Than One Queen Bee: Supporting Other Women at Work
By: Sevelyn VanRonk, Heather Carrasco, & Rachel Bravo

Before the 1960s women were not part of the workforce or permitted to hold positions of leadership. While serious strides have been made, there is still a gender gap. In the United States, women only hold 19.2 percent of corporate board seats and only 4.4 percent of CEO positions in the 500 largest stock listed companies. Using literature on the Queen Bee Phenomenon (QBP), we will discuss ways in which women can support one another to obtain and maintain leadership positions. Hear from our three special panelists on this issue and ways to move past the QBP.

What’s with the X in Womxn? A Conversation on Gendered Language & Social Identities
By: Jacob Chacko

This workshop will explore the reasons why this conference planning committee and larger society have seen the use of ‘x’ in words like womxn and folx. Join us for a discussion on gendered language and how it impacts peoples’ lives as well as how we navigate these various social identities.

Pioneering Female Sci-Fi Writer Leslie F. Stone Inverts the Male Gaze in “Conquest of Gola”
By: Madeleine Simmons

When thinking about “the future as female,” these are origins that find their roots firmly planted in science fiction, a genre founded by a woman, Mary Shelley. Despite being a female-generated genre, it’s one that came to discriminate intensely against women. “The Conquest of Gola” by Leslie F. Stone brings attention to gender issues in creating an alien planet whose sex roles are a mirrored opposition of society. In this story, an inversion of the male-dominated society of American mainstream culture of the 1930s and the culture of science fiction takes place. In creating this inversion, Stone creates a dialogue about “the male gaze,” as she inverts this concept into “the female gaze” on the planet of Gola. By highlighting sexism through gender reversal in “The Conquest of Gola,” Stone is able to deconstruct sexism.

If you are in need of a special accommodation to attend the 2020 Womxn’s Leadership Conference, contact the Office of Student Affairs at (909) 537-5185 and/or at VP_StudentAffairs@csusb.edu at least 72 hours prior to the event.

To learn more, visit the Womxn’s Leadership Conference website.

Womxn's Conference 2020 flier