The Center for Service in Action is excited to announce the 18th Annual Change the Status Quo: Social Justice Leadership Conference on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Click here to download Conference Schedule & Map

To see full workshop descriptions and build your schedule, download the Cal Poly NOW app, then search for the "Center for Service in Action" Guide to view the Change the Status Quo 2020 full schedule.


This conference aims to empower students to use the Learn by Doing spirit to challenge social norms, ask critical questions, demand solutions and make lasting social change. Through guest speakers, inspiring workshops, and engaging sessions, students will leave the conference with a new-found sense and understanding of social justice, and how they can take ownership of their role in moving the needle with regard to social change. This is the 18th annual student-led CSQ Conference hosted by the Center for Service in Action. 

The conference will take place on Cal Poly's campus, with keynote, meals and plenary sessions happening in the Multi-Use Activity Center (MAC) and workshops taking place in various classrooms and spaces within the University Union. More detailed information and day-of schedule will be available soon. 

*We are committed to making this event accessible to all individuals and will provide ASL interpretation, ADA accessibility and other accommodations. We will also provide fee waivers to Cal Poly students as requested. Please email us for more information.

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s keynote speaker is political and social activist, scholar, author, educator and National Women’s Hall of Fame honoree, Angela Davis.

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. 

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies. 

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research and published work on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. 

We are thrilled to bring her to Cal Poly’s campus to kick-off this year’s conference. Please see registration section below for more information on how you can attend the conference and her keynote presentation.

There will be 4 workshop times throughout the day. Workshops have been grouped into tracks so you can focus on increasing your knowledge over a single topic, or you may pick and choose individual ones that resonate most with you. More detailed descriptions will be available closer to the event on this website and via the Cal Poly Now app.


From Disability Rights to Disability Justice: Access, Inclusion & Intersectionality
Bailey Hamblin & John Lee - Disability Faculty & Staff Association

Building Solidarity Through Community Engagement
Lilianne Tang - Cal Poly Multicultural Center

Know Your Rights: How to Reduce Risk With Immigration Officers
Adrian Torres, Cal Poly Student

Live Social Justice Debate: Cal Poly vs. 2020 Social Justice Debate Champ
Cal Poly Debate Team


Radicalism of Love, Empathy & Respect
Manmit Chahal - Mustangs UNITED

Educational Equity for Undocumented Students: Taking Action
Jane Lehr, Chris Amaro, Catherine Trujillo, & Adrienne Garcia-Specht- Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success, Cal Poly Dream Center & UndocuAlly Working Group


Redefining Death: Death Positivity for Self Empowerment
Eden Knapp & Bailey Hamblin- ECOSLO & Cal Poly Disability Resource Center

Say My Name, Say My Name: Power of Recognizing Identity
Kavya Makam & Anjana Melvin - Cal Poly Women in Business

Building Relationships Across Cultures & Religions
Gerry Robinson, Ahmed Mahmoud Deif, Paul Cha, Gretchen Pappas, & Jake Kaufman - Interfaith Campus Council

Portray the Way You Slay: Posters, Facts, and Actions
Catherine Trujillo, Adrienne Garcia-Specht, & Jane Lehr- Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success


Abolitionist Teaching for Students of Color: Changing the Status Quo in Schools
Oscar Navarro, Veronica Zepeda, Mariana Carlon, Briana Ronan, Julee Bauer, Jessica Jensen, & Tina Chuek - Cal Poly School of Education

Autistic Neurodiversity: People, not Puzzles
Debra Balke, M.D. - Child Neurology of SLO

Decolonizing Community Based Learning: Moving Beyond White Privilege & the Savior Complex
Julia Heinen, Daniell Spratt, & Svetlana Tyutina - CSU Northridge, Office of Community Engagement


Environmental Movement: Renewed Perspectives of Environmentalism as Social Justice
Kari Mansager & Kylee Singh - Cal Poly Diversity & Sustainability Staff

Stories We Inhabit: Reflections on Art, Architecture & the Built Environment
Padma Maitland & Sydney Nguyen - Cal Poly College of Architecture & Environmental Design (CAED) Diversity & Inclusivity

Sanitation Education: A Deep Dumpster Dive
Jaime Ding - Cal Poly Kennedy Library

Gender & Sexuality

Let's Talk About X: Activist Language & Gender Inclusion
Katie Ettl - Cal Poly Gender Equity Center

Teaching Queer Ethnic Studies
Mario Espinoza-Kulick & Alex Espinoza-Kulick - Cal Poly SLO & Cuesta College Faculty

A Public Health Approach to Violence Prevention
Jennifer MacMartin & Meg Stuart - Cal Poly Safer


Inclusive Leadership: Small but Impactful Changes
Lara Jimenez - Cal Poly Mustang Success Center

Learners & Leaders: Asian American Womxn Redefining Leadership
Lilianne Tang & Olivia Tran - Cal Poly Asian Pactific Islander Faculty Staff Association

Self Care for Leaders, Activists & Empaths
Elizabeth Barrett, W. MA, LMFT - Host of "A Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist" on KCBX and Cal Poly Lecturer

Restorative Justice

Ethics of Care & Restorative Justice
Adrian Fimbres, Cal Poly Student & Leonard Flippen - One Community Action, Conflict Solution Center

Experiencing Life as a Recently Released Criminal Offender: Understanding Community Reentry and Reintegration
Kylie Parrotta & Kim Reeves -Cal Poly Social Science Department & US Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware

Kinship, Mutuality & Restorative Justice: Programming in County Jail & Juvenile Hall
Vivien Devaney-Frice  & Kelsey Gibbs- Restorative Partners

White Privilege

Bridging the Divide: Cultivating and Sustaining Interracial Friendships
Stephanie Allen & Dr. Leola Dublin Macmillan - R.A.C.E. Matters SLO

Privilege Museum: Your Personal Relationship with Privilege
Emily Ryalls & Megan Lambertz-Berndt - Cal Poly Faculty

Reflections Turned to Action: CP Staff & Faculty Reflect on their White Privilege
Jerusha Greenwood, Bree Hugins & Sarah Macdonald - Cal Poly Experience Industry Management, Food Science & Nutrition, Center for Teaching Learning & Technology

White+Male=What? Understanding White Male Privilege
Nick Bilich - Cal Poly Men & Masculinities Program

Mental Health

E-motion and the Creative Purpose of Neurosis
Kelsey Zazanis- CODEPINK 


Thank you to our generous event sponsors:



Please feel free to email, call or drop into the Center for Service in Action.
Phone: (805) 756-5834
Location: Building 52, Room E22
Open: Weekdays, 9:00AM - 5:00PM

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