SCS Status Quo

Redefining Boldness: It's time to take action and Change the Status Quo!

Registration is $10 for Cal Poly students and $25 for General Admission. If you cannot afford the price of registration scholarships are available. Please email for inquiries. 

The Center for Service in Action is excited to announce the 17th Annual Change the Status Quo Conference on February 22 and 23rd, 2019 with the theme Redefining Boldness. 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 gain the knowledge needed to learn how they can be bold and take ownership of their role in moving the needle with regard to social change. Now is the time to shift our culture, now is the time to look deep within our biases, now is the time to disrupt our patterns, to change systems… now is the time to redefine boldness and change the status quo. 

New this year, Change the Status Quo is excited to offer our first White Privilege Symposium. The White Privilege Symposium is built around the idea that people who identify as white should take responsibility to think and learn about different cultural identities and how to be aware, respectful and inclusive. Communication between different groups is imperative, but this symposium asks people identifying as white to process their place in this discussion. This series of workshops is designed specifically for participants to build self- awareness, knowledge of power, privilege, and difference, and skills for anti-racist practice and community building. Participants will be able to examine their own identities and biases while also working with other participants to take on work for racial justice. Activities will include personal reflection, small and large group dialogue, and experiential activities exploring topics such as the meaning of whiteness, power and privilege, resolving guilt and shame, examining structural and institutional racism, and the lifelong practice of developing anti-racist practice and identity. 

Change the Status Quo Conference Details:

Preview Night - Friday, February 22, 6PM - 8PM - UU 220

Preview Night will kick off the conference with the Leadership, Law Enforcement, & Social Justice Panel + Discussion. VP of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey, dean of students Kathleen McMahon, UPD chief George Hughes, and SLOPD chief Deanna Cantrell will be joined by student advocates for social justice to clarify the role those in positions of leadership and law enforcement play within social justice movements. Bring your questions for this panel as it will include a Q & A portion. Preview Night will take place on Friday, February 22, from 6 PM - 8 PM in UU (Bldg. 65), Room 220. It is free admission and all are welcome to attend.

Main Conference - Saturday, February 23, 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM - Chumash Auditorium

Join us on Saturday, February 23, for the Change the Status Quo: Redefining Boldness full conference day. Check-in will begin at 8:30 AM. The day will include breakfast, keynote speakers, lunch, workshops and more!

Keynote - Dr. Kristin Deal, University of Denver

Dr. Kristin Deal is the Interim Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the university of Denver, and an adjunct professor of Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education.  Dr. Deal, as a scholar-practitioner, is engaged in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a specific focus on the intersections of race, emotionality, and inclusive pedagogical practices.  Utilizing critical race theory, critical whiteness theories, critical emotionality theories, and culturally engaged practices, Dr. Deal’s research explores the possibilities of creating welcoming and affirming learning environments for students, faculty, and staff.  She is excited to join the Status Quo conference and discuss the meaning and practices of allyship in our current educational contexts. 

What’s an Ally Anyway: (Re)Defining Allyship toward Alliance Building

During the keynote, Dr. Deal will walk attendees through the what an “ally” has become toward what is might be. In particular, looking at some of the ways that allyship shows up in current practice as a method of re-centering those majority identities and then work to reimagine these things toward collectivist alliance building. Though race/ethnicity will be touched upon, this is a broad look at allyship across social identity markers.

Workshops & White Privilege Symposium

*Included in the White Privilege Symposium

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

  • * But I'm not a Racist: White Emotionality and Barriers to Anti-Racist Work - Keynote, Dr. Kristen Deal will lead attendees to look at common defense mechanism and emotional gymnastics that White folk have been socialized to use when confronted with race conversations/tensions.  The aim of this workshop is self-reflexive work as we look at the broader systems of racism (beyond the intra-personal) to help navigate why we have emotional reactions toward race work.  We will talk about how we (as White folk) might engage in self-reflection.
  • Adopting a Human Rights Framework - Hosted by Cal Poly club #mustangsUNITED, attendees will learn the 8 sets human rights that were set by the UN, discuss how some of them are not implemented into the US Constitution framework, and be empowered to fight for their fundamental rights.
  • Reverse the Rhetoric: The Path from Oppression to Compassion - A.M. Moretti and Cal Poly Linguistics students will learn to use tools of critical linguistics and yoga philosophy to heal words of oppression and use the language of compassion to promote a culture of campus civility.
  •  Neurodiversity and the Autistic Experience: I Think, Therefore I Matter - Debra Balke, M.D., of Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center will demonstrate the benefits neurodiversity (with focus on autism) brings to our society and challenge the fundamental concept of "disability" and what it means to be autistic.
  • Homelessness and Food Insecurity's Effect on College Students - Joy Pederson and Stephen Busse of Cal Poly Dean of Students evaluate the impact of homelessness on college students nationally with a call to action, detailing how to help on our campus.
  • The Clapback: An Investigation into the Sexual Assault and Rape Climate at Cal Poly - Cal Poly Student, Amelia Meyerhoff, dives into an investigation of the sexual assault/rape climate at Cal Poly through interviewing student and alumni survivors while also going more in depth on what consent truly is.
  • I Love You, Bro: Stories of Friendship in Fraternity Life - Drawing from experiences throughout his undergraduate experience in Greek Life, Nick Bilich, Cal Poly's Men & Masculinity Program Coordinator, will illuminate the variety of factors college men consciously and/or unconsciously navigate to build and maintain friendships with other men

11:10 AM - 12:10 PM

  • * How Whites became White: Historical context, contemporary whiteness, and how our interracial past might inform our future - Explore the history of the construction of whiteness in the U.S., the way whiteness works in our psyche, lived experiences, and in our contemporary racialized context (e.g. our "Trumpian" world) with Ethnic Studies Department Chair, Denise Isom. What might we learn from the inter-racial group of the 1600's, known as the "giddy multitude"?
  • How to be an LGBTQ+ Ally - Samuel Byrd, MED NCC, Lead Coordinator of Campus LGBTQ+ Initiatives at Cal Poly, will guide attendees in a training to be come competent in LGBTQ+ inclusive language and take the first steps to becoming an ally.
  • College Student Food Insecurity: Changing the Conversation - Representatives of Cal Poly CalFresh Outreach's workshop focuses on the prevalent problem of food insecurity among college students and how this affect them mentally, academically, physically and socially.
  • Justice for All: Improving Access to Pro-Bono Services - Dr. Svetlana Tyutina and students of Cal State Northridge will present research related projects, include discussion, expert opinion, and participants testimonies to focus on current situation with access to pro-bono services for Spanish Speaker in the LA Metro area.
  • “Sometimes you feel like the bad guy!": Engaging with Those Resistant & Ambivalent to Diversity - Cal Poly group Advancing Cultural Change encourages students to engage with their case study portraying students' lived experiences with resistance to diversity at Cal Poly, discussing potential methods of intervention.
  • Unraveling Rape Culture: An Inclusive Approach to Primary Prevention Methods on Campus and Beyond - Cal Poly Safer & Department of Justice staff help attendees to utilize the primary prevention model in personal & professional contexts in order to systematically bring an end to rape culture and, by extension, gender-based violence.
  • Using Data Literacy as a Tool To Promote Social Justice - Beth Chance and Soma Roy of the Cal Poly Statistics Department will share curricular materials that we are collaboratively developing for use in high school statistics and social studies classes to help students understand how to use large publicly available datasets to investigate questions about social inequality.

1:10 PM - 2:10 PM

  • * So Where do we Begin? Anti-Racism Action Planning - During this workshop, Dr. Deal will lead attendees in looking at the inter-locking modalities of racism and consider where and how we might engage in anti-racist practice.
  • Human Trafficking in the United States and Globally: Empowering College Student Engagement - Teresa Downing of the Cal Poly Social Sciences Department will educate attendees about the issue of human trafficking, its effects in different types of settings, and how they can take action to fight against human trafficking.
  • Boundaries, Balance and Self Care: Recognizing the Need for a Bold and Balanced Approach to Service and Activism - Shifra Teitelbaum EdD and student leaders from Mind Matters Campus Engagement at Cal State LA will encourage participants to reflect on and challenge the ways that endless activism and selfless helping can lead activists and helpers to burn out, or to judge their need for self care as a sign of weakness.
  • Ethical Non-Monogomy - Michelle Call of GALA will help attendees explore how ethical non-monogamy challenges the status quo in areas such as marriage, child-rearing, and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Ontology, Unlearning Biases, and Allyship - Cross Cultural Centers staff lead attendees through an activity and discussion focusing on how we can understand and address our own implicit biases, highlighting steps to allyship.
  • #mustangsUNITED: The Movement of Love, Empathy, and Respect - Attendees will be led in discussion about the incidents at Cal Poly that led to the creation of the #mustangsUNITED Club and the Love, Empathy, and Respect movement, while learning more about the progress it has made and the goals it hopes to reach.

Closing Activity

Using Design Thinking to Change the Status Quo and Solve Social Justice Issues

Andrew Lacanienta, Marni Goldenberg, and Keri Schwab, of the Cal Poly Experience Industry Management Department, will lead attendees through a 5 step process during which participants conduct interviews to build empathy, define a problem, ideate creative solutions to the problem, and design meaningful solutions for the problem through an iterative process of prototyping and testing. Participants will be invited to pair up and work together to solve social justice issues in their workplace, community, or elsewhere. The workshop will help guide participants to, challenge social norms and change the status quo by designing creative solutions that will change the status quo in regards to social justice. 

If you are interested in joining the conference planning committee or have other questions regarding CSQ please email

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible!


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