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.

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.

Change the Status Quo Call for Proposals Poster Image featuring Keynote Speaker Angela Davis

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. We are thrilled to bring her to Cal Poly’s campus to kick-off this year’s conference.


All are invited to submit a conference workshop proposal for hosting an hour-long workshop. Workshop sessions will occur on Saturday, February 29th between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm following breakfast and Angela Davis’ keynote presentation. Sessions will be sorted into tracks based on expected proficiency of attendees. Examples of topic tracks from previous years include; Destigmatization, Gender & Sexuality, Education & Campus Activism, Undocumented Ally Training, Race & Leadership, etc. 

Click here to download the 2020 Workshop Proposal.

Proposals are due by Friday, November 15 at 5 p.m. and must be submitted by email to Late proposals will not be accepted. You will be notified of your proposal’s status by December 6, if not earlier. 


For the second year the conference will include a White Privilege in Symposium in collaboration with the Cross Cultural Centers. The White Privilege Symposium challenges participants with agent identities to take social responsibility to think critically and learn about different socioeconomic-political identities and develop their awareness and skill-sets to foster an inclusive environment. 

The series of workshops are designed to help participants process their agent identities and deepen their knowledge of power, privilege, and difference, and further develop participants’ anti-racist practices and tools kits to promote community building. Some activities include, but are not limited to personal reflection, small and large group dialogue on demystifying whiteness, power and privilege, moving past guilt and shame, identifying and examining structural and institutional racism, and the lifelong practice of developing anti-racist practice and unpacking identity. 

We look forward to your participation in Change the Status Quo this year and appreciate your help spreading the word!

If you are a Cal Poly student who would like to get involved with the Conference Planning Committee please email or stop by the Center for Service in Action in Building 52, Room E22.

Related Content


Cal Poly students under green umbrella serving food

More on Spotlight


Go to the Admissions website

Link to the Admissions Website for information on selection criteria, application deadlines, creating your VIP page and more!