Empowerment | Education | Activism
The Annual Social Justice Conference was established in 2019 to empower students to make changes by:
The Black Consciousness Conference was established to highlight current issues of social injustice, showcase the work of local activists and students, and connect students to local organizations who actively engage in social justice efforts.
The Power of Us Agenda (PDF)
Video Link - Black Consciousness Conference: Power of Us
Dr. David Inniss
David Inniss is a Class of ‘99 grad of the United States Military Academy at WestPoint, where he graduated as a Distinguished Cadet. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento and a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Management with a concentration in Human Resource Development from Drexel University. He lives by the personal mantra "Pave the Way, Bridge Gaps and Serve Others”—a motto that embodies the notions of leadership, relationship building, civic responsibility and ownership of one’s legacy.
Originally from the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados, Dr. Inniss embraces the values of love for community, respect for others and servant leadership. These values are manifested in his passion for developing intersectional solutions to the complex challenges that impact the communities across the globe.
David is currently a founder and Lead Imaginer with UNYSUN Inc., a social good enterprise aimed at highlighting the power of “differences in unison”. He also serves as a professor at William Jessup University in Northern California. Throughout his 18-year career as a leader in the Technology industry, and his experiences as a consultant and entrepreneur, David has had a passion for understanding how organizations can best leverage their human capital to boost productivity and enhance culture. This passion has guided him toward issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has facilitated several comprehensive workshops and keynotes espousing practical guidelines to embracing these values in today’s organizations.
As an avid researcher, David studies, writes about and speaks on issues related to fatherhood and masculinity. He specifically explores the holistic impact of fatherlessness and provides bold solutions for halting its generational perpetuation. He is the author of “Being the Dad I Never Had: Lifelong Lessons for Fathering After Fatherlessness”. He has also broadened his research interest to include human productivity and the factors that may boost or hamper optimizing human capacity and performance.
Dr. Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers Bio
Dr. Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, a native of Richmond, CA, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University. She received her PhD from Temple University and her Masters of Arts from The Ohio State University in the discipline of Black Studies. Her research interests include the role of African women in African civilizations, the role of African American women’s in liberation movements, Black female embodiment and gender politics in the Black community. She has presented her research at several conferences such as the Cheikh Anta Diop Conference, National Conference for Black Studies and Africana Womanism Conference. She has published articles that focus on the role of Black women in traditional Igbo and Kemetic governments, the exploitive image of the Black woman as the “Down Ass Bitch,” and Gender Politics within the Black Panther Party. Her recent edited text, entitled Challenging Misrepresentations of Black Womanhood, she critiques the image of Black mothering within Black stand-up comedy.
She has been extremely active with SDSU students through the Faculty-Staff Mentor Program, Faculty in Residence position, and as the advisor to three organizations. She founded the Black Women Healing Circle which gave birth to the Black Men’s Healing Collective and Blaq Space for Black Queer identified students. Additionally, she has given several presentations about race, class, and gender on SDSU, UCSD and CSU Fullerton campuses. Lastly, and quite profoundly, she led the Black Revolutionary protest on September 15, 2016 that led to the founding of The Black Resource Center in 2017 at San Diego State University.
Devon Carbado Esq.
Devon Carbado is the Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and the former Associate Vice Chancellor of BruinX for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He teaches Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, and Criminal Adjudication. He has won numerous teaching awards, including being elected Professor of the Year by the UCLA School of Law classes of 2000 and 2006 and received the Law School's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003 and the University's Distinguished Teaching Award, the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching in 2007. In 2005 Professor Carbado was an inaugural recipient of the Fletcher Foundation Fellowship. Modeled on the Guggenheim fellowships, it is awarded to scholars whose work furthers the goals of Brown v. Board of Education. In 2018, he was named an inaugural recipient of the Atlantic Philanthropies Fellowship for Racial Equity.
Professor Carbado writes in the areas of employment discrimination, criminal procedure, implicit bias, constitutional law, and critical race theory. His scholarship appears in law reviews at UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard, Michigan, Cornell, and Yale, among other venues. He is the author of Acting White? Rethinking Race in “Post-Racial” America (Oxford University Press) (with Mitu Gulati) and the editor of several volumes, including Race Law Stories (Foundation Press) (with Rachel Moran), The Long Walk to Freedom: Runaway Slave Narratives (Beacon Press) (with Donald Weise), and Time on Two Crosses: The Collective Writings of Bayard Rustin (Cleis Press) (with Donald Weise). A board member of the African American Policy Forum, Professor Carbado was the Shikes Fellow in Civil Liberties and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in 2012.
Professor Carbado graduated from Harvard Law School in 1994. At Harvard, he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Black Letter Law Journal, a member of the Board of Student Advisors, and winner of the Northeast Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. Carbado joined the UCLA School of Law faculty in 1997. He served as Vice Dean for Faculty and Research at the School of Law from 2006-07, and again in 2009-10. Professor Carbado is currently working on a series of articles on affirmative action and a book on race, law, and police violence
The Resistance through Solidarity Conference Part I was established to highlight current issues of social injustice regarding border and immigration, policing and mass incarceration, and showcasing the work of local activists and students to connect students to local organizations who actively engage in social justice efforts.
Video Link - RTS, November 17th
Video Link - RTS, November 18th
Dr. Roberto D. Hernández (Xicano) is an associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University and an actively engaged, community-based researcher, scholar, teacher and writer. Born in Mexico, but raised in San Ysidro, within blocks of the busiest port of entry in the world, the U-S///Mexico border has figured prominently in his intellectual, political and professional development and commitments. He earned a Chicana/o Studies Honors BA (with an emphasis in Political Theory), as well as Masters and Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies (Black, Native and Chicana/o Studies) from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a Researcher with the Center for Latino Policy Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Social Change. He was previously a Visiting Researcher in the Center for Black Studies Research and the Chicana/o Studies Institute at UC Santa Barbara, where he taught in both Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies. Dr. Hernandez also coordinates several advanced international research institutes for junior scholars: Decolonizing Knowledge and Power (in Barcelona), Critical Muslim Studies (Granada), and Latin American Decolonial and Feminist Thought (Mexico City).
Dr. Hernández’ research, publications and teaching focus on the intersections of colonial and border violence, the geopolitics of knowledge and cultural production, decolonial political theory, social movements, hemispheric indigeneity, masculinity and comparative border studies. Specifically, he teaches courses on the U-S///Mexico border history, theory and contemporary issues, Chicana/o and border folklore, Community Studies, and racialized/gendered captivity and incarceration from colonialism and slavery to the prison industrial complex and migrant detention centers. He co-edited the anthology Decolonizing the Westernized University: Interventions in Philosophy of Education from Within and Without (Lexington, 2016) and is the author of Coloniality of the U-S///Mexico Border: Power, Violence, and the Decolonial Imperative (Univ. of AZ Press, 2018).
He has served on the governing board of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and was involved in the writing of a NACCS Amicus Brief at the height of the legal battle over the attempted banning of Mexican American Studies in Arizona in 2010. Lastly, Dr. Hernandez is an accomplished translator of important scholarly works and has several ongoing translation projects under way.
Anne Rios joined the Al Otro Lado (AOL) staff in 2018. Prior to coming on board at AOL, Anne has served as the legal director for homeless advocacy programs, sexual assault and domestic violence services, and litigated numerous civil rights cases against criminalization of the poor. Currently, she oversees the Otay Mesa Release Project where freedom from the migrant prison system is the ultimate goal. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to the mission of providing legal services to indigent migrants and their families.
Anne completed her undergraduate education at UC Berkeley and attended law school at California Western School of Law. Special recognition includes: Center for Community Solutions’ Freedom Award, 2014 Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award nominee, Adrianne Baker Fellowship post graduate award from California Western School of Law, and receiving The State Bar of California Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.
Dante T. Pride is the founding partner of The Pride Law Firm in San Diego, California. Mr. Pride attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., where he received a full academic scholarship. While at Morehouse, Mr. Pride was a member of the honors program and named to the dean’s list. Mr. Pride graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Having a passion for advocacy, Mr. Pride then attended the University of San Diego School of Law, where he excelled in Advanced Trial Advocacy and was the Vice President of the Student Bar Association. During law school Mr. Pride was also a certified legal intern and worked at the Office of the Alternate Public Defender, where he defended indigent clients against criminal charges ranging from minor misdemeanors to major felonies.
Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Pride accepted a position at a prestigious San Diego law firm where he practiced Employment and Labor litigation. While protecting some of the United States’ largest companies, Mr. Pride gained valuable experience and considerable knowledge in all facets of civil litigation. Armed with this experience, Mr. Pride knew that his true calling was to defend the rights of individuals.
Harkening his fellow Morehouse alumnus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Pride decided to blaze his own trail and start The Pride Law Firm based on the idea that “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” Focusing on Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Employment Law, Mr. Pride employs meticulous attention to detail and zealous advocacy, to protect his client’s rights and eradicate injustice in both state and federal courts.
DJ Kuttin Kandi is a "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar" who was born and raised in Queens, NY and is widely regarded as one of the most legendary and accomplished womxn DJs in the world. Kandi is a disabled Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Queer, Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer.
In 2018, DJ Kuttin Kandi was titled a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level's Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She currently serves as a Site Manager for Next Level. She’s Co-Founder of the newly formed People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation. She is a member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the Hip Hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the famed NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community through Hip Hop), Co-Founder and Board Member of the new DJ Coalition - Freedom Sound DJ's, and Founder, Editor and Host of the podcast Hip Hop Bruha. DJing for over 20 years, Kandi competed in over 30 DJ competitions such as ITF Championships and Vibe Magazine DJ Championships. She is the 1998 NY Source Magazine DJ Champion and for 18 years she held the title as the only womxn DJ to be in the DMC USA FINALs.
Kuttin Kandi has been interviewed and featured in numerous magazines and newspapers such as Source, Vibe, Vogue, YM, Rolling Stones, XXL, The New York Times, The Daily News, and the Vibe Hip-Hop Diva’s book. Kandi has performed all around the world with artists such as Bob James, Kool Herc, Jay-Z, Gangstar, LL Cool J, Mya, MC Lyte, the Roots, Young Gunz, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Black Eyed Peas, Common, Jean Grae, BlackStar, and punk Riot Grrrl group LeTigre, just to name a few.
Kandi has been honored and performed at venues such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden for WNBA’s NY Liberty. She is a known Pop-Culture Political Essayist, written for several anthologies and blogs and has been a Guest Contributing Writer for Colorlines, Racialicious and etc. Kandi and co-Founder of Krip-Hop Nation Leroy Moore, co-developed the Hip Hop for Disability Justice Campaign and co-wrote "Hip Hop & Disability Liberation: Finding Resistance, Hope & Wholeness" for Disability Visibility Project's anthology. Kandi is also the Co-Editor of the book "Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipino/a America" and is currently working on new writing projects such as co-editing a new anthology on Pin[a/x]y Activism to be released Spring 2021.
Kandi is a Midwest Academy Alumni, a 2018 Rockwood Fellow, a 2018 San Diego International Airport Artist-in-Residence with Kristina Wong and Samuel Valdez and has served as an artist-in-residence for U.C. San Diego’s SPACES. When Kandi is not performing she is community organizing, speaking, writing or lecturing. Kandi worked at UC San Diego’s Women’s Center for seven years specializing in social justice & diversity programming and within Student Life at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area. She is a well-known public speaker and lecturer and has spoken at over 150 colleges/universities across the United States. Kandi is also a Co-Founder, Core member and Organizer with Asian Solidarity Collective (formerly Asian for Black Lives San Diego) and part of the Intersectional Feminist Collective. She is also involved with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Today, DJ Kuttin Kandi continues to do community organizing work, organizational development trainings, coaching for liberation and provides various lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, disability justice and etc.
Kandi is proudly conscious-parenting her 2 children with disabilities with her partner. She loves the series "The Walking Dead" and other classic zombie films, spends her leisure time reading political books, prides herself being a techy nerd and claims herself as a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan.
Kandi's pronouns are she/her and "Kandi.”
Laila Aziz is a fierce advocate for economic, social, and racial justice. She is the Director of Operations for Pillars of the Community, where her work focuses on civic engagement, criminal justice reform, and community-building. Laila is currently coordinating the Time Done campaign in San Diego with the Alliance for Safety and Justice. Laila is also an active organizer and member of several community groups related to these same advocacy areas: the DeDe McClure Bail Fund, Moms of Black Boys United, Amend the 13th, and F.R.E.E. S.D.
Araceli Centanino is an adjunct instructor in History at Cuyamaca College, specializing in U.S. History and Chicana/o/x History. Araceli is a proud former community college student, and alum of Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, where she discovered her passion for history. Araceli graduated from UCSD in 2012 with a B.A. in History, and is currently completing her PhD at UCLA, also in History. Her dissertation focuses on the history of policing in Los Angeles, particularly school police and security in Los Angeles Unified School District, from 1945-1985.
A fluent Kumeyaay language speaker, Stan Rodriguez is a Native California Indian dedicated to learning his aboriginal language, and the indigenous songs of the Yuman peoples--and passing them along through speaking engagements, live concert performances, and Native American ceremonies.
Mr. Rodriguez, a Native American Persian Gulf War veteran who served nine years in the U.S. Navy, currently works with colleges, universities, tribal programs, and schools in the Southern California greater San Diego area, in addition to giving public live performances at many cultural events across the United States and Baja California, Mexico. Mr. Rodriguez is currently an Assistant Professor in Kumeyaay Studies at Cuyamaca College. Mr. Rodriguez has a teenage son currently serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.
As Deputy Director of PANA, Homayra Yusufi works closely with the Executive Director to advance the mission and goals of the organization. She leads the team of organizers and advocates with a community-driven approach to advance policies that directly impact refugee communities. Ms. Yusufi joins PANA with over a decade of experience protecting the civil rights of immigrants, refugee and Muslim communities.
Prior to joining PANA, Ms. Yusufi worked as a Senior Policy Strategy Consultant working on a range of policy campaigns. She also served as the Senior Policy Advocate with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she developed the organization’s immigration policy platform and led the immigrant rights integrated advocacy team. During her tenure at ACLU, Ms. Yusufi worked collaboratively to pass multiple pieces of state legislation that provided protections for immigrant communities. She also worked on advancing the civil rights of the Muslim community through her work at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego).
Ms. Yusufi graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Political Science and received her Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. During her time at UC Berkeley, Yusufi was a consultant with the Emery Unified School District working on the intersection of housing policies and student academic outcomes.
Ms. Yusufi was born in Afghanistan and became a refugee at the age of two. Her family immigrated to the United States where they established new lives in San Diego. As a proud mother of two daughters, Ms. Yusufi works tirelessly to build a better world for their future.
My name is Georgia Curry and I am a 22-year-old queer femme student and nanny. In my spare time I like to cook and bake, make art, and try to be as active in my community as I can. I have organized with unions, socialist groups, and grassroots organizations all throughout San Diego. I strive to always channel the revolutionary spirit that lives within myself and others through my work, and create foundations of mutual care and respect.
Shanae James-May is a local native. Raised in South East San Diego and graduated from Mount Miguel High school. A wife and a mother of three and currently Shanae is finishing two degrees Communication & Language Arts and Social & Behavioral Science. While being in school she made it a priority to volunteer in her local community by putting on multiple events that bring the community together. The last event was in Lemon Grove called Umoja (unity in Swahili), during Black History Month, so that the community could see how diverse African Americans are and limit the stigmas associated. She sits on the board of Lemon Grove Community Garden as the Social Media coordinator. She has been victim to many injustices due to the color of her skin and is making sure she stays active to changing the mindset of others by staying true to whom she is. She will be studying Urban Planning in 2021 in hopes to help communities have a better say in what they want in their neighborhoods.
Jesus Suarez is currently a fourth-year pursuing a degree in sociology with the hopes of one day obtaining a Ph.D. in sociology, a law degree, or both. His interest in sociology arose from his most sincere passion for the study of social movements and false consciousness, engaging in social justice work, and working towards the betterment of his community. He has further pursued these passions through his work with various organizations at UC Berkeley such as the Queer Alliance Resource Center, the Berkeley Center for Comparative Anti-Discrimination and Equality Law, the ASUC Student Legal Clinic, the Student Advocate’s Office, and Cal ACLU. Jesus hopes to one day utilize everything he has learned during his undergraduate career to start up a non-profit dedicated to giving back to his community through civic engagement, basic needs support, and educational programming. Ultimately, Jesus’ most fervent wish is to leave this world a little better than he found it.
The AFT Guild, Associated Student Government, Cuyamaca's Student Affairs, and Cuyamaca's Institutional Effectiveness, Success and Equity office