Credit: Center for Service in Action | Courtesy

The Center for Service in Action is holding the 20th Change the Status Quo leadership conference on Feb. 26 in the Multi-Activity Center. The Center for Service in Action has reviewed and accepted 20 applications for the conference workshops. 

The Change the Status Quo conference is a social justice leadership conference designed to educate and empower students on different social justice topics. The day-long event consists of a keynote speaker and several workshops held throughout the day. 

The conference was started in 2002 by Cal Poly students in order to educate the Cal Poly community on a variety of issues. The workshops coincide with specific themes relating to social justice issues and topics. The workshops can be run by faculty, staff, students, organizations and community members. 

This year the workshop themes are racial justice and allyship, service, leadership, social justice, intersectionality, socio-economic justice, gender and sexuality, environmental justice and jewish culture and antisemitism.

“Our hope is that through different workshops, [students] will be provided with new information and feel actually empowered to go make a difference,” Cal Poly alum and Center for Service in Action executive board member Ava Farriday said. “We really encourage all people who are interested to register for the conference.” 

In addition to the workshops, the Change the Status Quo conference features a keynote speaker. According to the Change the Status Quo website, the keynote speaker series aims to encourage participants to take action on everything they have learned in the conference. 

This year the keynote speaker is Hoda Katebi who is a writer, community organizer and creative educator. Katebi is the founding member of an apparel manufacturing workers co-operative called Blue Tin Production. It’s run by immigrant, refugee and working-class women of color and serves to improve labor and sustainability standards. She is also the host of a digital book club called #BecauseWe’veRead and involved in several other projects.  

Students have also been able to get involved in the event by helping with the planning committee or volunteering the day of the conference. Additionally, Farriday said students can meet and get involved with different clubs and local organizations while at the conference. 

“We do really want students to engage with it,” Farriday said. “It’s a really great way to learn new information outside of a classroom, engage with your peers on a variety of issues, think critically about different topics and really just kind of expand yourself and your learning.” 

Registration details and tickets are available now through Eventbrite

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