The Center for Service in Action is bringing Angela Davis to Cal Poly as the keynote speaker for the 18th Annual Change the Status Quo: Social Justice Leadership Conference on Feb. 29. 

The conference will feature a variety of workshops covering social justice and race issues. Davis brings years of both academic and personal experience to these topics, and her keynote address will kick off the student-led conference. 

“We are super fortunate to bring her to our conference and she will help bring a lot of inspiration to what it takes to be an activist and the challenges that come with that,” conference co-chair Monique Rey said. 

Davis has worked as an educator for the majority of her life, at both a public college level and as a larger public speaker for issues related to race and social justice. She has extensive experience with teaching at a college level in California with past roles at schools like UCLA, Syracuse University and Stanford.

In the past 15 years, she has spent her time teaching as a distinguished professor emerita of history of consciousness and of feminist studies, focusing on the social range of problems associated with the generalized criminalization of marginalized communities throughout the world. 

Davis integrates her own experience of spending eighteen months in jail and on trial after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She has also conducted a variety of extensive research and published work on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. 

The Center for Service in Action plans to utilize Davis’s experience in both the issues at hand and in public speaking to help open the conference’s events and inspire students to go out and be part of something bigger.

The conference will start at 8 a.m. in the Multi-Activity Center at the Associated Students, Inc. Recreation Center. Tickets to attend Davis’s keynote address cost $10 for students and $15 for the public and include breakfast.

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