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Cal State San Bernardino Hosts Conference on Social Activism

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Becoming more active in the community as a way of spurring social change will be the topic of a daylong workshop Nov. 23 at Cal State San Bernardino.


Organizers say a primary goal of the Activism Conference, sponsored by the university’s Women’s Resource Center, is to encourage students on campus to get involved in effecting social change, but the event also is open to members of the public who hope to improve their communities.
Admission is free to CSUSB students, faculty and staff (proof of ID required), and $10 per person for the public. Parking at the university is $1.50 per vehicle.
Participants can choose two sessions, each lasting 45 minutes, in any of the following areas: using the Internet as an organizing tool, community involvement, peaceful protesting, letter writing and press release use, and organizing a community around a specific issue.
The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Union Events Center and features three keynote speakers, Rosa Martha Zarate Macias, Chani Beeman and Sonali Kolhatkar. All three have experience in efforts and organizations that aim to change society for the better, such as advocating for the poor or victims of discrimination, or leading groups that work to improve the community as a whole.
Zarate Macias has dedicated her life to educating and empowering those who live in barrios, particularly within the Latino community. She is the co-founder of San Bernardino-based Libreria del Pueblo, a non-profit group that has become an umbrella organization for a number of programs that serve residents throughout the Inland Empire. Her group’s current focus is the Calpulli Project, which seeks to develop and train community leaders by providing English classes, health and nutrition services and citizenship assistance. She is a veteran of social activism dating back to her childhood when she marched for workers’ rights with her father.
Beeman is a community activist involved in several grass-roots groups in Riverside. A commitment to democratic participation is her primary motivation for becoming involved. She was the co-founder of the Inland Coalition for Peace in the Middle East (1991), the Inland Coalition for Peace and Social Justice, Women Enraged! and the Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability. She has also been involved with Riverside for Reproductive Rights, Solidarity and the Riverside Coalition Against Discrimination.
Kolhatkar is a writer and a morning talk show host on Los Angeles’ Pacifica Radio station, KPFK 98.7-FM, voicing her perspective on news and social issues. She is vice president of the Women's Afghan Mission, a group that works in solidarity with Afghans to help improve health and educational facilities for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Kolhatkar has spoken out about women's rights and human rights in Afghanistan. Her published writing includes “By Any Standards, This is a War Against Afghanistan,” which appears in “September 11th: Feminist Perspectives,” and “The Impact of U.S. Intervention on Afghan Women’s Rights,” which was included in the Berkeley Women's Law Journal summer edition.
To register for the conference, contact the Women’s Resource Center at (909) 880-7203. For more information, contact either the Women’s Resource Center or CSUSB’s Public Affairs office at (909) 880-5007.

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