Intersect Conference

October 5, 2017 | 11am-6pm | Pauley Ballroom

Don’t miss out on the 3rd Annual Intersect Conference!

Open to all UC Berkeley students, staff, faculty and alumni. Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley

The 2017 Intersect Conference is a full day conference open to the UC Berkeley campus community exploring intersectionality, social change, campus climate, empowerment and healing. The 2017 conference will focus on the theme of unlearning.

Conference “unlearning” objectives include:

  • RECOGNIZE. Participants will recognize and challenge the shortcomings of dominant systems of thought that can lead to the recycling of oppressive ideals.
  • EXPLORE. Participant will explore how power, privilege, and intersectional identities shape their ability to build sustainable relationships across difference. This exploration will stretch our thought process to a broader and more inclusive critical lens.
  • ACTIVATE. Participants will use the day’s reflections to challenge stagnant paradigms and continue this process of unlearning and transformation in their daily interactions.

“Intersectionality (or intersectionalism) is the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. An example is black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black female cannot be understood in terms of being black, and of being female, considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.”

Get involved in the conversation!

Please register by Friday, September 29. In order to produce the highest impact, we have capped registration to 200 participants. Registration will take about 5-6 mins to fill out.

For more information please contact us at
In addition to registering for the conference, make sure to RSVP on Facebook for up-to-date information about Intersect Conference 2017.


Conference Agenda

  • 11am – Registration & Resource Fair opens
  • 11:30am – Doors open & Lunch served
  • 11:30-1:15pm – Opening Welcome
  • 1:15-1:30pm – Transition
  • 1:30-3pm – Session A Workshops
  • 3-3:15pm – Transition
  • 3:15-4:45pm – Session B Workshops
  • 4:45-5pm – Transition
  • 5pm – SOL Development Performance

Session A |  1:30pm-3:00pm

Class, Culture & Identity Politics: Using Language to Bridge the Gap
Melissa Charles  |  African American Student Development

The following workshop will explore ways in which language can be both oppressive and liberating with regards to social justice education & identity politics. In particular, the session will focus on the role class (education, access, economic status) plays in one’s attainment of social justice knowledge and credibility when speaking on topics of identity. It will examine how social justice language, theory and terminology of “the academy” can be exclusive and marginalizing for the communities it is meant to serve. It will also describe ways to ensure the social justice/critical race/ethnic studies realms remain accessible to all.

Survivors at the Center: Building Better Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Trainings
Kelly O’Hara and Mukund Rathi  | Berkeley Law- Survivor Advocacy Project

What does it mean to be survivor-centric as we work to educate the campus community about sexual violence and harassment? How can we make prevention and education trainings more comprehensive, intersectional, and sensitive? Which identities are being excluded from these conversations, and how can we bring them in? This round table discussion will invite participants to share their thoughts about current campus SVSH trainings and ideas for future ones. It will be run by the leaders of Berkeley Law’s Survivor Advocacy Project, who are currently developing survivor-centric, trauma-informed know your rights trainings.

white place, Black Space: How Black Students Created a Space of Their Own
Blake Simons  |  Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center

The workshop will examine how the BSU successfully demanded and created the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center. Participants will understand the intersectional approach the BSU took in order to get the space. Participants will also understand how Black Resource Centers makes a more inclusive campus, increases Black retention rates, and also increases the will of Black students to attend UC Berkeley. This workshop will be centered on the many identities that fall under Blackness.

Real Talk: Intersectionality with Campus Leadership
Join us for a special discussion with campus leaders about how intersectionality has shaped their own personal/professional lived experiences.  This interactive session will include a small group reflection activity followed by panel panel discussion with the following campus leaders:

–Karen Nielson, Director, Disabled Students Program
–Sunny Lee, Interim Associate Dean of Students
–Oscar Dubon, Vice Chancellor of Equity & Inclusion
–Kena Hazelwood-Carter, President, Graduate Assembly

Breaking Barriers, Building Solidarity
Anibel Ferus-Comelo  |  UC Berkeley Labor Center and Goldman School of Public Policy

This workshop will provide an introduction to the critical issues of class, race, gender and social justice within the workplace, and highlight the disparities of power between workers and employers. Through short group activities and exercises, it will highlight the need to organize across social identities for social and economic justice. We will explore the role of unions and workers’ organizations as catalysts for progressive change.

Session B  |  3:15pm-4:45pm

Language and its Current Impact on Student Life
Ricky Vides  | Undergraduate Advisor, College of Natural Resources

At arrival students are told they attend the number one public university in the world, and hence, should prepare for grade deflation and weeder courses. The image of students ripped from the ground and tossed away is unsettling. Yet foundation courses such as Chemistry 1A, Biology 1A, and Calculus are frequently categorized in social darwinstic nomenclature.  Is there room in our scientific community to update the language used to describe these courses? What alternative can we explore to empower students who are outside of these traditional molds? With the aid of historical context, can we unlearn the customs and traditions fundamentally rooted in racism and eugenic ideologies?
Inter-sectional Identities: low-income, first generation, non-white, natural scientists.

Real Talk: Intersectionality with Campus Leadership
Join us for a special discussion with campus leaders about how intersectionality has shaped their own personal/professional lived experiences.  This interactive session will include a small group reflection activity followed by panel panel discussion with the following campus leaders:
–Fabrizio Mejia, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Equity & Success
–Mia Settles-Tidwell, Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff, Division of Equity & Inclusion
–Silvia Marquez, Associate Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

What is a Sanctuary School?: Using intersectionality to re-think political frame
Fanna Gamal  |  East Bay Community Law Center and Berkeley Law School
Nicole Bates   |  Legal Services for Children

Today, the term “sanctuary” is a common political frame to identify resistance to racist and xenophobic political conduct. But what is sanctuary? In our quest to resist oppressive regimes and systems, who gets sanctuary and from what? This session will draw on real-life case studies, Critical Race Theory and collaborative process to challenge our understanding of sanctuary in an effort to expand protection and ensure progress for all.

Leadership in an Intersectional World
Khuong Le, Vasundhara Acharya, and Zhen Li  |  Undergraduate students

This discussion panel, composed of participants from different backgrounds, shall serve to explore ideas of leadership in the new intersectional world. Leadership in an intersectional community setting poses unprecedented questions and challenges. and to successfully reconcile differences and address those issues, a leader is required to have an outstanding sense of diversity awareness. How do we build that awareness? And more importantly, how does a leader help his or her community unlearn biases and leave a legacy for a more united future?

2017 Intersect Planning Team
Amber Bundy-Davis, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Yuki Burton, Educational Opportunity Program
Ruben Canedo, Centers for Educational Equity & Excellence
Quincy Jones, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Nicole McIntyre, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Marissa Reynoso, LEAD Center
Ashley Villanueva, Fung Institute​