Stronger Than You Seem: Discovering Your Voice As a Means of Empowerment
Educational inequality. Racial injustice and systemic racism in our institutions. Immigration policy reform. Homophobia and violence against trans people. Access to healthcare. These are just some of the problems our society grapples with today. It can be overwhelming to think of all the work that lies ahead of us. What role can one person play in making the world better?
In this workshop, we will learn how to find our voice so that we can be effective advocates for justice, and to empower others to do the same. How have our experiences helped to shape our perspective? What privilege(s) do we wield as we make our way through the world? How do we gain strength from challenges and obstacles? As we begin to understand ourselves better and how we engage with others, we will become better advocates and help to empower others to discover their voice. In so doing, we will help bring about the progress we seek.
Estuardo R. Ponciano is the Executive Director of Community Programs at UC Irvine School of Law (“UCI Law”). Prior to this role, Estuardo was a founding staff member in the UCI Law Admissions Office when the school opened in 2009, first in the capacity of Assistant Director and later as Director of Admissions. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University (“BYU”) Law School in Provo, Utah. Estuardo also earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from BYU. Prior to joining UCI Law, he was the Legal Help Line Manager at the Los Angeles office of Lambda Legal, a national LGBT civil rights organization. Estuardo currently serves on the Law School Admission Council’s (“LSAC”) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and chairs the Pipeline Initiatives Subcommittee. He also serves on the Equality Conference work group and has previously served on LSAC’s SOGI Subcommittee and the Minority Network. Estuardo sits on the advisory boards for the Pathway to Law programs at Chaffey College, East L.A. College, Rio Hondo College, Riverside City College, and Santa Monica College. He also serves on the advisory committees for the Paralegal Studies Department at Fullerton College and the Elizabeth G. Macias Legal Studies Academy at Santa Ana High School. As a first-generation college student, Estuardo was the beneficiary of a pipeline program. He has since been an advocate for pipeline and outreach programs in furtherance of educational equity and access for underserved student populations.
The Regional Student Diversity Summit (RSDS) is an all day in-person diversity conference for Southern California high school students. This conference focuses on respectful dialogue, the relationship between current and systemic issues, and the potential youth have to catalyze change. Participating students engage with keynote speakers, lecturers, and workshop leaders from around the country on topics of social justice and inclusion at all levels, and build connections between themselves in affinity spaces. RSDS is a grassroots initiative, organized by students of San Diego, California's leading educational institutions.
HOW CAN I SIGN UP?
On the menu bar, there is a sign up button at the middle of the screen. It will take you to the sign up form. Make sure to complete the Permission Slips!!
DO I NEED TO HAVE PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE OF DEI ISSUES AND PRACTICES?
Being a part of the DEI community does not call for any previous experience. You do not need to have gone to previous conferences to attend this one. All we need is an open mind, a commitment to change, and a readiness for respectful dialogue.
School-appropriate casual wear!
WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THIS CONFERENCE?
We designed this conference with the purposes of educating – not only through stellar workshop leaders, but through conversations with each other. We truly hope you will leave this conference and have a wider world view, an aptness for understanding, and an aspiration to make change in yourself, your communities, and the greater world.