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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.

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