Persist 2021: Women's Political Engagement Conference

OCT. 29 | 5–8:30 P.M.
OCT. 30 | 9 A.M.–1:30 P.M.

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This conference strives to prepare women for engagement in the political realm.




The UC Riverside Women’s Resource Center and the Conference Committee welcome you to the fifth annual Persist: Women’s Political Engagement Conference at UCR. The 2021 agenda will bring you closer to visionary female leaders and their allies! We're hoping that a day spent surrounded by powerful messages from politically-active women will inspire you to persist with your goals of getting involved in the political realm. Whether you're interested in running for office, working for an elected official or non-profit, becoming a lobbyist, media professional, consultant or activist — this conference is designed to enlighten you and empower you to get engaged in the political arena. Come get the tools you need to create the change you want. #PersistUCR




DAY ONE: Friday, Oct. 29

  • 5–5:30 p.m. Welcome

    An introduction to Persist 2021 from Denise Davis (Director of UCR’s Women’s Resource Center), land acknowledgement, Christine Victorino (Associate Chancellor), Patricia Lock Dawson (Mayor, City of Riverside), Gaby Placensia (Councilwoman, City of Riverside Ward 5)

  • 5:30–6:45 p.m. Climate Justice & Intersectionality Panel

    Jade Sasser PhD (PhD Professor of gender and environmental studies Author of On Infertile Ground), Jacqueline Patterson (Founder and Executive Director at The Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership, Cesunica Ivey Phd (PhD Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department), Ana Baptista PhD (Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management graduate program at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment)

  • 6:45–7:00 p.m. Opening Speakers

    Erin Edwards, (Councilwoman, City of Riverside, Ward 1)

  • 7:00–7:30 p.m. Opening Speakers

    Senator Sydney Kamlager, Serving in the California State Senate representing Senate District 30

  • 7:30–8:30 p.m. Networking

    Join us via the Networking tab in Hopin to meet other like-minded individuals!

DAY TWO: Saturday, Oct. 30

Break Out Sessions are open to all Persist attendees. Access links to each session are provided in the descriptions below.
  • Breakout Session: Making Our Activism Accessible

    If your activism isn’t accessible, it isn’t inclusive. Learn how you can identify potential barriers to access and implement methods to make events more accessible and inclusive.

  • Breakout Session: Exploring Free Speech and Civic Engagement

    Are you addressing the problems facing your community? Join this talk about civic engagement and free speech to learn about these critical tools for creating change.

  • Breakout Session: Advocacy, Partnership and Solidarity: Actions by System Impacted and Formerly Incarcerated Womxn of Color

    Our presentation will focus on the impacts that the carceral system has on us as system impacted and formerly incarcerated students and more specifically, the effects the carceral system has on womxn of color. We also aim to shed light on the work that USI does within UCR to make sure that we are actively fighting for more inclusive spaces that have students like us in mind. Towards the end of our presentation, we would like to have a discussion and allow folks to share their stories as we create and build this space for us and by us.

  • Breakout Session: Running for Office 101 #THISISEMERGE

    This session will provide an overview of Emerge California that includes our work to recruit, train and support Democratic women who want to run for office.

  • Breakout Session: Women in Politics

    Facilitator: Camille Gix and Faith Garcia
    We will redefine our mission statements and dig deeper into the idea of nonpartisanship in IGNITE. We will reconnect with our roots and understand WHY we do what we do and the importance of women in politics. You'll leave inspired, connected to your "why" and connected with your fellow allies.

  • Breakout Session: R’Kids Meet & Greet

    Learn about the legislative initiatives R'Kids is working on and how non-parenting students can support.

Mentor Café is open to UCR students only. Please check your email for a message from WRC that includes instructions for connecting to the Mentor Café.
  • Mentor Café: Isabela "Isa" Pérez (she/her/ella)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Isabela Pérez

    Isabela Pérez is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology department at the University of California, Riverside and the GSA Diversity and Inclusion Academic Liaison (GSA DIAL). Throughout her time in the doctoral program, Isabela has contributed to university-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. In the area of research, Isabela is actively invested in understanding and improving the social conditions that impact migrant communities.

  • Mentor Café: Leidy Macias (they/them)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Leidy Macias

    My work and passion have revolved around the undocumented and LGBTQ+ community — specifically how our identities intersect when seeking resources. I currently co-own a business, (@KaleidoscopeCultured), and we are proudly undocu-queer owned. We focus on providing space for the community to enjoy art and promoting our right to healing. Currently, with a degree from UC Riverside in U.S. History and Political Science, I am in the process of applying to graduate schools to further my studies on Latinx immigration and resource inaccessibility in the U.S.

  • Mentor Café: Rosa (she/they/ella)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Rosa Martinez Castillo

    My name is Rosa Martinez Castillo (she/they/ella) and I am a recently graduated UCR alum, class of 2021. I’m a Chicanx immigrant from Puebla, Mexico, and am currently in grad school to get my Masters of Library and Information Science. I currently work at the WRC as a graphic designer and as a producer for the Persist Podcast. I am a strong believer in social and economic equality and justice. I am a proud intersectional feminist, proud LGBTQ+ member, and my community is the most important thing to me!

  • Mentor Café: Jessica Quintana (she/her/hers)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Jessica Quintana

    I am a Latina, queer, higher education professional currently working at UC Riverside as the Academic Internships Coordinator for the UCDC/UCCS programs. I have worked in higher education for about 6 years, and I focus on providing students with experiential learning opportunities. I support students in their career journey to apply the subject matter from the classroom into the real working world. I have also been an advocate for providing resources to marginalized populations post-college as well as a Career Coach. I am very involved with connecting with others in the community as a way to volunteer and learn from other strong women of color and I look forward to giving back to the higher education community where I developed into the person I am today.

  • Mentor Café: Guadalupe Saldivar (she/her/hers)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Guadalupe Saldivar

    Guadalupe Saldivar is a Career Specialist at the University of California, Riverside. She actively strives to support college students in achieving their career and leadership goals. She has presented her research focused on women's leadership at the American Hispanic Association of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Association. She is also a reviewer/editor for the Journal about Women in Higher Education (NJAWHE).

  • Mentor Café: Jacqueline Hernandez M.Ed. (she/her/ella)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Jacqueline Hernandez

    Proud first-generation Chicana and mother-scholar. Dedicated mentor, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Enthusiastic supporter of the social and professional development of students.


  • Mentor Café: Yvonne Chamberlain-Marquez (she/they)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Yvonne Chamberlain-Marquez

    Yvonne is an exiting senior majoring in history & gender & sexuality studies. A long time IE resident, she identifies as a parenting student, first generation, and queer. At UCR, Yvonne has been active with R'kids, Diversity Council, and the Equity and Opportunities Referendum Committee in addition to her advocacy work in the Women's Resource Center. In the community, Yvonne and her family do work with mutual aid, climate justice, and labor advocacy groups.

  • Mentor Café: Laura Sosa (she/her)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Laura Sosa

    Laura Sosa is a proud alumnus of UC Riverside (class of 1996) who has spent a career fighting for the rights of women in the field of reproductive rights and family planning. After pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health (MPH) at UCLA she served in the non-profit sector at organizations including the California Family Health Council and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. There she worked to support women and families in their access to fundamental health services. In 2001, she began teaching at California State University, San Bernardino for the Department of Health Science and Women’s Studies where she continues to teach today. In 2018, she was thrilled to “come home” to UCR, taking a position as the Academic Internship Coordinator for the School of Public Policy. She is active on campus supporting students and is currently serving on the development committee for UCR’s proposed Masters in Public Health (MPH) program.

  • Mentor Café: Cassandra González-Kester, (she/her/hers)
    Persist 2021 Speaker Cassandra González-Kester

    Cassandra González-Kester currently serves as Communications Director for Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes. Committed to making a difference in our communities, Cassandra also serves on the City of Riverside's Budget Engagement Commission, which advises the Mayor and City Council on spending and policy priorities. Since 2019, she has been elected a Delegate to the California Democratic Party. She is actively involved in local, state, and national political campaigns. Cassandra is a first-generation college graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside. She resides in the City of Riverside with her husband, son, and daughter.




To check out Instagram posts from previous year's conferences, visit #PersistUCR


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