How do I build the life I want to build? How do I create the space around me to make that structure strong enough to withstand the things that it might need to withstand?
As students and faculty from California State University, Dominguez Hills and local high schools including Fremont, Firebaugh, Crenshaw, and Lynwood High School, sat in a nearly packed Loker Student Union ballroom, speaker Tricia Rose challenged students with difficult questions for the university’s first Women’s Conference on March 7 titled “Students as Architects of Their Own Lives.”
Hosted by the newly reopened Women’s Resource Center, the conference kicked off Women’s History Month with a morning keynote address from Helen Iris Torres, executive director of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and an afternoon keynote from Rose, an esteemed scholar and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Breakout sessions followed both of the day’s speakers. “Women and Leadership” and “The Effects of Language on Women’s Self-Esteem” were just a few of the topics discussed by numerous panelists such as Jasmine Gray (Class of ’12, B.A., communications), CEO of Image is Everything Public Relations, and Khaleah Bradshaw, admissions supervisor in the Office of Admissions and Records at CSU Dominguez Hills.
Women’s Resource Center Director Jenny Whyte discussed the design for the engaging breakout sessions.
“[The] breakout sessions are more about getting them tools that they can use in their lives to try and take control over whether it’s their academic success, or their personal lives,” Whyte stated, “Whatever it is, that’s what we’re all about.”
According to Arnecia Bryant, associate director of CSU Dominguez Hills Loker Student Union and Women’s Conference committee member, the Women’s Conference committee looked at women’s emotional and physical well-being as one of the main objectives for the conference.
“On our campus we do serve a majority population,” Bryant said, “ [It’s] almost 70% women on this campus so it is critical that we take and immerge into the issues that are facing women because our majority is women. What we did is we looked at how we can target things that women were going through.”
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Wyahee Tucrkile is a freshman majoring in Communications.