Conversations that Matter Series
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Proposals for Conversations that Matter series are currently closed.
Please review the guidelines before submitting a proposal.
Past Conversations That Matter
On November 7, 2023, the Office of Inclusive Excellence's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Aswad Allen, had an open student-led converstion with students in CSUSM's LGBTQA Pride Center. On December 6, 2023, The Office of Inclusive Excellence's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Aswad Allen, had an open student-led conversation with student's in CSUSM's Cross-Cultural Center. These converstaions were titled " Conversations with the CDO."
On April 15, 2021, In partnership with Kamalayan Alliance, APIDA-FSA, the Cross Cultural Center, the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the University Library, “From Yellow Peril to COVID-19” is an interactive panel event that will be held to raise awareness of the impact of pandemics both past and present as they relate to racism experienced by the APIDA community.
On April 8, 2021 from 4pm-5:30pm. A virtual lecture by Dr. Susie Lan Cassel, the Gender Equity Center, and Student Health & Counseling Services on structural racism, misogyny, and classism against Asian women.
On February 16,2021 from 1:00pm-2:15pm. A virtual panel discussion with religious leaders, civic leaders and faculty to discuss how/when/if religious entities should play a role in social justice issues. Are these civic matters where we should be on the side of separation of church and state, or are they issues of basic human rights that should matter to all? How do we differentiate "good" vs. "bad" religious intervention? We will be discussing these pertinent issues and more.
On Monday, December 7, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. This session is a continued conversation from the orginal event held on November 9th. In part II we want to engage the audience in their experiences and center questions that move us toward Allyship while providing tools that women can use to support one another more effectively in creating a brave space to engage with our experiences as colleagues at CSUSM.
On Monday, November 9, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. This session will center around a bold and brave spave for women to connect and reflect on their experiences in academia. Our hope is the session will also offer participants an opportunity to engage in the courageous conversation, gain new insights, and practical tools that will equip us to effectively support one another.
The Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Jewish Faculty Staff Association are hosting a panel discussion on Tuesday February 11, from 6pm-8pm in the Kellogg Library Reading Room 5400. This talk will focus on defining anti-semitism, explaining its historical origins and the dangers of anti-Semitism and religious bigotry especially in San Diego county. The goal is to work together to combat these phenomena and to challenge all forms of bigotry. Food will be provided.
The event will feature:
- Tammy Gillies, Director of San Diego Anti-Defamation League
- Rabbi Scott Meltzer, Congregation Ohr Shalom; Lecturer, Religious Studies, San Diego State University
- Mohamed Ahmed, Associate Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University
Insufficient food and a lack of stable housing are major issues for many college students in the U.S. and in the CSU 53,000 students have experienced homelessness in the past year and 104,000 CSU students are experiencing food insecurity. The goal of this discussion is to have:
- A panel examines some of the underlying reasons behind these trends
- Provide resources for students who are experiencing homelessness or food insecurity
- Understanding what AB1314 (Student Financial aid: Cal Grant Reform Act) means for CSUSM students.
The event will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 6:30 -8:00 PM | USU Meeting Rooms 2310 A &B and food will be provided
Please join us Tuesday November 19 from 5:00-7:00 in the USU Ballroom B/D, as we embark on a series of Climate Change related events over the next year. Our kickoff event brings Dr. Megan Jennings from San Diego State University’s Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management. She will be speaking on how we need to adapt to make southern California’s communities and ecosystems more resilient in the face of climate change. In addition to our speaker, we will be discussing what CSUSM is doing around sustainability and climate change and how students can get involved. This event is in partnership with Office of Inclusive Excellence, CHABSS, Safety, Health and Sustainability and ASI. Free food will be provided.
The Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with Community Engagement will host a panel of Cal State San Marcos Alumni in a discussion focused on ways current students can get civically involved and build meaningful careers. This is a non-partisan event, welcome to all.
The Conversations that Matters series and the Context Library series are hosting a panel discussion to complement the Beyond the Stereotype Campaign's exhibit titled Beyond the Stereotype: There is Pride. The panel discussion titled Identities of Pride: Beyond the Steroetype will allow members of the campaign to share their experiences by providing a platform to have an authentic complex conversation regarding sexual orientation and gender diversity. This event will take place on Thursday October 11, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Library Gallery, 3rd floor.
Please join us Wednesday, September 26 @ 11am -1pm in the University Student Union 2310 A/B for a discussion on mental health. This event is for faculty and staff only and will serve as a way that faculty and staff can empower one another to gain a better understanding of mental health at CSUSM while inspiring one another to be empowered to tell their own stories and access resources available to them. Human Resources and OIE are partnering for this event. Lunch will be provided.
Please RSVP through SkillPort and note the Course ID: ilt_CSUSM_ART_IMPACT.
Is the University Killing Free Speech
Freedom of speech is protected in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But, most recently, universities across the nation are debating the extent to which they should tolerate every kind of speech on campus-- even speech that students may find offensive or hateful. Join us for a Conversation that Matters about the role of the university—administration, faculty, staff and students—as CSUSM seeks to fulfill its dual obligations to protect students from harm and to protect the right to free speech. This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and University’s American Democracy Project at California State University San Marcos. Refreshments will be provided.
Political Pioneer and Community Leader Tom Hom
Tom Hom made history by becoming the first Chinese-American, person of color, elected to the San Diego City Council. Later, he won a seat to the California State Assembly. As a successful civic, business, political pioneer and a community leader, Tom helped transform San Diego into the vibrant city it is today. Please join Tom Hom as he talks about his journey while encouraging and giving recommendations to students on how to become political and community leaders. This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with California State University San Marcos History Department, Phi Alpha Theta, History Club and Asian Pacific Islander Faculty Staff Association. Refreshments will be served.
(In)Visible, Insecure, and in College: Critical Perspectives on Homelessness and Hunger at CSUSM
Please join us Thursday, October 20, at 6pm in the University Library Gallery (KEL 3rd fl) for a Conversations That Matter panel discussion about homelessness and food insecurity and the critical link to well-being and academic success of CSUSM students. This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Context Library Series and the (In)Visible Project.
- Bear Guerra, (In)Visible Project photographer
- Nicholas Mortaloni, CSUSM CARE Manager
- Jill Weigt, Sociology professor
- ASI Student Representative
Navigating Towards Trauma Informed Care at CSUSM (Lunch & Learn
This conversation/workshop will talk about issues surrounding students who have experienced traumatic events whether it be abuse, sexual violence, poverty, community violence, car accidents, discrimination, natural disasters, or death of a loved one. Exposure to chronic stress or trauma can have a negative impact on students on how they perform in school, especially if they are dealing with mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression as a result of the trauma.
Through this workshop we can help the CSUSM campus community learn about a trauma informed care approach so that faculty/staff/students can be more aware and intentional on how they can assist students in sharing and processing their experience and refer to appropriate resources which then can lead to a more successful academic career. Learning objectives for the workshop are:
- Having a better understanding about Trauma Informed Care.
- Learning how the brain responds to trauma.
- Learning how to respond in a trauma informed approach.
- Recognizing campus and community resources available to assist students.
Students and Civic Engagement: Using Your Voice
Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and Dr. Stephen Nichols will discuss the importance of student voter participation and civic engagement. Students will learn of the various ways in which they can engage in our democratic processes and become a voice for their communities. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their ideas. This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Office of Legislative Affairs and Associated Students, Inc. Refreshments will be served.
"No, I am Not Good At Math: Looking Beyond The Stereotype"
In honor of Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage month Assistant Professor Dr. Vincent Pham from CSU San Marcos will talk about the model minority myth of Asian students and the negative implications, explore the hardships faced by different Asian ethnic groups on and off camps and discuss future implications of the increasing number of Asians in the United States. This event is sponsored by The Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander Faculty Association.
The ABC's of Sexual Assault
In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM) in April, Student Health & Counseling Center (SHCS): HOPE & Wellness Center in partnership with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, join us for a Conversations that Matter about the ins and outs of a sexual assault forensic exam with a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) nurse. Understand the process of collecting evidence, hear the differences between investigative and non-investigave reporting, and have an opportunity to ask questions. This event will help educate and empower suvivors and friends of survivors about exam and reporting options.
Black/Africana Studies Matter
Presenters Dr. Melina Abdula, professor of Pan-Africana Studies from CSU Los Angeles; Dr. Charles Toombs, professor of Africana, San Diego State University, Dr. Sharon Elise, department chair and professor of Sociology from CSU San Marcos will address the history and the role of Black/Africana Studies in the CSU, including references to the role of Black Studies as a discipline in academe and its impact in relation to other academic discourses as well as referencing:
- Black communities and access to higher education, marginalization of Blacks/African Americans/Africans on campus
- Historical (foundational) role of Black Studies to Ethnic Studies
- Black communities and access to higher education
- Relation of campus/academe to contemporary issues and movements, e.g "Black Lives Matter," enduring poverty and disenfranchisement virulent anti-Black racism and students
This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Sociology Department and the Black Student Union. Light refreshments will be served.
Inequality For All
This event is a screening for the film Inequality for All, Dr. Peter Brownell at the Center on Policy Iniatives will facilitate a conversation following the film. Attendees will learn the current state of wealth distribution, the many contributing factors that have led to the state of income inequality and why it matters. Sponsored by The Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the American Democracy Project.
Hunger and Homelessness: Taking Action
Presenter(s) will share with the audience different ways the community is addressing the issues of hunger and homelessness. The objectives will be: To have a greater understanding of the root causes of homelessness and what are the possible solutions both immediate and long-term, to know who the homeless and hungry are and understand their experiences, to learn about local organizations and opportunities to get involved. Sponsored by Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with Student Life and Leadership and Community Engagement.
Video of Hunger & Homelessness: Taking Acion panel discussion
"Building Cultural Awareness about American Indians: Protocols and Best Practices for Serving American Indians Students?"
Building Cultural Awareness about American Indians: Protocols and Best Practices for Serving American Indian Students is a workshop intended for faculty, staff and students. It will provide a general discussion about myths, facts, tribal sovereignty, regional and cultural differences, cultural identity, historic distrust, issues and challenges that will help better serve American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) students at CSUSM. The event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, in partnership with The California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center.
Video of Building Cultural Awareness presentation
"Love Wins, Whats Next?"
The United State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marriage Equality on June 26, 2015. The case of Oberg fell v. Hodges was a landmark case for the thousands of people who have been advocating for the right to marry their loved ones, and gain access to the rights that come along with marriage. After years of marriage equality being the face of the LGBTQA Rights movement, this program hopes to engage faculty, staff, and students in a conversation about the needs of LGBTQA community post-marriage equality. The conversation will specifically center the needs of trans-women of color who continue to die due to violence, discrimination, and lack of access to work, mental health resources. The event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, LGBTQA Pride Center, and Gender Equity Center.
Video of Love Wins, Whats Next? panel discussion
"From The Neighborhood To Academia"
The event “From Neighborhood to Academia: The Youth-at promise Paradigm will feature Cesar Cruz. “César A. Cruz- From marching 76-straight miles, to hunger striking for 26 days, César has dedicated his life to fighting for justice. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and México and migrated to the U.S. at a young age with a single mother and grandmother. He grew up in South Central L.A. and moved to the Bay Area to study. César graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in History.
For the last 19 years, he has been an educator, most recently serving as Dean of Students at Arise High School in Oakland, CA. He co-founded the independent school, “Making Changes,” out of his home, and has sought to create autonomous education spaces. This event is sponsored by The Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Social Justice & Equity Grant; CHABSS, CEHHS, MEChA, Human Development Department, and National Latino Resource Center, (NLRC) S.T.A.N.D. & the Sociology Department, the Office of Community Engagement, Extended Learning, the Department of Communication.
Video of Cesar Cruz From The Neighborhood To Academia presentation
"Thoughts. Talks. Questions. Beliefs."
Why do we find it difficult to talk about religion? What do we believe? What do we think about what we believe? A panel of students representing various religions and beliefs will respond to questions about their own faiths, and enquire about the perspectives of others. Participants will be asked to share their thoughts on beliefs and to consider the important question, What other conversations should we be having about religion? Light refreshments will be served. This Conversations that Matter Series is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, CHABSS Diverse Dialogues Initiatives, History Department, Muslim Student Association, Hillel, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and Secular Students Alliance.
Video of Thoughts. Talks. Questions. Beliefs. panel discussion
"Cultural Appropriation and Bystander Intervention: Promoting Civility During Triggering Situations"
Abrahan Monzon and Greg Toya will present and facilitate a conversation regarding how to be an active bystander during challenging situations. Lunch will be provided. This Conversations that Matter workshop is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence; the Civility Campaign, the Associated Students, Inc., Gender Equity Center, and the CHABSS Engaging Diversity Dialogues.
"Bindis, Blackface, Cholos, and Cornrows: Exploring stereotypes and cultural mis-appropriation." Student Workshop
A faculty panel, including Dr. Cesar and Caroline Sawyer MA will use the current Beyond the Stereotype Poster campaign to discuss stereotypes and cultural mis-appropriation. All are welcome to attend and participate in the dicussion. A light lunch will be served. This Conversation that Matters workshop is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence; the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative, and the Civility Campaign.
Video of Bindis, Blackface, Cholos and Cornrows panel discussion.
"Being a Man and a Feminist"
Being a Man and a Feminist acknowledges the need for engaged critical dialogue challenging racialized gendered inequities in the classroom and on campus. Advancing a vision of true equality, diversity, and social justice in our classrooms, our curriculums, and on our campus requires that as members of our campus community we engage in a deconstruction of existing masculinites and their interwoven relations with racism, homophobia, classism, and sexism. Faculty, students, and staff are invited to collectively identify new forms of masculinities in line with radical feminist praxis and generate ideas around alternative modes of teaching, knowing, and being in our immediate spaces.
Video of Being a Man and a Feminist presentation & discussion
"Exploring Cultural (mis)Appropriation in the Classroom: Strategies for facilitating class discussions." Faculty Workshop
How do you discuss the many issues raised by the current "Beyond the Stereotype" exhibit? A panel of faculty will provide their insights on present and discuss racial identity stereotypes and cultural appropriation. Participants will be asked to share their experiences and to explore multiple ways to engage difficult dialogues.
Risking Our Forbidden Narratives
The School of Arts presents "Risking Our Forbidden Narratives," a series of short plays written and performed by CSUSM Theatre students. These plays will be held in ARTS 101 on multiple days (see dates below). Witness the dynamic lives of contemporary youth through the writing of six CSUSM students in "Risking our Forbidden Narratives." With narratives on topics ranging from Tinder: the newest form of internet dating, to ever-shifting sexual norms, racial controversies, atheism, and the difficult terrain of cross-cultural communication, you'll laugh, question, and ponder the current generation's point of view on these diverse issues.
Immediately after the play we will have a discussion led by Dr. Cesar Rodriguez deconstructing the play and exploring the issues raised in the play. The discussion is part of the "Conversations that Matter Series". Light refreshments and finger food will be provided. It is recommended individuals see the play before participating in the discussion.
Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the School of Arts Theatre Program, the Engaging Diverse Dialogue Series, and the Civility Campaign.
Rape Culture refers to the pervasive societal attitudes that normalize, encourage, or make light of sexual violence against women. These attitudes, so embedded in our culture as to seem invisible, subtly teach both men and women that women's bodies are the property of men. This conditioning, which is persistent and ever-present in media, results in victim-blaming, the normalization of violence against women, and a lackadaisical approach to combating sexual violence. This event will be an opportunity to discuss rape culture as a campus community, and imagine ways of making our campus a hospitable and safe space.
Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues and the Civility Campaign.
Connor Maddocks of The San Diego LGBT Community Center will lead discussion on Transgender Identities. Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with Associated Students Inc., LGBTQA Pride Center and the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative.
This Time We Call it Ferguson: Racial Shootings, the State and Resistance facilitated by Drs. Bickel, Elise, Glover, Rodriguez, Rolison, and Santos. A broadly encompassing critique of racialized state violence through the lens of Ferguson. Request that all dress in black as a sign of solidarity.
This Time We Call it Ferguson: Racial Shootings, the State and Resistance
Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Sociology Department and the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative.
Veterans and Invisible Disabilities
Joseph Costello of San Marcos VA Vet Center will lead a discussion on Veterans and Invisible Disabilities.
Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with Disabled Student Services and the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative.
I say Hispanic. You say Latino. How did the whole thing start?
- September 29, 2014
- 12PM - 1PM
- USU Ballroom C
I say Hispanic. You say Latino. How did the whole thing start? A lecture by Dr. G. Cristina Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology, U.C. Berkeley. Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the CHABSS Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative.
Freedom of speech is protected in the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But, most recently, universities across the nation are debating the extent to which they should tolerate every kind of speech on campus even speech that students may find offensive or hateful. Join us for a Conversation that Matters about the role of the university administration, faculty, staff and students as CSUSM seeks to fulfill its dual obligations to protect students from harm and to protect the right to free speech. This event is sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and University’s American Democracy Project at California State University San Marcos. Refreshments will be provided.