Engagement. Enlightenment. Empowerment.

Oct. 26, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Highlander Union Building (HUB) 302 | UC Riverside



The UC Riverside Women’s Resource Center and the Planning Committee welcome you to PERSIST 2018, the Women’s Political Engagement Conference at UCR!

At this conference, you’ll hear from inspiring and experienced political leaders who will share their wisdom and advice for how you can persist and engage in the political realm.

Whether you're interested in running for office, working for an elected official or a non-profit, becoming a lobbyist, media professional, consultant or activist — this conference is designed to help you explore further opportunities for engaging in the political arena.

Workshop themes include everything from feminst activism and LGBTQ representation, to policy issues impacting gender justice and a “Run Women Run” panel.

Whether you’re making a plan for entering the political arena, or just wondering what you can do to create change right now, this conference will help you see your next steps clearly.

Women — especially women of color — are immensely underrepresented at the federal, state and local government leadership levels. This conference aims to highlight that, and is open to all genders for attendance and participation.


Award-Winning Columnist
and Publisher
Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds

California Assemblymember
Wendy Carrillo

Second District Supervisor
of San Bernardino County
Janice Rutherford

Vice Chair California State
Board of Equalization
Fiona Ma

Lam Consulting Group
Annie V. Lam

Palm Springs
City Council Member
Christy Holstege

Palm Springs
City Council Member
Lisa Middleton

City Council Member
Tonya Burke


9:30–10 a.m. – REGISTRATION & REFRESHMENTS – HUB 302 Lobby

10–10:20 a.m. – CONFERENCE WELCOME – HUB 302


Director of Women's Resource Center Denise Davis, UCR’s Associate Chancellor Christine Victorino and UCR’s Assistant Vice Chancellor of Governmental and Community Relations Elizabeth Romero

Location: HUB 302

10:20–11:20 a.m. – KEYNOTE SPEAKERS – HUB 302


California Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo

Wendy Carrillo was elected to serve in the California State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 51st Assembly District, which is home to close to 500,000 residents in the City of Los Angeles, incorporated East Los Angeles and includes some of the most historic and iconic communities in the city. Prior to being elected to office, Assemblymember Carrillo was a broadcast journalist for 12 years, covering human rights, global conflict and U.S. politics. She immigrated to the United States as a young child during El Salvador’s Civil War and is a first-generation American with Salvadoran and Mexican heritage.

Assemblymember Carrillo received her master’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Southern California (USC).


Award-Winning Columnist & Publisher Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds

Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds is the publisher of Black Voice News and founder of Voice Media Ventures, a strategic media and content creation firm. She was elected to the James Irvine Foundation board in 2018 and serves as President-Elect of the California News Publishers Association. She has also published scholarly articles on 20th century Black women writers.

Dr. Brown-Hinds received her doctorate degree in English Literature with an emphasis in African-American literature and culture from the University of California, Riverside (UCR), where she currently teaches a course connecting students in media and the arts with the broader community.


Second District Supervisor of San Bernardino County Janice Rutherford

Janice Rutherford was elected to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2010, where she has focused on improving transparency and ethics, guiding the county’s pension system, and balancing economic opportunity with responsible environmental stewardship. Her passion for community service started as a young girl when her Girl Scout troop completed watershed clean-ups and worked with children with developmental delays. By high school, she was organizing fellow students to lobby the legislature for education funding. In college, she worked for a local Assemblyman on alternative fuel vehicles and other transportation technologies. She has also volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and served 10 years on the Fontana City Council.

Second District Supervisor, Rutherford is an alumna of UCR and received her master’s degree in American Politics from Claremont Graduate University.


Location: HUB 302

11:20 a.m.–1 p.m. – LUNCH & RESOURCE FAIR – HUB 302


Resource Fair Introductions: 11:20 a.m.


Mentoring Cafe 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Mentors: Monique Pierce, Erin Edwards, Torie Osborn and Tonya Burke

The Mentoring Café is a speed-mentoring program aimed at inspiring historically underrepresented/underserved populations that are interested in public service and social activism within the public sector.

Mentors will provide an overview of their professional journey and explain how they “answered the call” of public service in their careers. They will also be given take-home lists of participants to continue engagement with students, and are encouraged to give additional time as a mentor to students in their community.

Mentees will have the option to move from table-to-table, connecting with multiple mentors. Mentees will learn about how mentors got their start in government/politics/advocacy, what interests them the most about their job, what exciting projects they are currently working on and why public service matters to our society.


Lunch 12:30 p.m.

Lunch Speakers 12:30 p.m.

Student Panel with members of PPGA, IGNITE and ASUCR

Moderator: Jacque Casillas, Planned Parenthood


Location: HUB 302

1–1:50 p.m. – BREAKOUT SESSION 1

The Women’s Policy Institute: Using Policy to Promote Gender Justice in California - HUB 260

Presenter: Elizabeth Ayala

Speakers: Erica Wilson, Starting Over Inc. and All of Us or None Riverside (WPI-Local Class of 2018), Naomi Soto-Steidle, Principal at Umbrex and Co-host of the podcast Polilogue (WPI-State Class of 2014) and Desiree Sanchez, Community Engagement and Policy Advocate at ACLU of Southern California (WPI-Local Class of 2018)

Meet The Women’s Policy Institute (WPI). They train cis and trans women, and gender queer people in grassroots organizations how to use legislation and other policy tools to promote gender justice in a variety of areas. WPI focuses on ensuring economic security for low-income cis and trans women, and gender queer people. Hear from panelists about how the WPI works and about their own policy projects as WPI fellows.

Location: HUB 260

The Hillary Effect - HUB 355

Roundtable Discussion with: Jennifer Merolla, Ivy Cargile, Rachel Van Sickle-Ward and DC Lozano

A'Shanti Gholar, political director of Emerge America, states in describing a surge of female candidates after the 2016 election, "A lot of people are calling all these women running for office the Trump Effect. I disagree with that. I call it the Hillary Effect.” Come hear from editors and contributors of a forthcoming book about Hillary Clinton’s legacy and impact — especially as it relates to women and politics.

Location: HUB 355

Want to Change the World? Work locally. The hidden influence of Boards and Commission - HUB 269

Presenter: Josephine Young

This session will explore the roles and responsibilities of the various local agencies and their roles and responsibilities. It will outline steps to prepare oneself for applying and getting appointed to key boards and commissions and identify ways in which one can influence the future of our communities.

Location: HUB 269

2–2:50 p.m. – BREAKOUT SESSION 2

IGNITE: Declare Your Ambition - HUB 268

Presenter: Dalila Valdez

Come declare your ambition with IGNITE! This interactive workshop will address the barriers young women uniquely face and give you the tools to declare your ambition for political leadership. Women make up 52% of the U.S. population, yet hold under 25% of elected offices. Come and declare your path with IGNITE!

Location: HUB 268

Run Women Run: Emerge California #expectus - HUB 260

Speakers: Erin Edwards, Tonya Burke and Giselle Sorial

Emerge California works to increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training, and providing a powerful network. Come hear from Emerge CA alums about the benefits of this program.

Location: HUB 260

Palm Springs City Council: LGBTQ Representation in Politics - HUB 269

Moderator: Jacqueline Lopez

Speakers: Council Members Christy Holstege and Lisa Middleton

Palm Springs made history in 2017 when Council Members Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege were elected. Their victories made Palm Springs the only city in California to have a City Council made up entirely of members of the LGBTQ community. Council Members Holstege and Middleton will join us to reflect on what this means for their community, and talk about the challenges, obstacles and opportunities they’ve experienced.

Location: HUB 269

¡Seguimos en la Lucha! We Continue in the Struggle! - HUB 355

Moderator: Jacquelyn Gonzalez

Panelists: Lauren Perez of SAG AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), Violeta Aguilar-Wyrick of SEIU 121 RN (Service Employees International Union Registered Nurses) and Yesenia Gonzales of UFCW 1167 (United Food & Commercial Workers)

Dolores Huerta, labor organizer and leader of the Farm Worker’s Union during the 1960s said, “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.” Engage with today’s labor organizers and leaders — who continue to fight for all working people to be treated fairly, with decent paychecks and benefits, safe jobs, dignity, equal opportunities and much more!

Location: HUB 355

3–3:50 p.m. – BREAKOUT SESSION 3

The Intersection of Art and Politics: Aesthetics of Campaigns and Activism - HUB 260

Speakers: Jordan Lambert, Jazmin Tamias, Larissa Gomez Vazquez and Danielle Giudici Wallis

Art has the ability to engage, inspire and transform. Come learn from artists of various genres about how they have applied their work to the world of politics and activism.

Location: HUB 260

It’s Your Turn: Running for Office 101 - HUB 269

Presenters: Close the Gap Executive Director Susannah Delano and Expert on Women’s Leadership and Corporate Communications Ennette Morton

“It’s Your Turn” will lay out the basics of running for office. What factors should go into your decision of when and where to run? Are you personally prepared? Is it worth it? How can you avoid common pitfalls? Where are the strengths in your network and how can you leverage them to compete? What are the key policy areas where you need chops in order to effectively serve your district? What does a winning campaign look like? Get answers to all these questions and more from two veterans of the political world.

Location: HUB 269

A Report on the Status of Women in the Inland Empire - HUB 355

Presenters: Tina Aoun and Dalila Valdez

The Report on the Status of Women in the Inland Empire is the first of its kind for the region. This presentation will examine women’s status in educational attainment, economic well being, domestic violence and poverty. The political power of women is also examined through an analysis of descriptive representation amongst elected officials in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Policy recommendations will also be shared — brainstorming and advice will be encouraged during this presentation. We hope that together, we can find creative solutions to advance the status of women in the Inland Empire.

Location: HUB 355

4–4:20 p.m. – SNACK & NETWORKING BREAK – HUB 302

4:20–5:30 p.m. – CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS – HUB 302


Vice Chair California State Board of Equalization Fiona Ma

As a member of the State Board of Equalization (BOE), Vice Chair Fiona Ma represents the Second District, which serves over 9.5 million people. Fiona has supported or sponsored a variety of legislation geared towards helping women and families, such as legislation to create an income tax checkoff box to provide funding to help erase the rape kit backlog in California, supported a tax break for female sanitary products, protected children from dangerous chemicals called phthalates, established the Nurse Family Partnership pilot program, advocated for paid sick days to help working families and co-authored a bill to prevent school bullying by requiring school officials to report student harassment that could lead to student expulsion. She also authored the “Sin by Silence” bills to help victims of domestic violence — today, 100 women are free thanks to that legislation.

Chairperson Ma received her master’s degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University.


Lam Consulting Group Annie V. Lam

Annie V. Lam, principal of the Lam Consulting Group, is a recognized expert in public and nonprofit service. She is well known for her strategic approach to enhancing and revitalizing organizations. In this capacity, she leads four organizations with complementary missions: APIs Mobilize, the League of California Cities Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus, the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus and the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Institute. A central focus of her work is on leadership and pipeline development.

Lam received her master’s degree in Public Administration, with honors and certification in public policy, from the University of Southern California (USC).


Location: HUB 302


Complimentary parking for the Persist conference will be in Lot 24. It is about a 10 minute walk from Lot 24 to the conference location, so please plan accordingly.



To the Conference Committee:

Thank you so much to everyone who gave their time and expertise to help make this conference a reality. Your contribution will positively impact and empower women as they prepare to enter the political realm and change the world.

Denise Davis – Director, Women’s Resource Center, UCR

Nathaly Martinez – Program Coordinator, Women’s Resource Center, UCR

Elizabeth Romero – Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government and Community Relations, UCR

Tina Aoun – Director, Middle Eastern Student Center, UCR

Jacquelyn Gonzalez – Interim Director of Federal Relations, UCR Governmental and Community Relations

Dr. Jennifer Merolla – Professor of Political Science, UCR

Mark Dunn – Administrative Assistant, Women’s Resource Center, UCR

Monique Pierce – Office of Congressman Mark Takano

Carmen Cuevas – Office of Assemblymember Jose Medina

Jacque Casillas – Community and Government Relations Manager, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest


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Persist 2018 is brought to you by:

Women's Resource Center Middle Eastern Student Center Women's Resource Center Women's Resource Center UCR Political Science Highlander Empowerment Referendum Asian Pacific Student Programs Chicano Student Programs UCR Governmental and Community Relations LGBT Resource Center Undocumented Student Programs Native American Student Programs African Student Programs
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