Equity Speaker Series

The goal of the DVC Speaker Series: Education, Equity, and Inclusivity, is to provide safe space to identify, discuss and create solutions towards the academic and social challenges our disenfranchised low-income and communities of color face in order to gain access to equitable education and economic resources.

The Education, Equity and Inclusivity Speaker Series will increase engagement and inclusion across multiple identities; Enhance social equity and institutional access; co-create and support initiatives that promote diversity, social justice, empowerment, and community.

To learn more about DVC's commitment to equity, please read the student equity plan.

Upcoming events

Thi Bui


The Best We Could Do

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 12:30 - 2 pm
Pleasant Hill Campus, Diablo Room

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 
6 pm
San Ramon Campus, Learning Commons

Graphic memoirist Thi Bui will present on The Best We Could Do, a poignant true story portraying her family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to California. This intimate, beautifully composed text sheds light on the refugee experience. Famed author Maxine Hong Kingston has said of Bui’s work, “The Best We Could Do honors Vietnam the way Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis honors Iran.”


Past speakers

March 14: Catherine Kudlick - Understanding Disability through the Lens of Diversity

Catherine Kudlick speaks to a different way of viewing disability, not as an obstacle to be overcome, nor as a source of inspiration, but as an element of human diversity. Dr. Kudlick was born blind and now sees 20 percent of what most people can see, yet she participates in all the activities that others do. Disability can foster ingenuity, excitement and engagement in those who experience it, as it did in her.

February 21: Khalid el-Hakim - Black History 101 - Mobile Museum

Khalid el-Hakim (the “hip hop generation’s Arthur Schomburg”) is returning to DVC with the Black History 101 Mobile Museum featuring some 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia. The museum’s historical context leads up to '68 with original material from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Jim Crow era. Also included in the exhibit is a 45-60 minute multi-media lecture by Professor Griff of Public Enemy who will speak on how that era inspired the work of Public Enemy. The Mobile Museum will be open all day. Khalid El Hakim will be available to answer questions.

November 14: Dr. Keith Edwards - Ending Sexual Violence

Dr. Edwards is a scholar and educator on sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, curricular approaches, and leadership. Over the past 15 years, he has been speaking on college campuses nationally on sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, ally development, leadership, sustainability, and student affairs leadership. Attendees will leave the presentation with a vivid understanding of what we can do to confront the messages around us that foster a culture of violence.

October 18: Sarahi Salamanca - A Road to Activism

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is the Founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap, a mobile app platform that helps undocumented students navigate the necessary resources to access higher education. This is Sarahi’s latest project in a longer trajectory of activism within and for the undocumented community, which have placed her in the spotlight of continued conversations centered on national immigration policy. Sarahi was a Champion of Change at the White House in 2014, has received 2 House of Representatives Awards, and was recently named in Forbes 30 under 30. A former undocumented student who once had to drop out of school to support her family, Sarahi’s personal experience informs her unwavering vision: to help hundreds of thousands of Latino students eliminate the barriers to success and achieve their full potential.

September 14: Dr. Manuel Pastor - Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas

Dr. Manuel Pastor is professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California where he also serves as Director of USC’s program for Environmental and Regional Equity and co-Director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrations Integration (CSII). As a recognized scholar and engaging speaker, Pastor discusses issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. Pastor’s current research is looking at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California – and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S. He brings not only a scholarly perspective to this analysis, but also challenges his audience with optimism and humor about our ability to be part of the evolving landscape of California.

April 12: Casualties of War

Dustin and Kelly-Ann Conover visited DVC and discussed their work with Casualties of War, a group committed to educating and informing the public about PTSD and how to improve support for veterans and first responders who have suffered as a result of their loyal service. 

Sponsors and partners: Student Equity Committee, Student Veterans Alliance Club and DVC President’s Office

March 29: El Comalito Collective

El Comalito Collective (ECC), is a Vallejo-based art gallery and community space that is committed to showcasing underrepresented artists and community through cultural arts programming. Co-founders Edgar and Abel-Arturo will be discussing the role the Arts play within marginalized communities, activism, and the current political climate. They will also curate an exhibition in the DVC Art Gallery of artists whose works reflect the importance of representation of narratives through a de-colonial lens.

Sponsors and partners: Student Equity Committee, Umoja and DVC President’s Office

March 7 and 8: Rosemary Henze

Join us in celebrating women's history month with a screening of Just a Piece of Cloth, a documentary about four Muslim American women from the Bay Area whose choice to wear the hijab sparked debate but also provided an opportunity for education. The half-hour screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q and A session with director Rosemary Henze. As Henze notes, "these stories are not only about Muslim women; they are about all of us and the power of our voices and stories to confront stereotypes about 'the Other'."

November 16, 2016: Brian Copeland

This show is an unrelenting look at a ten-day period in Copeland’s life—the mandatory waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Even in the midst of this tragedy, however, his wonderful sense of the comedy of life does not desert him. Copeland hopes this very personal and ultimately redemptive story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones.

October 18, 2016: Ralph Nader

To kick off the 2016-17 Equity Speaker Series, Ralph Nader will be on campus to discuss his most recent book, Breaking Through Power. In Breaking Through Power Nader makes the case for how the nation can—and must—be democratically managed by communities guided by the U.S. Constitution, not by the dictates of big businesses and the wealthy few.

March 29, 2016: Tres Vidas, featuring Rosa Rodriguez

A chamber music theater work conceived and performed by Core Ensemble. A chamber music theater work for singing actress and pianist based on the lives of three legendary Latin American Women.

March 7, 2016: Pamela Rose

Pamela Rose is a San Francisco jazz and blues vocalist who thrills audiences locally and internationally with her swinging, soulful style. Rose is that rare breed of entertainer who connects solidly with her audience by always delivering a personal and unforgettable musical experience.

February 24, 2016: Dr. Melanie Watkins
Resilience: Cultivating Strength for Future Success

Dr. Melanie Watkins is a Stanford trained, board certified psychiatrist, author, speaker, who lives in California.  She had her son Jonathan at 17 years old and, despite many challenges, held on to her dream of becoming a physician. She specializes in a variety of clinical services including psychiatric evaluations and consultations, medication management, and psychotherapy.  Dr. Watkins has experience in treating anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, substance dependence, and personality disorders.   Dr. Watkins provides support for family members and friends of mentally ill patients who require hospitalization and/or ongoing support. She enjoys treating adolescents and adults. She works in a variety of settings: hospitals, jails, psychiatric emergency rooms, and residential treatment facilities. She is the author of three books and has written several journal articles on mental health.

May 5, 2015: Shakti Butler
A Bold Dream: Creating a World That Works for Everyone

Filmmaker and racial justice educator Shakti Butler, PhD is a master at inviting people to see themselves as indelibly connected to each other and the world we live in. Dr. Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. Her work invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of social justice issues.

This workshop is directed towards building the kind of discourse, reflection and exploration that can open doorways into transformative learning, address cultural narratives and work towards building sustainable change. This session is designed to reframe and deepen the conversation on race, along with its intersectional relationships, that include other forms of oppression. Participants will gain a practical framework for understanding and deconstructing systemic racial inequities, for creating positive dialogue and for building skills that allow us to continue the discussion.

March 18, 2015: Tyrone C. Howard
Race, Equity, Justice and Education

In this interactive session, UCLA Professor Tyrone C. Howard, author of the best selling book “Why Race and Culture Matters” will outline some of the biggest challenges facing youth of color in today’s educational context. In addition, Professor Howard will also discuss viable intervention, strategies, and solutions that can be taken at the institutional, community and individual level to disrupt chronic disparities. This address will be relevant for students, faculty, staff and concerned community members whose works are focused on educational access and equity.

Professor Tyrone C. Howard is a Professor of Education at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ Urban Schooling Division. He is also the Director of Center X, which is a consortium of urban school professionals working toward social justice and educational equity in transforming Los Angeles schools. He is also the Director and Founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA. Dr. Howard has been a member on the UCLA faculty for the past 14 years. Prior to his tenure at UCLA, he was a faculty member in the College of Education at The Ohio State University.