A conference to examine the intersecting realities of normative violence and everyday resistance in communities will be held at Fresno State from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at the Henry Madden Library (Rooms 2127, 2206 and 3212).

Student activist-scholars will explore gender, race and sexuality through topics such as: cultural representation, history, literature, film, social media, politics and the California State University system at the Gender, Race, and Sexuality Undergraduate Conference.

It’s the first of its kind undergraduate conference on the Fresno State campus, and was organized by women’s studies majors and minors as part of a two-unit course. Dr. Katherine Fobear, an assistant professor of women’s studies and conference committee coordinator, said the purpose of the student-run conference is to help students develop skills, gain experience and feel like they are a part of a scholar community.

Over 70 students from across the CSU system submitted their research hoping to be chosen as presenters. Nine women’s studies students combed through all of the submissions and chose those that best fit the conference dialogue.

“It speaks to, that there are fewer opportunities for undergrads to present their work,” Fobear said. “So there is a demand, need and interest for this. I wanted to provide an opportunity for students to present their work because they do amazing work in their classes.”

Several of the Fresno State students organizing the conference will have the opportunity to present their own work. Students from the San Francisco State, Chico State, Long Beach State, CSU San Marcos, CSU Dominguez Hills, Sonoma State, San Diego State, Cal Poly and the University of Richmond in Virginia have also been chosen to present.

Dr. Michelle DenBeste, dean of the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State, will give introductory remarks, followed by Professor Aileen Rizo, a voice for equity, inclusiveness and diversity, who will deliver the keynote address. There will also be four interactive blocks of panels throughout the day and tabling by community organizations during the lunch hour. The full list of times, presenters and community organizers are available online.

The Gender, Race and Sexuality Undergraduate Conference is free and open to the public. For more information, contact GRSConference@mail.fresnostate.edu.

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