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Schedule & Programming

WE Con 2016 is a bilingual event: Spanish and English interpretation will be available. Join us Friday, April 1, for an Opening Night Showcase and Women of Color Maker Fair. Saturday is a full day of interactive workshops & panels; see the schedule below.

  • WE Con 2016

  • 9:00 AM

    Registration Opens

  • 10:00 AM

    Presenting: Anna Parris, Aki Imai, Alejandra Spector, Stephanie Rodriguez, Tovah Bree

    We will begin our workshop by defining what “radical mental health” means to us. We will then collectively explore how our mental health intersects with systems of oppression and the role of gender, class, ability, sexuality, the economic system and institutional violence, with a focus on the connection between gender identity and mental health. We will engage in writing ‘Mad Maps’, a document that can be used in the event of an emotional crisis detailing individual wishes for care.

    Presenting: Sangorounke Bey Wanjira Murimi,, Ayana Omilade Flewellen, Natassja Omidina Gunasena, Caitlin OriOriye Maureen O’Neil, Devon Howard, Linda Serna

    What does it mean to claim space as queer bodied holistic and spiritual health practitioners? This panel seeks to create a space for queer people to engage in a dialogue centered on how our experiences shape how we practice holistic medicine and spiritual well-being. The panelists will speak to their specific work claiming space in their respective spiritual practices, reiki, energy work, herbalism, and tarot. It is our hope that this panel will co-create a space with for attendees to share holistic health and spiritual practices.

    Presenting: Laura Yohualtlahuiz Rios Ramirez, Reverend Erika Forbes, Jenni Billingsley, Moni Avila

    This panel will create dialogue that honors motherhood as a rite of passage within community and engages families and allies in creating spaces to support and encourage mothers to continue in their life work. Many times mothers feel out of sorts after giving birth or adopting and find themselves feeling like strangers in their own lives due to balancing work, family and community. This panel will help us talk about what matriarch's need and can provide to communities in order to stay active and present in their work, encouraging coops, check-ins, inclusion etc.

    Presenting: Martha Cotera, Larissa Davila

    Lxs participantes aprenderán y comprenderán los cambios positivos que se han alcanzado con los esfuerzos de mujeres ordinarias por medio de sus experiencias de vida, sus conocimientos educativos y de empleo, su energía, su tiempo y su compromiso para promover las pólizas de gobierno y en las instituciones comunitarias que han cambiado radicalmente las vidas de las mujeres. Lxs participantes también colaborarán para desarrollar un plan para construir coaliciones que toman acción.

    Presenting: Terri Koen

    THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE IN 8110. Start off you day with some light yoga! Part discussion and part workshop, Terri will talk about how human nature forces us to erect protective walls about ourselves and chase after others' approval. Through yoga philosophy and meditation, we can learn to shed those external layers and have peace with our true nature through breathing and the poses themselves.

    Presenting: Members of Youth Rise Texas

    A workshop lead by teens of Youth Rise Texas, a youth group who are directly impacted by parental incarceration, immigrant detention, and deportation. The discussion will be about ways to understand and care for ourselves and our bodies, especially as young women of color.

    Presenting: Koomah

    In this workshop participants will learn about what it means to be intersex. We'll talk about some of the challenges intersex people face as well as what people can do to be more informed and more aware / respectful about different identities.

  • 11:30 AM

    Presenting: Indigo Bey, Kelene Blake-Fallon, Ashely Flashe Gordon, Maria Rios

    A roundtable discussion on reconceptualizing health, focusing in on invisible health concerns, such as ageism, mental health, and racism. This presentation will help participants understand the various dimensions of health, such that health does not only look one way or relate to the physical aspects of our bodies. Moderated by Ayana Flewellen.

    Presenting: Lorraine Bier, Financial Literacy Coalition, Ericka Foster, Financial Literacy Coalition

    Is your wallet empty and your bank account low just days after receiving your paycheck? Do you have more things to buy than dollars to buy them with? Ever hope you can hold on to the end of the month? This workshop will discuss the importance, uses and how-tos of keeping a budget. The hands-on activity of making your personal budget and discussion of how to stay within your spending limits will help you to stop hoping that your money will hold out and start planning to make sure it does!

    Presenting: Jessie Dress, Caleb Luna

    In this workshop we will interrogate our ideas of fatness and fat bodies and where they come from. We will talk about how negative ideas of fatness serve the interests of capitalism and racism, and use this as a starting point for how we can unlearn hostile relationships to our bodies, as well as fatness generally.

    Presenting: Melissa Quintela, Dr. Johanna Moya-Fabregas, Elizabeth Klebart, Lauren Nyc, Orieta Ender

    Breastfeeding is natural, but it also requires a set of skills that need to be learned. The purpose of this workshop is to empower women with knowledge of both the history of an ancient practice AND the practical skills to continue this practice in their own lives. A group of women from all walks of life (mothers, business owners, lactation consultant) will provide a brief history on breastfeeding, an overview of common barriers to breastfeeding and organize small discussion groups in which both techniques for breastfeeding in public are discussed and techniques for nursing into toddler years are discussed.

    Presenting: Yoalli Rodríguez, Elizabeth Juárez, Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

    En este taller nombraremos las diversas caras de la violencia, en especial la violencia hacia las mujeres en México y los Estados Unidos, desde feminicidios hasta las violaciones de derechos humanos en centros de detención para migrantes. Discutiremos las siguientes preguntas: ¿Cómo enfrentamos las violencias? ¿Cuál es el poder de la colectividad? Terminaremos el taller con una discusión sobre pensamientos y soluciones.

    Presenting: Jessica Moreno, Texas Council on Family Violence, Alesha Istvan, Texas Council on Family Violence

    In Their Shoes is an experiential training that presents audiences with the difficult decisions young people face in relationships with abusive partners. The exercise prompts thoughtful discussions about the experience of dating abuse, the intersections of these experiences with race, orientation, and other identities, and presents helpful and not so helpful responses from others.

    Presenting: Koomah, Anjali

    Koomah and Anjali will present about the intersection of alternative feminine identity and ethnicity thru their life experiences of being transgender and intersex individuals striving for acceptance as women in this society. The workshop is aimed at providing basic understanding of gender identities, alternate bodies and embodiment of female acceptance in various ethnic cultures.

  • 1:00 PM


  • 2:00 PM

    Presenting: Cindy Elizabeth, Doyin Oyeniyi, Evelyn Ngugi, Fum Fum Ko

    Black women carving out paths in film + media face multiple obstacles that prevent them from accessing opportunity and experience. and Despite the odds, these panelists have all found success in film and media finding ways to thrive and create art that is authentic to them. In this session, they will share their experiences with you as well as tips and advice informed by the work they have done so far.

    Presenting: Kristen Hogan, Lilia Rosas

    Panelists will explore the history of feminist bookstores as powerful alternative spaces where marginalized communities could access literature that reflected their lived experiences and created connections that transformed movements for liberation. The feminist bookstores of Austin, with an emphasis on Resistencia, will be centered in this conversation as we engage with the ways in which transformative space has and continues to be cultivated.

    Presenting: Nicolette Sulaiman, Voices Against Violence

    This highly interactive program offers a safer environment to discuss how sexual violence is made fun of, trivialized, condoned or ignored – i.e. rape culture. We explore everyday examples (such as victim-blaming and rape jokes), how they contribute to the issue of interpersonal violence, and what we can do as individuals to be vocal and interrupt rape culture. Participants learn from one another through meaningful conversations about pop culture (such as mainstream song lyrics and ads) and processing realistic scenarios.

    Presenting: Emily Mathon

    Parenting is a private and personal journey. It can be frustrating and isolating. It can be joyous, rewarding, and hilarious. Parenting can create feelings of regret, hopelessness and rage. The relationships and moments shared between parents and children can be the most intimate, precious, and magical.

    In this workshop, participants will identify the limits and impacts of traditional parenting strategies. Participants will gain specific practices to cultivate respectful relationships, empowered and creative children while maintaining necessary personal boundaries. This workshop will include discussion, role-playing, skill-building and honest conversation.

    Presenting: Sadé M. Jones

    Workshop focuses on the fundamentals of movement based meditation. Participants will learn different self care, awareness, and healing techniques to use throughout their daily lives. They will also learn how to maneuver in various environments with grace. This workshop is formatted to fit adult & youth groups.

    Presenting: Vanessa Marty

    La depresión y la ansiedad son desórdenes de salud mental no entendidos por el público general. Sin embargo, el número de personas diagnosticadas con estos desórdenes sigue aumentando. El propósito de esta sesión es participar en un diálogo sobre desórdenes de la depresión y la ansiedad, compartir estadísticas importantes, y aumentar conocimiento sobre estos desórdenes para empoderar a las personas viviendo con estas condiciones.

    Depression and anxiety are mental health disorders that have been easily misunderstood in the general public. However, the numbers of people diagnosed with these disorders continue to increase. The purpose of this session is to engage in a dialogue about depression and anxiety disorders, share vital statistics and raise awareness about these disorders to empower those living with these conditions. The end goal is to move from being misunderstood to leaving stigma free.

    Presenting: Kai Coral, Scout, Ari

    The presenters will show 2-3 different animations that speak to the topic of "reclaming/making space” and speak to the history of animation and how it’s been used in social justice. Participants will then learn how to make their own little animations.

  • 3:30 PM

    Presenting: Julie Pennington, Stephanie Taylor

    This three-part workshop will start with a discussion of power and privilege in interactions between law enforcement (police and immigration officers) and civilians with a focus on the intersections of gender, race, and class. The training will cover how to handle encounters with law enforcement in a car, on the street, and at the airport. Volunteers will practice what we learn through role-playing for the group, followed by a group talk-back discussion. In the final section, participants will create a personal safety plan for a police encounter or a deportation preparedness kit.

    Presenting: Briana Barner

    In this workshop, participants of all ages (and races, not just Black women and girls) are encouraged to attend, and in fact this will only enhance the space! This workshop has two components. The first will be a conversation about the ways that social media has turned the last few years into the year of the Black Girl, whether it be from the popularity of hashtags like #BlackGirlMagic and #CarefreeBlackGirl. We will explore the unique possibilities present in representing the Black girl in digital space. The second part of this workshop involves creating zines (mini magazines) celebrating our #BlackGirlMagic!

    Presenting: Ms. Sassy Sherry, SWOP San Antonio

    The anti-violence movement has an enduring history of denying the agency of sex workers, thus making it that much harder for them to work and survive because of legislation and regulation pushed by leaders that would rather speak on behalf of them, instead of reduce barriers to their livelihood. Expect to learn about this history and how communities can better support sex workers.

    Presenting: Jenni Huntly, Christy Tashjian

    This workshop will cover the variety of ways that queer people can conceive a pregnancy and some of the legal and medical implications involved in the process. Guests from the queer community will discuss their experiences conceiving and having babies. We will discuss topics including:
    -Sperm and egg donors in the relationship or from outside of it
    -Ins and outs of sperm banks
    -Charting the fertile cycle
    -Intravaginal insemination vs. intrauterine insemination
    -Birth choices and pregnancy care provider choices

    Presenting: Veronica Luna, Cindy Pena

    This interactive workshop will invite participants to consider how womyn of color can situate identities and social justice work within historical trajectories to build coalitions for survival and healing. As a group, we will define Kimberlé Crenshaw's concept of simultaneous, mutually constitutive oppressions and privileges. Drawing on our self-identities, we will create a collective timeline using significant personal, family, and historical events that have shaped our lives.

    Presenting: Anjanette Gautier

    In the U.S., male dominant culture a strong emphasis is placed in productivity and achievement. As women we have learnt to adapt to this framework and adjust our values, communication and working styles to comply with the socially accepted definition of success. In doing so, we have become focused only on the end result and have denied ourselves the enjoyment and use of our natural intuition and artistic self expression. In this highly interactive workshop we will work together to unearth our inner artist, find and face the fears and taboos that are preventing us from exploring and enjoying our natural creativity, and learn new strategies to follow through on our artistic endeavors. In this workshop we will encourage participants to get their hands dirty; self evaluate their life-stories, share their insights, and explore the joy of their pure inner artist.

    Presenting: Maanasa, Priya, Kavya

    Participants will program NXT Lego Mindstorm robots to go through an obstacle course. The course will include obstacles which will represent the different types of barriers that women face in higher education and the work force such as bullying based on gender, job stereotypes, unequal pay, and maternity leave. First participants will learn the basic methods of programming, and will sit through a short presentation on various laws/skill sets they can use to break these barriers. Then we will introduce the challenge: to program a robot to cross a river filled with obstacles. They will attempt to create a successful program while learning about the barriers women face and the tools that can be used to overcome them.

  • 5:00 PM

    Closing Ceremony