PAC 2022

 Scenes from PAC 2022

Explore the Past Schedule and Featured Speakers Below!

The 19th annual Practical Activism Conference was held on February 26th, 2022 from 10:30am-5:00pm in the College 9 and John R. Lewis College Multipurpose Room.

You can view the past schedule and list of workshops below!

Round 1 of Workshops -  1:00pm - 2:15pm

  • BIPOC Mental Health & Wellness: Accountability and Forgiveness
    • Join our conversation about the mental health and wellness of BIPOC communities, and what we can do to be accountable to ourselves and each other. Be in community as we explore the role of self-forgiveness in individual and community mental health and wellness, address and release western/eurocentric practices of justice and healing, and focus on the role of empathy and compassion in forgiveness.
  • What is Critical Race Theory?
    • ​​This workshop co-facilitated by Mark Gardner, Oakes CRE & founder of the Intersectionality Laboratory at UCSC, and Practical Activism Conference planners Kate Gonzaga and Juan Pacheco will cover a range of Critical Race Theory topics, including its application in pop culture, storytelling, and critiques of the theory.
  • Voting 4 Tomorrow
    • Join us in this presentation by student interns from California Freedom Summer about how to create a better future through the actions of voting and voter education. This workshop will focus on the past, current, and future landscape of voting in an interactive way. Collectively we will discuss the history of voting in California and the organizing work such as California Freedom Summer ‘22 which is transforming communities. Through understanding the vital importance of voting as a tool for change, we aim to help participants see the possibility of a better tomorrow, and how they can get involved.
  • Worker Exploitation in Fast Fashion
    • Learn about the working conditions and labor used in fast fashion, and how we can move away from these practices. Speakers from People of Color Sustainability Collective and the UCSC Trading Post will share information about this systematic international issue, and ways that students can engage in supporting slow fashion in their local communities. This workshop will offer a clothing swap and other practical ideas for how students can move away from consuming fast fashion.

Round 2 of Workshops -  2:25pm - 3:40pm

  • Dana TherActivist Film Screening
    • Dana TherActivist: They/ Them/ Theirs book and documentary project shines a light on the intersections of identity, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; gender expression and social justice activism against the backdrop of anti-Black racism, anti-LGBTQIA violence, and social exclusion. A combination of Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, equity, and more! The TherActivist embodies a “therapeutic activism” approach while servicing and empowering people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and marginalized populations.
  • Homelessness & Housing Justice in Santa Cruz
    • Gain awareness on housing disparities and the complex issues surrounding homelessness in Santa Cruz, and learn about some of the resources and volunteer opportunities in our community. Join us for this panel featuring speakers from local organizations including The Homeless Garden Project, The Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz, and the No Place Like Home Project.
  • Revitalizing Indigenous Land Stewardship, Protecting Sacred Sites, and Repairing Broken Relations
    • Join us for this dynamic conversation between Rick Flores, Director of Horticulture and Steward of the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at UCSC, and Greg Cotten, founding member of Friends of Juristac, for a critical discussion about activism, solidarity, and allyship with the Amah Mutsun tribal band.
      Rick Flores will address the tribe’s efforts to heal from historical trauma and revitalize their culture through the relearning of traditional ecological knowledge and the creation of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust. Greg Cotten will present the urgent need to repair indigenous relations with those whose territory we occupy. From 'California's Confederate statues' to the potential destruction of the most important local Indigenous ceremonial village site, Juristac, this is an action call for a new cultural and ecological future. This workshop is facilitated by Airielle Silva and Katherine Battaglia.
  • STEM 4 Social Justice
    • STEM 4 Social Justice is a discussion and exploration of the inequities that underrepresented communities face in the largely white and heteronormative fields of STEM. Join and hear how two Women of Color in the Chemistry and Environmental Studies departments have found success in their fields of study. Learn how to create safe and inclusive spaces on and off-campus as well as how to incorporate social justice issues into STEM departments and classroom spaces.

Special Sessions & Activist Activities

  • African American Vernacular English
    • Ever wonder where terms like “poppin” “no cap” or “finna” come from? If so, come learn about African American Vernacular English (AAVE), its rich history, and ways how non-Black individuals are affecting and misusing the Vernacular. Attend this session if you want to integrate a practical sense of how AAVE functions in your daily life.
  • Bookmark Making
    • Come and make a bookmark to honor John R. Lewis and Black History month! We will provide all the materials for you to create something personal about a social justice issue that is important to you, an activist who has moved you, or anything else that motivates you to read and learn more.
  • Queer Ecology
    • What is Queer Ecology? Come to this participatory session to learn more, connect with resources that center QTBIPOC voices, and join us for an interactive seed planting activity where you will walk away with wildflowers of the future!
  • Cost of Living in Santa Cruz
    • More than half of all renters in Santa Cruz spend at least half of their income on rent and utilities. What led to the current state of housing in Santa Cruz and what can be done to fix it? Come spin a wheel, win prizes, and learn about Santa Cruz’s housing situation.
  • Non-Violent Communication
    • Learn about self-empathy and connecting with others through an often misunderstood practice used by Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and other social justice activists around the world. Tips and other resources on how to practice this valuable skill will be provided.
  • Button Making
    • Come design a personal button to show off your passion and practical activism by making a statement, highlighting an issue important to you, honoring an activist, and more!

Conference Schedule

10:30am - 12:00pm Registration, Music, Tabling, Activist Activities, & Refreshments
12:00pm - 12:50pm Opening Session & Keynote Address
1:00pm - 2:15pm Round 1 of Workshops
2:25pm - 3:40pm Round 2 of Workshops
3:40pm - 5:00pm Tabling, Closing Address, Activist Activities, & Refreshments

Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Aisha Fukushima

Photo of Aisha

Photography by Jen Lovely

Aisha Fukushima is a Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Singer/Songwriter, and RAPtivist (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a hip hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has done lectures and performances everywhere from the United States to France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark, and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah Magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, and Tour highlights include performing for audiences of over 20,000 people in Nepal, speaking with the President of Estonia about the power of music to create change, and sharing stages with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Angela Davis, Emory Douglas (Black Panthers), KRS-One, Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, The Isley Brothers, and M1 (Dead Prez). As a public speaker, Aisha combines the art of performance and lecture. In her keynotes, she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism, and cultural activism through storytelling as well as live musical performance. Check out her website at 

Check out this KQED Arts video for more on Aisha and the videos below from the PAC keynote!

Closing Speaker: Dana TherActivist Johnson, MSW

Dana TherActivist Johnson, MSW (They/Them/Theirs) is a masculine of center gender non-binary community activist, author, documentary filmmaker, and workshop instructor. Dana’s an Author and filmmaker of the memoir, TherActivist: They/ Them/ Theirs, a narrative embracing Identity, Intersectionality, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The TherActivist embodies a "therapeutic activism" approach while servicing and empowering people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, and marginalized populations. Dana serves as a LGBTQ Commissioner and PRIDE Initiative co-chair for the County of San Mateo. Dana’s a Peer Support Worker for the Q- Corner, a LGBTQ+ peer wellness center of County of Santa Clara. They are also a Board of Director of Rainbow Community Center, Contra Costa County. Dana has 17 years of experience counseling and working with justice-involved youth. They are motivated in assisting in the implementation of inclusive policies and protocols; and passionate about providing LGBTQIA+ equity services, social justice services, and activism to marginalized communities. Check out their website at Image of Dana
Check out the trailer for the TherActivist documentary for a preview of the special screening at this year's conference.
The TherActivist: They/ Them/ Theirs book and documentary project shines light on the intersections of identity, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; gender expression and social justice activism against the backdrop of anti-Black racism, anti-LGBTQIA violence, and social exclusion. A combination of Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, equity and more! The TherActivist embodies a “therapeutic activism” approach, while servicing and empowering people of color, LGBTQIA+ communities, and marginalized populations.
theractivist image