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Speaker at CDS Forum Photo 2013
Speaker at CDS Forum 2013 (3)
Performers at CDS Forum 2013
Speaker at CDS Forum 2013 (2)

Past Forums

2012 Homegrown in California: Exploring Conflicts & Coalitions Across Difference

This forum commemorated coalition-building anniversaries and featured keynote: Christine Chavez.Home Grown in California commemorated anniversaries around interracial coalition building and conflict. These anniversaries include the 50th anniversary of the UFW (United Farm Workers)/AFL-CIO recognizing the important work of a variety of groups including Mexican and Filipino farm laborers and organizers, the 30th anniversary of the Vincent Chin murder that brought together Asian Americans as a pan-ethnic group, and the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King verdict and events in LA.  

Speakers & Performers Bios
Frank H. Wu began his service as Chancellor & Dean of University of California Hastings College of Law in July 2010. He was a member of the faculty at Howard University, the nation’s leading historically black college/university, for a decade. He also served as Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit, and he has been a visiting professor at George Washington University, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and a teaching fellow at Stanford University. Chancellor Wu is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, which was immediately reprinted in its hardcover edition, and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, which received a major grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. Prior to his academic career, Chancellor Wu held a clerkship with the late U.S. District Judge Frank J. Battisti in Cleveland and practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco.

Francisco Herrera is a cultural worker, a community organizer,  singer / songwriter and theologian who has devoted his life to service to his community. His music is a form of public art, sung in churches, plazas, schools, picket lines, meetings and everywhere his songs will provide inspiration and hope. His unique voice captures the essence of “Chicano Soul” that blends the soulful inspiration of rhythm and blues with the earthy ranchero crooners of Mexico. Francisco also has a masters in Theology, which enriches his music as a Liturgical Musician for many types of ritual and has thirty years experience as a performer of children’s music as well.

Christine Chavez has a made a lifetime commitment to public service, civil rights and the labor movement. Born in Delano, California, Christine Chavez was surrounded by the farm worker movement. For years, she worked with the United Farm Workers Union, the organization her grandfather Cesar Chavez helped to co-found 40 years ago. For eight years, Christine Chavez served as the UFW’s Political Director. While there, her responsibilities included raising public awareness to protect the civil rights of farm workers and the larger immigrant community. Recently, Christine Chavez joined Rev. Al Sharpton to announce the formation of the Latino and African American Leadership Alliance. Troubled by the escalating violence between Latinos and African Americans, Chavez worked with the Reverend to organize a march to correspond with the Watts riots of 40 years ago. The Alliance will also sponsor community forums, outreach to schools and enlist the help of policymakers to further this important cause. Christine’s work is based on the values passed down to her from her grandfather: the fight for civil rights, social justice and labor equality.

DJ Marlino, “The Five Foota Funk”, a 23-year veteran to the DJing game, brings an aggressive, hard hitting, head nodding, hands in the air, party rocking set to every dance floor or airwave he encounters. He has worked at WILD 94.9, was an On-Air Personality and Mixshow DJ at Jammin Z90.3 FM in San Diego and has opened up at several concerts for various artists such as Ice Cube, Westside Connection, Naughty By Nature, Xzibit, Destiny’s Child, and many more, and has headlined specialty parties like the Maxim Party at the Harris Rincon Casino.

2011 Invisible Cities: A Forum on Racial, Economic and Environmental Justice in America

Forum focused on environmental justice and issues of diversity.

Bios
Anthony Khalil, Heron’s Head Park Naturalist and Tracy Zhu, former EcoCenter Program Manager will represent Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) www.lejyouth.org. Their presentation titled “Open Space Equity and Environmental Justice in San Francisco” is designed to acknowledge the history and legacies of the environmental movement. They will critically address how discrepancies in open space access across the San Francisco landscape affect efforts to provide people of color and low-income communities a welcoming and inclusive arena to participate in the environmental movement. LEJ’s work will present the on-the-grounds solutions for creating a more inclusive arena for youth and the Bayview Hunter’s Point community.

Steve Lerner is the Research Director at Commonweal www.commonweal.org, a nonprofit health and environmental research institute located in Bolinas, CA. Author of numerous books, his talk will focus on his most recent book, Sacrifice Zones: The Front Lines of Toxic Chemical Exposure in the United States (2010). Across the US, thousands of people, most of them in low-income or minority communities, live next to heavily polluting industrial sites. Lerner tells the stories of 12 communities that rose up to fight industries and military bases causing disproportionately high levels of chemicals. He argues that residents these  sacrifice zones, tainted with chemical pollutants, need additional regulatory protections.

In 2009, St. Peter’s Housing Committee and Just Cause Oakland combined to create Causa Justa :: Just Cause, bringing together the organization’s respective work in the Latino community in San Francisco and the African American community in Oakland into a single, regional organization for racial and economic justice. Cinthya is Immigrant Rights Organizer at Causa Justa :: Just Cause. Her political involvement began in high school student, where she organized against the criminalization of young people of color by school officials and the police. She soon after became involved in the immigrant rights movement and was instrumental in organizing student walkouts, community forums and marches as part of the massive immigrant rights strikes of May 1, 2006.

Paul S. Flores is a published poet, playwright, novelist and nationally prominent spoken word artist.  Flores' past performance projects have taken him from HBO's Def Poetry to Cuba, Mexico and El Salvador.  He is the co-founder of Youth Speaks and currently teaches Hip-Hop Theater and Spoken Word at the University of San Francisco.  Flores' plays include FEAR OF A BROWN PLANET directed by Tony Garcia, REPRESENTA! directed by Danny Hoch, YOU'RE GONNA CRY directed by Brian Freeman, and PLACAS directed by Michael John Garcés. Paul was recently named the San Francisco Weekly’s 2011 Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist.

DJ Marlino, "The Five Foota Funk", a 23-year veteran to the DJing game, brings an aggressive, hard hitting, head nodding, hands in the air, party rocking set to every dance floor or airwave he encounters. He has worked at WILD 94.9, was an On-Air Personality and Mixshow DJ at Jammin Z90.3 FM in San Diego and has opened up at several concerts for various artists such as Ice Cube, Westside Connection, Naughty By Nature, Xzibit, Destiny's Child, and many more, and has headlined specialty parties like the Maxim Party at the Harris Rincon Casino.