USF’s Stakeholder Community Forum Series Presents the 4th Annual ‘Latinas in Leadership Conference’

The January 26 event spotlights the innovative leadership that inspires, supports, and develops the success of the Latina/Chicana-identified community

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Jan. 18, 2018) — The Office of Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of San Francisco (USF) will present their annual Latinas in Leadership conference on Friday, January 26 from 8:30AM to 3:00PM. This year’s theme is “Cultural Healing Spaces: Calling Our Spirits Back.”

The annual conference, founded by USF Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, aims to shed light on the many forms of cultural healing and create community among one another to heal and ground our lives, work, community and world of influence by drawing on our cultures.

The event will begin with a grounding ceremony, followed by welcoming remarks and a keynote address with Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, Founder and CEO of DREAMers Roadmap. Sessions will include a health and wellness panel, a workshop focusing on activism as healing, a community building session, and the presentation of the inaugural Madrina Award to Olga Talamante, Executive Director of the Chicana/Latina Foundation.

The Madrina Award will go each year to an individual who embodies the values of a woman who is respected and contributes to a person’s education and overall growth, and who continues to promote the strengths of the Latinx community every day. To be a madrina is a lifelong commitment from a woman who embodies wisdom, nurturing and support.

Conference presenters and panelists will include:

  • Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, EdD, Forum Founder, University of San Francisco
  • Dellanira Garcia, PhD, Forum Co-Chair, School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Gladys Perez, Forum Co-Chair, Latin American Studies, Chicanx-Latinx Studies, Center for Latina/o Studies in the Americas (CELASA)
  • Desiree Zerquera, PhD
  • Grecia Solis, Headlands Environmental Education Program
  • Mejiza Sanchez, EdD, Stanford Medical School
  • Marlen Kanagui-Munoz, PhD, Psychiatry Department of Kaiser Permanente, Richmond
  • Olivia Muñoz, EdD, Director of Residential Life & Community Standards, Mills College
  • Margarita Muñoz, Community Relations Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District
  • Barbara Garcia, Director, Department of Public Health, San Francisco
  • Carmen Aceves-Iniguez, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist + Certified Professional Coach

The conference will take place at the McLaren Conference Center on the USF campus. The event is currently at capacity, with more than 400 guests.

Journalists interested in covering the event should contact Kellie Samson at (415) 422-2697 or

About the USF Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ADEI) seeks to promote a campus climate and culture that values diversity in all its forms through inclusive dialogues, interpersonal experiences, and intercultural appreciation. ADEI offers a range of programs in support of a thriving campus climate and inclusive excellence.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit