Guest Speakers

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Sarah Gonzales

J. Sarah Gonzales believes the intersection of art and activism is a critical place for community survival. Currently, she has a focus on teaching with youth in Southwest Arizona to use spoken word poetry to combat restrictive policies that target youth of color and queer youth. She is involved in community work and youth organizing in Arizona and nationally through her consulting company, TruthSarita, LLC. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Outreach and Education for the Cultural and Resource Centers at the University of Arizona.

Workshop Title: Art and Activism: Poetry as Voice

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Alisha Vasquez; she, her, hers

Alisha is a fifth-generation Tucsonan whose political consciousness was nurtured by punk rock. Alisha was the first person in her family to attend college; at the University of Arizona her study of ideas of identity, Chicana feminism, and neoliberalism helped her digest growing up in the Sonoran borderlands. She obtained a Master's in History from San Francisco State University by exploring Chicanx disability and neoliberal history. In 2012 she returned home because the change she wants to make is where her roots are. Since 2012, Alisha has worked in her community on positive youth development; juvenile justice reform and prison abolition; positive identity formation; partaking in community actions against border militarization; and teaching for the Earlham College Border Studies Program and growing the Border Cultures Program at Pima Community College.

Workshop Title: "(dis)Ability and Intersectional Living


Miss Jai Smith

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers, He/Him/His

 Miss Jai has dedicated her professional life to sex-positive trans-inclusive sexual health education. Working in the field of public health, Jai has helped to develop harm reduction based sexual health curricula, provided risk reduction counseling and HIV testing, and worked collaboratively to provide resources and access to nPEP (non-occupational Post Exposure Prophylaxis) and PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). Outside of his professional life, Miss Jai has also taught Queer Sex Ed at the University of Arizona, participated in talks on ethical and consensual BDSM and kink, and co-hosted National Fisting Day’s education and safety training. When not talking about sexual health she can be found spending time with her partners, Sasha, Pup Tusk, and Ellis, and her dog, Indy, and guinea pig, Charles Phillip Arthur George.

Workshop Title: Queer Sex Ed



Pronouns: they/them

Rex is a western mass. born and raised genderqueer that loves to fix and ride bicycles, they are also super into environmental conservation/ recreation and deeply dreams about living off the grid. Rex loves to work with their hands and has dabbled into many trades including adobe building/repair, landscaping, environmental restoration, trail-building/ maintenance, carpentry, solar energy, gardening,  and is also an experienced farmhand.

Workshop Title: "I Would Rather Do it Myself"

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LEilani Clark

Pronouns: She/Her

Leilani Clark is a native-born Tucsonan, community organizer and activist who has been involved in the Immigrant Rights Movement and fight to preserve cultural education in public AZ schools before, during and after the signing of anti-Migrant bill, SB 1070, and anti-Ethnic Studies bill, HB 2281, in 2010. Leilani further broadened her political analysis around gender and womxn’s rights after surviving sexual assault in 2011 and an oppressive rape culture of silence, denial, minimization, and victim-blaming. She eventually began dabbling in the art of spoken word and slam poetry in 2013 to reclaim her story, and confront silence around gender violence in movement spaces.

Workshop Title: "The Strength to Say #MeToo: Breaking Down the Cultures of Rape and Silence"

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Leah Stauber

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Leah is an anthropologist of education, activism, social movements and health, and a yoga teacher grounded in the historical yogic philosophies and Shambala lineage of Buddhism. Across her work in academic, community, and yogic spheres, she carries with her the injunctions of ancient Buddhist teacher Shantideva to continuously recommit to the path of the Bodhisattva warrior: The warrior for radical truth, compassion, freedom from oppression, and universal liberation.



SPEAC is a social justice-oriented student group of peer educators dedicated to raising awareness about sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. Through peer education, SPEAC aims to advocate for survivors, inspire action within the UA student community, and challenge the culture and social structures that perpetuate sexual and relationship violence.



Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Hamilton is a Non-Binary Black and Chicanx graduate student in the School Counseling program at the University of Arizona. They are dedicated to increasing gender and sexuality inclusivity through education, services and structural changes. Currently, they work in the Women’s Resource Center, partnering with undergraduate students, graduate students and staff to deliver a multi-level extensive, engaging and critical sexual violence prevention workshops to students. In their spare time, they love going bowl skating, playing roller derby, hanging out with their spouse and family, and playing with pitbulls.


Najima Rainey

Tucson native and U of A alumni. Mother, singer, writer, bon vivant, and person about town. Member of BLM and the Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund


Paula Maez

Paula Maez is a health sciences librarian and PhD candidate at the School of Information at the University of Arizona.

Paula’s current research is focused on ongoing conversations and issues about health literacy in a variety of community types and how individual experiences and perspectives - and their identities - impact information processes in people's day to day lives.  More specifically, Paula’s dissertation work concentrates on how the embodied intersectional experience of fat Latinas interacts with the social/cultural context of how they share, receive, and use information – specifically body positive information.  Her research seeks to understand how intersectionality plays a part in creating and developing relatable, representative, de-stigmatized, and understandable health messaging.

When Paula is not fighting cultural, social, and media based discrimination that affects bigger bodies, she enjoys spending time with her family, chasing her lovable cat around the house, traveling, boosting her foodie skills, and is an avid cinema goer.


Zaira Livier

Pronouns: she, hers

Zaira has lived in Tucson, AZ since her family immigrated from Mexico in the early 90's and is a Neuroscience major at the UofA. Founder of Progressive Minds of America and Latinas for Bernie Sanders. Former Southern Arizona Director for the statewide Prop 206 minimum wage campaign. Current organizer with immigrant rights action committee L.U.P.E. and Jobs With Justice. Through these mediums, Zaira advocates for an end to repressive policies which put corporate profit before human need including: a just and humane immigration reform, an end to mass criminalization of immigrants and people of color, an end to border and police militarization, a national living wage, universal healthcare, and a strong and equitable public education system.

Zaira is also the Executive Director and co-founder of a new local nonprofit called People's Defense Initiative.



Leah Jo Carnine

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Leah Jo Carnine is a community organizer and family medicine healthcare practitioner currently living in Tucson, AZ. She has been involved in migrant justice organizing in Arizona since 2010, and is helping build a base of white people taking action for racial justice as part of the Showing Up for Racial Justice network. She’s been fortunate to be part of integrating queer and trans health, harm reduction and an anti-oppression framework into her community health center, and somatic learning into medicine and liberation work. She’s passionate about the intersections of transformative health care and collective liberation and enjoys making art, playing banjo, hiking, and hanging with her tiny dog and beloved community.


Women of ISRC Past & Present

The UA Immigrant Student Resource Center (ISRC) was formerly opened in October 2016. The creation and opening of the ISRC only happened because of the advocacy of driven individuals.  

Historically, the center has been driven by powerful women that envisioned a center that would contribute beyond the recruitment and retention of students of immigrant and refugee background. The center continues to be  a place where women of color have been leading powerful work, while empowering each other and the community.  Mira, Marygrace, Ana Laura, Giselle, Isabel, Daisy and Cynthia were the first women of color to lead work at the ISRC in the Fall of 2016. In the Spring of 2017 Isabel and Daisy left, and Irasema joined our powerful women. For fall of 2017 three women joined the ISRC; Jimena, Ana H., Perla and Sindhu. Abiola is the most recent member of our team who joined this Spring 2018. Today, we provide academic, career, scholarship, & social support to currently enrolled students, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permits, undocumented students, students with mixed-immigration status families, and students from refugee backgrounds. We also train university staff, faculty, & administrators how to work more effectively with students from immigrant and refugee backgrounds


Stephanie Noriega

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Stephanie is a native Tucsonan who has been working towards the collective liberation of womxn and children primarily through the gender based violence and reproductive justice movements. Stephanie has dedicated her life to leading these movements from an anti-oppression framework necessary to bring justice to those who experience multiple layers of violence and trauma. She has spent the majority of her professional career as an advocate to survivors of intimate partner violence and has served as a full spectrum community doula for low resourced women of color.

Stephanie is currently an adjunct instructor for Pima Community College’s Social Service Department and a fellow with the University of Arizona’s Gender Based Violence Consortium. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from City University of New York Hunter College with a specialization in community organizing and development. When Stephanie’s not working, she spends much of her time with her 4 sons and partner loving, learning and liberating the next generation of youth.


Chucho Ruiz Vai Sevo

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Son of Leonor Muñoz & Juventino Ruiz, Member of Chanequeh/Familia Vai Sevoi, Partner of Maria Molina Vai Sevoi, Father of 6 beautiful children

Calpollatoqui/Spokesperson of Capolli Teoxicalli, a constellation of Nahua familias in Tlamanalco.

Youth Programs Coordinator of Chicanos Por La Causa

Facilitator of Men’s Education Program -Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse

Amy Juan

Owner and Founder at Indigenous Remedies Consulting, Oidagkam at San Xavier Co-Op Farm and Culture Teacher at Baboquivari


Brenda Anderson

My pronouns are She, Her, Hers.

Workshop: "The Politics of Self-Care as Love"