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Lightning Talks: The Struggle is Real





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Talks begin at 8PM sharp

How have Santa Cruz County communities journeyed through struggle and into resilience? These Lightning Talks on The Struggle is Real will explore life’s challenges and transformations spanning across class, race, gender, and sexuality, to transportation, healthcare, foster care; from incarceration, and education, to housing, mental health, and homelessness in Santa Cruz County.

What are Lightning Talks?

Lightning Talks are a series of fast and visual presentations from local Santa Cruz experts. Each event has a different theme. Each speaker presents for a maximum of five minutes. You’ll leave fascinated and inspired by diverse topics from neighbors right here in our county.

7-7:50pm: Workshop on Fostering Resiliency and Building Your Inner Sanctuary
Intercultural Facilitator from Senti-Pensante and Community Action Board board member, Silvia Austerlic offers a workshop in which participants gain tools, build practices, and create reminders of how to recharge, regenerate, reconnect and work towards resiliency.

8-9:30pm: Lightning Talks (in order of appearance)

*Tenemos disponibles interpretaciones en español. Spanish interpretation services available.

Jess Prudent, Smith Renaissance Society Collegiate Fellow and current Lost Childhoods intern, shares on what intersectional identities are, why they matter, and how we can welcome complicated narratives into our everyday life.

Robin Dixon from Hospice of Santa Cruz County shares her journey of embracing the unknown to find where you belong.

Maria Elena de la Garza from Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc., shares the innovative process to hear the voices of those impacted by poverty and the creation of a community action plan that highlights the needs and resiliency of those voices.

Jacquie Benetua-Rolens of Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, speaks from the frontlines of community health, illustrating how social determinants affect health and give voice to the fight for health care as a human right for all.

Skarlett Arreola, who is passionate about community building and taking up space shares a look into the constant questioning of belonging in spaces that Q/POC typically don’t have access to.

Jon Silver of Migrant Media shares the historic Watsonville Frozen Food Strike of 1985-87, in the context of local social movements and their legacies today. He will highlight the struggle for immigrant rights and political, social and economic justice in the Pajaro Valley.

Alex Santana, from the Diversity Center‘s Youth Program where he and his coworker serve the queer youth population of the county, presents on coming into yourself.

Amber Romano presents on exploring an authentic understanding of what it is like to live a resilient life after experiencing trauma.

Liliana Garcia shares how a young, public interest attorney in her first year experiences representing the most vulnerable, and often overlooked, individuals in Santa Cruz County.

Supervisor John Leopold presents on Live Oak’s Cradle to Career Initiative which collaborates with the public and nonprofit sectors to build community, strengthen educational opportunities, foster health, and help all children reach their full potential.

Seating is limited and not guaranteed.
RSVP via Eventbrite to give us an accurate headcount.