Cal Poly’s Change the Status Quo Conference to Feature Angela Davis Feb. 29

SAN LUIS OBISPO –– Political and social activist, scholar, author, educator and National Women’s Hall of Fame honoree Angela Davis will deliver the keynote address at Cal Poly’s 18th annual Change the Status Quo: Social Justice Leadership Conference on Saturday, Feb. 29.

Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world for decades as a scholar and an activist. She is the author of 10 books and has lectured throughout the U.S. Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America on a range of social issues, including incarceration and the generalized criminalization of communities impacted by poverty and racial discrimination.

In addition, her career as an educator includes tenures at San Francisco State University, Mills College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Stanford University, among others. Most recently, she spent 15 years at UC Santa Cruz, where she is currently the Distinguished Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies departments.

“This conference has a longstanding tradition of inviting speakers like Angela Davis, who have devoted their lives to social justice and advocating for some of the most marginalized individuals in our communities,” said Cal Poly Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon. “I’m so pleased to welcome her to our campus for this amazing annual event, and I know our community will benefit greatly from her words and wisdom.”

Davis’ address will kick off Cal Poly’s daylong student-led Change the Status Quo conference, hosted by the university’s Center for Service in Action. The event aims to empower students to use the Learn by Doing spirit to challenge social norms, ask critical questions, seek solutions, and make lasting social change.

This year’s conference will feature more than 30 workshops focused on activism, allyship, culture, education, environment, gender and sexuality, leadership, restorative justice and white privilege. 

“This year we received a record number of workshop proposals from students, staff, faculty and other organizations,” said Monique Rea, a fourth-year environmental earth and soil sciences major and co-chair of the conference. “We are anticipating a sold-out event and have seen an increase of registrants from off campus. It’s very exciting to know that our efforts and the message of our incredible keynote speaker are going to reach an even larger audience this year.”

The conference kicks off at 8 a.m. in the Multi-Activity Center (MAC) at the ASI Recreation Center. Tickets to attend the full-day conference are $10 for Cal Poly students and $30 for the public and include breakfast, lunch and appetizers. Tickets to attend the keynote address only are $10 for Cal Poly students and $15 for the public and include breakfast. To register, visit

For additional information on the 18th annual Change the Status Quo: Social Justice Leadership Conference, visit

About Cal Poly’s Center for Service in Action
The Center for Service in Action connects students with meaningful volunteer opportunities that complement students’ educational experience, strengthen their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develop skills to become ethical and knowledgeable leaders who contribute to a global society. The center cultivates reciprocal service and learning partnerships between the university and community partners and serves community-based organizations and governmental institutions seeking university support to address unmet community needs. For more information, visit

Contact: Diego Abeloos

February 12, 2020

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