Cal Poly to Host 20th Change the Status Quo Conference Feb. 26

Hoda Katebi Will Deliver Keynote Speech at Annual Social Justice Leadership Event

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Iranian-American writer, abolitionist organizer, and creative educator Hoda Katebi will serve as this year’s keynote speaker to kick off Cal Poly’s 20th annual Change the Status Quo (CSQ) Social Justice Leadership Conference on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Hosted by the university’s Center for Service in Action, the annual conference aims to empower attendees to use Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing spirit to challenge social norms, ask critical questions, demand solutions and make lasting social change. The event is open to all college and high school students and the general public.

“We are delighted to have Hoda Katebi joining us as our keynote speaker,” said Bradley Kyker, senior coordinator for the Center for Service in Action. “As a young activist, we believe she will be very relatable and inspiring to our students as they explore how they can take ownership of their role in affecting social change.”

Katebi is a founding member of Blue Tin Production, an apparel manufacturing workers co-operative run by working class women of color that is setting new international standards in labor and sustainability within fashion supply chains. A celebrated author whose writing has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, and the Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications, Katebi penned “Tehran Streetstyle” in 2016. She is also a contributing writer to the book “I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security.”

In addition, Katebi is the host of #BecauseWeveRead, a radical digital book club and discussion series mobilizing local communities. The club consists of more than 25 chapters globally.

The conference will also feature a mix of 30-minute presentations and 60-minute interactive workshops focused on racial justice and allyship; service, leadership and social justice; intersectionality; socio-economic justice; gender and sexuality; environmental justice; and Jewish culture and antisemitism.

Tickets purchased prior to Feb. 18 to the CSQ Social Justice Leadership Conference are $10 for Cal Poly students and AmeriCorps Fellows and $30 for the general public. Tickets solely to attend Katebi’s keynote address from 9-10 a.m. are $15. To purchase tickets, visit the CSQ Eventbrite page.

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


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