Last Saturday, the San Diego State Office of Intercultural Relations’ Women’s Resource Center hosted its first annual “I Am A Woman” Summit at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
Director of the Office of Intercultural Relations, Dr. Tanis Starck, said the event was held to progressively develop a more diverse community.
“It is our hope that this conference will help to create a road map for developing methods and best practices for creating, exploring and embracing women,” Starck said.
The first panel, “Women Leadership Roles in a Diverse Workforce,” focused on how women can become leaders in professional fields. Successful panelists shared their experiences and challenges as women in the workplace.
Associate Director of Career Services, Rosa Elena Moreno, offered her advice about working for a company. She said it is important to know how to dress and the direction, the goals, the information and the history of a company.
“There are a lot of opportunities and struggles that we go through, but it’s all upon you to turn them around to work in your favor,” Moreno said.
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Sciences, Dr. Estralita Martin, said she does not live a life of regrets. She said if one does not have a good self-image, it is easy for altercations to become nooses instead of allies.
“I never think of what could of, should of, would of — it is what it is. These are the cards that are dealt to you,” she said. “How are you going to make them be aces? You can turn them into aces or you can turn them into deuces.”
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Education, Dr. Patricia Lozada-Santone, said if women love and protect themselves, nobody can harm them. She also offered relationship advice.
“If you choose to marry, you better hope and choose wisely that your partner is going to support you,” Lozada-Santone said.
In response to the panel discussion, SDSU student Chelsie Punter said, “I have a very aggressive personality. Young men almost look at it as a downfall. They proved to me that it is not a downfall.”
After the first panel, all attendees came together and discussed body image and how it’s cultivated. Following the discussion, everyone participated in a yoga and Zumba class to help release tension in the body.
EOP Outreach, Recruitment and Admissions Officer, Trimaine Davis, gave the last presentation about the facts and myths of men and women.
During the presentation, Davis said women have the gift to control the world but often try to think like a man to accomplish this, which is not the route to take. He said women should feel encouraged to think like women, just as males should think like men.
Davis said he felt advantaged to be able to engage and listen to the issues in the lives of women. He said the information he received will only help him become a better man and men should be held accountable for the roles they play in the lives of women.
“This is why my presentation was called, ‘The Apology’ because as a man of color, I feel we do owe our women a real heartfelt apology due to our lack of accountability as men in our community,” Martin said. “That is also including me as a man.”
After the summit, students expressed feelings of satisfaction and enlightenment. SDSU student Mykeya Rivera said every woman should experience an event like this.
“I feel this event is something every woman should experience,” Rivera said. “It was very empowering and I look forward to attending next year’s event.”