College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

CAHSS Social Justice Colloquium

24th Annual Social Justice Colloquium Theme:  Trauma and Healing

This year's Social Justice Colloquium focuses on the topic of trauma and healing. From the individual to the cultural and collective, trauma and its aftermath profoundly impact the lives of those who directly or indirectly experience trauma. Recent research on community, historical and intergenerational trauma clearly reveals how communities of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized populations are disproportionately traumatized. Additionally, in the context of forced transnational migrations and cultural relocations as responses to political, economic, and environmental disruptions, trauma has clearly emerged as a significant social justice issue. In response to these realities and understandings, the 2020 Social Justice Colloquium presents writer Elizabeth Rosner, the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors and author of Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and Labyrinth of Memory and Cheyenne author and filmmaker Cinnamon Kills First. These speakers will share their insights on issues of historic and intergenerational trauma and pathways toward recovery and healing.

In addition, this series of events will include trans-gender non-conforming artist, writer, and curator Leila Weefur as part of the Visual and Public Art Department's Visiting Artist Series, a special art exhibition, Emergence: A Visual Navitation Through Mending, Memory and Experience featuring student artwork in the first student exhibit in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences building (artwork submissions accepted through March 10).

Also featured will be a Communities Healing and Transforming Trauma (CHATT) event, organized and facilitated by our Psychology Department. All of these events are free and open to the public, we welcome your attendance at as many of these events as you wish, please join us.

2020-21 Events

March 10, 2021:  Elizabeth Rosner

CAHSS Social Justice Colloquium Presents: An Evening with Author Elizabeth Rosner

The Social Justice Colloquium and HCOM's Writers from the Edge invite you to an evening with poet, novelist, and non-fiction author Elizabeth Rosner.

March 10, 2021

6:00pm 7:00pm

Join us online via zoom

Free-All are welcome!

Poet, novelist, and non-fiction author, Elizabeth Rosner is a daughter of Jewish holocaust survivors. Her father was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, while her mother survived the war by hiding in the Polish countryside. Much of her writing reflects her efforts to come to terms with the impact of her parents’ experiences on her own life, the indelible imprints of their history on her language, her identity, and her imagination.

Her most recent book, SURVIVOR CAFÉ: the Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory blends personal story, interviews, and extensive research on the complex subjects of epigenetics and the inter-generational aftermath of war and atrocity. It was featured on NPR and in the New York Times and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and named among the best books of 2017 by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Brief Speaker Bio: Elizabeth Rosner is a bestselling novelist, poet, and essayist living in Berkeley, California. Her stunning book of nonfiction, published in September 2017, is entitled SURVIVOR CAFÉ: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory. It was chosen as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in Contemporary Jewish Life & Practice. Interviews with Ms. Rosner have been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" and in The New York Times. Her most recent novel, ELECTRIC CITY, was named one of the best books of 2014 by National Public Radio. Her highly praised autobiographical poetry collection, GRAVITY, was published by Atelier26 Books in Fall 2014. THE SPEED OF LIGHT, her debut novel of 2001, was translated into nine languages, and won several literary prizes in both the US and Europe, including the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, the Prix France Bleu Gironde, and the Great Lakes Colleges Award in Fiction. It was short-listed for the prestigious Prix Femina in 2002, and picked as the "One City One Book" choice of Peoria, IL that same year. BLUE NUDE, her second novel, was named among the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Rosner's essays have appeared in the NY Times Magazine, Elle, Hadassah Magazine, the Huffington Post, and numerous anthologies. She frequently writes book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. Having taught writing for over 30 years, she travels widely to lead intensive writing workshops, to lecture on contemporary literature, and to visit with book groups.

This event is in collaboration with the Otter Cross Cultural Center; Otter Student Union; the HCOM Writers from the Edge Series; the CAHSS Office of the Dean; School of Social, Behavioral, and Global Studies, and School of Humanities and Communication.

If you are a student with a disability and need accommodations in order to participate in a program or event, please contact prior to the program or event.

April 14, 2021:  Panel discussion with Keynote Address by Cinnamon Spear Kills First!

Evening with Cinnamon Spear Kills First in Honor of Native American Heritage Month

Thursday, November 12, 2020, 6 pm, Zoom Registration Link Below

Cinnamon Spear Kills First photo

The CAHSS Social Justice Colloquium in honor of Native American Heritage Month, is pleased to host an evening with poet, fiction writer, and filmmaker Cinnamon Spear Kills First.

From the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Wyoming, Cinnamon Spear Kills First is a word warrior and agent of change. Please join us as she shares from her work and engages us in a discussion of this year's Social Justice Colloquium theme, "Trauma & Healing"

About our Guest Speaker: Cinnamon Spear Kills First is from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. With a Rez education from home and two Ivy League degrees, she is a cross-cultural communicator who helps bridge the gap between Indian Country and the rest of the world. Cinnamon is committed to facing hard truths in order to bring about change.

She received both her BA and MALS from Dartmouth College and her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she studied fiction. She currently lives in Chinook ancestral territory (Portland, OR) where she owns and operates Northside Advocacy LLC to support her work as an artist, writer, filmmaker, speaker, educator, and advocate. Of all the roles she carries, being a traditional beadworker is one of her favorites.

Sponsored by the Colleges of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences, the School of Humanities and Communication, the School of Social Behavioral, & Global Studies, Special Events Funding, the Otter Cross Cultural Center, and Office of Inclusive Excellence.

If you need accommodations in order to participate in this program, please contact one week prior to the program.

Special thanks to our friends at the Otter Cross Cultural Center for their partnership with this event!

2020 Schedule of Events--Tentative Schedule-Postponed, 2021 Info to Follow as Schedule is Updated!

A Message from Professor Ernest Stromberg on behalf of the CAHSS 24th Annual Social Justice Colloquium Committee:

Dear Friends and Colleagues: I hope this note finds you in good health and finding ways to keep your spirits buoyed. As you all know, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all scheduled public events on campus for the remainder of the semester have been cancelled. Among the cancellations is the CAHSS Annual Social Justice Colloquium. This would have been the 24th iteration of an event that has over the years brought a diverse array of speakers and activities to the campus to engage significant topics and issues all in pursuit of a more just society. The organizers of the planned colloquium for this year—Angelica Muro, Christine Valdez, Angie Tran, Shannon Snapp, and I—were especially excited at the week of events and participants we had scheduled for this week under the theme of Trauma and Healing.

While this year’s colloquium will not take place as scheduled, our hope at this time is that the Social Colloquium we planned is not cancelled but merely postponed. We look to hold the event with the same theme of Trauma and Healing and the same keynote speakers next year, ideally in the fall. While these are uncertain and challenging times, we remain optimistic that circumstances will allow for us to host the Social Justice Colloquium as planned. Wishing you all the best of health and spirits as together we navigate and address the obstacles and demands before us.

24th Annual CAHSS Social Justice Colloquium Opening Reception

  • TBA Based on Directives from the Office of the President and Office of the Chancellor
  • Location: via Zoom
  • More to follow on a reschedule in 2021!

VPA Visiting Artist Series Welcomes Leila Weefur

Leila Weefur
Leila Weefur

About the Artist: Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is a trans-gender noncomforming artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Their interdisciplinary practice examines the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging present in our lived experiences. The work brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is a trans-gender noncomforming artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Their interdisciplinary practice examines the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging present in our lived experiences. The work brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject, hyper surveillance, and the erotic.

Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, The Wattis Institute, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York. Weefur is a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute and is a member of The Black Aesthetic.

Weefur is the Audio/Video, Editor In Chief at Art Practical and a member of The Black Aesthetic.

More About the VPA Visiting Artist Series

The Visual & Public Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series provides a forum for engagement and dialog with emerging and established figures in contemporary art and culture through a three-day mini-residency that includes a public lecture, workshop with students, and studio visits where students receive advice, exposure to professional opinions, and one-on-one creative criticism and feedback.

Each semester, the Visual & Public Art Department ’s Visiting Artist Series brings to campus prominent artists and scholars to give free, public on-campus presentations engaging our greater community, critique student work and participate in events, projects, and lectures.

More to follow on a reschedule!


  • TBA Based on Directives from the Office of the President and Office of the Chancellor
  • Location: CAHSS 504-1401
  • More to follow on the reschedule!

Keynote Speakers:  Elizabeth Rosner and Cinnamon Kills First

  • TBA Based on Directives from the Office of the President and Office of the Chancellor
  • Location: CAHSS 504-1401
  • More to follow on the reschedule!

Student Art Exhibit-Emergence:  A Visual Navigation Through Mending, Memory, and Experience

This art exhibition will the first on display in the CAHSS 504 Student Exhibition Space located on the second floor of the building. The Visual and Public Art Department's Curatorial Gallery Practices course is managing, organizing, and curating student submissions and will exhibit the work as part of this exciting course.

More to follow on the reschedule!

More About the Social Justice Colloquium

The Social Justice Colloquium was initiated in 1997 by Dr. Gerald Shenk (US Historian) and Dr. Angie Tran (Political Economist) from the CAHSS School of Social, Behavioral, and Global Studies. It has grown to be a collaborative effort across the college spanning a week or more of guest speakers in keynote, plenary, public, and classroom workshops across the college community. The goals:

  • To combine teaching and scholarship in support of specific curricular offerings.
  • To address topics and issues uniquely significant to the diverse students, faculty, staff and administration at CSUMB and to our constituent communities in the Monterey Bay region.
  • To erase the artificial academic line that has been drawn between what is scholarly and what is personal.
  • To offer CSUMB students faculty and staff the opportunity to engage in scholarly conversation with recognized scholars and experts from outside the campus.
  • To invite all members of the CSUMB constituent communities to explore critically current issues of social justice in their historical, local, and global contexts.

This annual event has been funded each year since 1997 by the campus’ special events funding pool, coupled with contributions of staff and faculty time, talent and funds from campus departments. A dedicated fund would stabilize the funding for the event, thus enabling the campus to enhance its ability to bring thought leaders on the social justice issues of our time into conversation with campus and community members and afford focused guest lectures and workshops in our classes across the curriculum. Recent expansion of the program to be across the college and in multi-disciplinary venues and expressions realizes the college’s mission and enriches our contribution to the campus and community.

This event is part of the CAHSS Arts & Lectures Series, a wide range of events that includes guest artists and notable speakers as well as our renowned faculty.

Read more about the 23rd Annual Social Justice Colloquium featuring the topic Iran and Iranian Women.

Read more about the 22nd Annual Social Justice Colloquium Featuring Zeynep Tufekci.