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Holy Names University Hosts First Annual Environmental Racism Symposium

Environmental Racism Symposium(Oakland, CA – November 12, 2021) — Holy Names University is proud to honor its commitment to anti-racism work by holding our first annual Environmental Racism Symposium on Tuesday, November 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Undergraduate students have been selected to present their work on racism in the areas of healthcare, policy, and pollution in three conference-like sessions.

The conference will be held via Zoom. Attendance at the Symposium is limited to HNU students, staff, and faculty as well as community and educational partners.



Opening: 10-10:30 am

Session 1: 10:35- 11:05 am
A. Maria Bianca Mendoza, Amber Revilla, and Alondra Villegas: Code Switching
A. Maria Avila: What is Missing White Girl Syndrome, and Who Does it Affect?
B. Muskaan Aleem: The Impact of Flint’s Deadly Water
B. Ryan Thomas: Segregation Today
C. Mario Alviz: The Multiracial Experience
C. Mahmoud Shimila: The Journey: My Journey and its Historical Relevance

Session 2: 11:10- 11:40 am
A. Berenis Ruiz: Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System
A. Julia Garcia: The Effects of Mass Incarceration and Reentry Challenges of the Formerly Incarcerated
B. Ahliyah Cato: Racial Violence by Law Enforcement
B. Grace Jacobs: Systemic Racism
C. Kenny Smith: Tell Me Who You Are Project 
C. Tina Nguyen: Tell Me Who You Are 

Session 3: 11:45- 12:15pm
A. Nicki Schug, Ellysa Bella, KiKi Scott: Environmental Racism Focusing on the Port of Oakland
A. Madison Oberster: How Pesticide Use Contributes to Racism Through Migrant Work
B. Brenda Maciel, Cherish Smith, Melanie Guzman: Pandemic, Oakland CA
B. Faith Onyewuchi, Regina Parra, Tina Nguyen: Air Pollution in Oakland: Effect on Underrepresented Communities
C. Carson Kelley: Racism in the South
C. Vanson Ly: Cancer Alley

Closing Session, Q&A: 12:15–1:00 p.m.

HNU Stands United Against HateHNU’s Environmental Racism Symposium is a part of United Against Hate Week: November 14-20, 2021, a call for local civic action to stop the hate and implicit biases that are a dangerous threat to the safety and civility of our neighborhoods, towns, and cities.







Holy Names University (HNU) has been empowering and preparing a diverse student body for productive lives of leadership and service since 1868. Rooted in Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions, the University was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. HNU offers a liberal arts and professional education. Student-centered, with small class sizes and courses in varied formats and schedules, HNU meets the needs of all learners, including first-generation students and working adults. Nestled in the Oakland hills of California, the University’s idyllic, 60-acre campus offers panoramic views of San Francisco Bay. For more information, visit