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Stories of women in their own voices, who were first to achieve, create, and then standUp, and get others to Rise Up. These stories need to be told to inspire every woman to believe that there were others before her and among us who have claimed their whole identity on their own terms; that each of us should continue the fight so our daughters may lead fuller lives. There persist inequities from then, among us, now; requiring a feminine continuum of courage and strength, a journey between generations, and across boundaries of any definition.



Anchor: Priya Das


Justina Palafox

Justina Palafox is a descendant of the Ohlone people, from the Morgan Hill-Madrone area and was born and raised in San Jose, California. What most people do not know is that her children were the first Ohlone infants, after many generations of dormancy, to be ceremonially introduced to the Ocean in the Ohlone tradition. This was over 15 years ago. Today she serves as a leader, mentoring youth and young parents interested in integrating traditional culture and contemporary life. Justina is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and was a professional photographer before her current occupation as a manager in the e-commerce field.

Charlene Eigen-Vasquez

Charlene Eigen-Vasquez. She is a law school graduate, a trained mediator and an artist. She is currently on the legal team for a prominent California Bay Area non-profit. She is an adjunct professor having taught graduate and undergraduate classes in Cross-Cultural Mediation Practices and Ethnic Studies. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley.


LaToya Fernandez

Educator, Activist, and Community Leader, LaToya Fernandez, dedicates her career to teaching students equity and justice. As a Restorative Justice Coordinator, LaToya has served in local San Jose schools supporting students, educators, and families through cultural responsiveness, restorative practices, and community engagement. LaToya continues to serve the community in various roles: as the Dean Of Students at Downtown College Prep El Camino, District 3 Neighborhoods Commissioner and is a member for the Tech Museum’s Educator Advisory Board and as Chair for the Youth Outreach Committee for Women’s March- San Jose. Alongside these roles, Latoya continues to be a community advocate who is passionate about creating platforms for youth.


Shikha Malaviya

Shikha Malaviya is a South Asian poet & writer; her book of poems is called “Geography of Tongues.” She is co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship model press publishing powerful voices from India & the Indian diaspora. Shikha’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in PLUME, Prairie Schooner & other fine journals. She was a featured TEDx speaker in 2013, where she gave a talk on poetry in daily life. She is a four-time AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Writer to Writer Mentor, Shikha was selected as Poet Laureate of San Ramon, California, 2016. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area and is the 2020 poetry judge of AWP’s Kurt Brown Prize.