CFA 2020 Equity Conference, February 28-29
Westdrift Hotel, Manhattan Beach

Connecting for Co-Liberation

“If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you’ve come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” 
― Australian Aboriginal Elder Lilla Watson

This year marks the first time the Equity Conference, birthed as a project of the California Faculty Association’s Council for Affirmative Action, is offered as a project of the Council for Racial and Social Justice.  This is more than a name change, as it reflects the concerted efforts undertaken in the last several years to center Anti-Racism and Social Justice in all things CFA, beginning with the recognition that racism and white supremacy is institutionalized in our organization and a commitment to what we began calling our Anti-Racism Social Justice Transformation. 

The last Equity Conference, in 2018, called us to take the lens of intersectionality to our practices and vision following the framework of Black feminist and Critical Race scholar/activist Kimberle Crenshaw as we sought to respond to the “resurgence of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-labor, and White supremacist discourses in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential election” and to build upon the resistance expressed by progressive activists across the country. We saw intersectionality as a framework for coalition building in the labor movement.

Now, for Equity 2020, we build upon that framework by merging notions of belonging and bridging (cf John Powell, Facing Race) and of redefining difference as a source of power (Audre Lorde) as we connect for co-liberation. We now view our oppressions as linked in a matrix of domination, therefore, so too are our freedoms. This envisioning inspires us to call on members to organize in a new, distinctive way.  Instead of working within individual caucuses (e.g., Asian/Pacific Islander, Women’s, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender, Chicanx/Latinx, Indigenous Peoples, Disability, African American and Teacher Education) to prepare workshops and guest speakers, caucus leaders and conference planners have been tasked with approaching key themes intersectionally, while offering their collective wisdom in consideration of how these themes are best articulated with particular identities and experiences so that we may “connect for co-liberation.” 

The themes chosen by conference planners, including caucus leaders, are:

  • Decolonization, Liberation, Joy and Resistance
  • Intersectional Continuums of Violence & Power
  • (In)/(Hyper)Visibility

We look forward to mapping a way toward co-liberation and are thrilled to announce confirmed keynote Safiya Umoja Noble author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.

In the words of Sonali Sangeeta Balajee:

“Liberatory-based language and practices have been centered from groups such as Black Lives Matter, the queer Chicana movement, Bioneers, and the Women’s March. I purposefully use co-liberation to account for the understanding of decolonial action and the belief, expressed by many activists, in a collective liberation that connects your freedom to mine, and mine to yours. Co-liberation calls for integrating self, community, and institutions toward a greater good. This definition requires an underlying belongingness; co-liberation is required for the social and spiritual connection to thrive. As Zadie Smith shares in the foreword of her recent book Feel Free: ‘You can’t fight for a freedom you’ve forgotten to identify.’ (Supporting sources: Audre Lorde, Laura Perez, Ramon Grosfoguel, Lyra Butler-Detman, Robyn Avalon).”

More at

Conference Participation

The Council for Racial and Social Justice commits to sponsoring up to six (6) persons from each chapter to attend. Moreover, the Council strongly encourages chapter presidents to invite current or prospective activist colleagues to participate in the conference. In addition, chapters are strongly encouraged to support at their expense additional faculty with whom it wishes to build stronger activists relationships.

We look forward to seeing you at this powerful conference. For more information about the conference contact Audrena Redmond at or Maureen Loughran at


John Beynon (Fresno State,

Sharon Elise (San Marcos,

Equity Conference Planning Committee:

William Arce (Fresno,

G Chris Brown (Fullerton,

Renee Byrd (Humboldt,

Cecil Canton (Sacramento,

Dorothy Chen-Maynard (San Bernardino,

Mark Allan Davis (San Francisco,

Susan Frawley (Chico,

Rafael Gomez (Monterey Bay,

Anne Luna-Gordinier (Sacramento,

Moe Miller (Fullerton,

Theresa Montano (Northridge,

Tracey Salisbury (Bakersfield,

Erma Jean Sims (Sonoma,

George Station (Monterey Bay,

Charles Toombs (San Diego,

Lori Walkington (San Marcos,

CFA Staff Committee Members:

Shante Briley,

Michelle Cerecerez,

Gary Daniels,

Beka Langen,

Jessica Lawless,

Maureen Loughran,

Audrena Redmond,