David Banner, Father Greg Boyle and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz are among the speakers scheduled at the 10th-annual Liberation-Based Healing Conference, hosted at California State University, Northridge on Friday Nov. 13, and Saturday Nov. 14.
The two-day, sold-out conference, “Challenging Inequalities: Decolonizing Practices and Social Action,” will feature panel discussions on topics such as human rights, gender-based violence and environmental justice.
The conference aims to spread knowledge and awareness about pressing issues that are taking place around Los Angeles.
The program on both days will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Day one will be held in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union, and day two will be in the Northridge Center of the university Student Union, which is located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St in Northridge.
“The [conference] is very progressive and challenges the status quo,” said José Paez, lecturer in CSUN’s Department of Social Work and conference moderator. “All the topics are relevant to what’s going on in the Los Angeles area.”
The first day’s keynote speaker, Dunbar-Ortiz, author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,” will be “confronting the specific circumstances that reproduce Indigenous and Black poverty and social scarring— namely, the colonial condition in which the United States maintains the structures of settler-colonialism. In continuing to disregard treaty rights and deny restoration of sacred lands, the ongoing US settler-colonial regime prevents Indigenous peoples from performing their most elemental responsibilities as inscribed in their cultural and religious teaching. In other words, sovereignty equates to survival–nationhood instead of genocide.”
Other topics on the first day include human rights and educational systems, gender, gender oppression and gender-based violence, and transformative therapeutic practices.
The second day will feature presentations from keynote speakers Banner and Boyle. Banner, a Grammy Award-winning music producer and founder of Heal the Hood, will address the process and experience of evolving one’s perspective and the politics surrounding such changes. Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, will discuss his work with gangs around Los Angeles and how compassion is a key component in social justice movements.
Other topics for the final day include state-sanctioned violence and police surveillance, environmental justice and creative paths to liberation.
“This conference is all about bringing people together and raising our consciousness,” Paez said.