4th Annual Global Ecofeminism Conference


Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Santa Monica College

Thanks to the SMC Global Citizenship Initiative, SMC Art History, and the SMC Associates, we are once again able to provide an exciting and meaningful program that uses an ecofeminist framework to explore the SMC Global Citizenship Theme; “Gender Equity: Is Equity Enough?”.​The theme of our conference this year is "ARTivism": Examining the unique power of aesthetics and visual culture to bridge barriers, provide new critical paradigms, and provoke open-ended conversation about the relationship between social inequity and environmental degradation.

View the full photo gallery.

ecofem zine cover photoView the PDF Fileecofeminist zine created by conference participants.

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Speaker Presentations
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Reception
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.​ Breakout Sessions

Questions? Email ecofeminismSMC@gmail.com

2017 Speakers

(in alphabetical order)

Padhia Avocado

Ms. Avocado participates as part of the SMC Art Department's "Women's Empowerment" Lecture Series, sponsored by the SMC Associates. Many thanks.

Los Angeles-based writer and street artist Padhia Avocado will talk about the eco-feminist aspects of her art, which explores the often undiscovered and obscure elements of our interior human landscape, and has been described as "psychological commentary".

K Bradford

K. Bradford is an educator, interdisciplinary artist, community-builder and cultural leader who creates innovative, game-changing art events and happenings through poetics, sound, objects, spectacle and community dialogue. A writer and lo-fi integrated media performer, K.’s work has appeared on stages around the U.S. and in publications such as the LA Review of Books, Slag Glass City, Gulf Coast, Trop & Viralnet.net. K. teaches literature at Antioch University’s Bridge program and woodworking to kids on a school bus turned wood shop. With an MFA in Writing and in Art + Technology from CalArts, K. recently launched One Mile, an arts + social justice program that works with communities to poetically re-imagine the problems of our world. In the fall of 2016, One Mile launched its first major project on hunger and sustainability in partnership with the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College.

Gabriella Claro

Gabriella "Gabby" Claro is an 18-year-old artist from South Central Los Angeles and creates paintings and screenprints with a focus on spreading empowerment for womxn and positivity through her art. Gabriella is an alumnus of Self Help Graphics & Art's SOY Artista program and current member of the Barrio Mobile Art Studio Youth Team that facilitates art workshop for peers at various citywide actions pushing your additional resources for youth. Gabby is also a member of the art collective Ni Santas, a group focused on creating space for young women to learn about art and re-write herstory through art, with a responsibility to create socially conscious visual narratives.

Charlotte Cressey

MM_APR16__1438 (1).jpg Charlotte Lorraine Cressey is an animal liberation activist and educator, ecofeminist, lover of life, enthusiast for the many benefits of a vegan lifestyle, and the creator of Earth Energy Yoga®. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Women's Studies through the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth's undergraduate program and is graduating this Spring from a master's program in Philosophy and Religion with specific focus on Women's Spirituality.

Charlotte believes in the revolutionary power of love. Her work exposes the insidious and pervasive manifestations of the 'might makes right mentality', disembodied logic, dismemberment of the spirit, and denial of empathy which cause us to forget our true nature as humane humans. Her research finds that care, relationship, and cooperation are spiritual resources within every person and the guiding principles in human evolution.

Through her presentations, self-development workshops, meditation, and yoga classes she assists people in unearthing the infinite wellspring of joy, love, and wisdom within. Charlotte holds that veganism, meditation, mindful movement, and feminism are integral steps toward the larger goal to create a peaceful, harmonious existence for humans, animals, and the Earth. Connect at CharlotteCressey.com.

Melissa Govea

Melissa Govea, a 22-year-old artist, apparel designer, and organizer from South Central Los Angeles who's work center around indigenous rights. She was a member of a 30-plus artist delegation to Standing Rock and working alongside the matriarch led Red Warrior Camp delivering crucial winterizing supplies as well as helping facilitate creative projects to incorporate into non-violent actions such as banners, posters, and puppets. Melissa is also a member of the art collective Ni Santas, a group focused on creating space for young women to learn about art and re-write herstory through art, with a responsibility to create socially conscious visual narratives. She is a co-curator for the upcoming Honor The Earth, The Art of Indigenous Resistance celebrating 31 years of the organizations work resisting developments that directly impact indigenous communities.

Jeannette Kiel

Jeannette Kiel is an ecofeminist activist, artist, and independent scholar. She is originally from San Diego, CA and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeannette’s ecofeminist activist, creative, and academic work is inspired by the belief that all forms of injustice are interconnected to nature and that these must be addressed to create real change and transformation for peace and partnership to thrive in our world. Her work also addresses her identification as a Mestiza or mixed-race Filipino-Black woman and a mother to three sons, ages two, five and fifteen. Jeannette creates art that utilizes several media types including painting, photography, and mixed-media. She includes found objects from nature, and also creates art by reusing or “upcycling” what would have been considered trash. She believes that conscious creative work can be used to help open people’s minds as well as connect to new ideas and thoughts on a deeper level, and that this is the key to cultural, social, and spiritual revolution. Jeannette has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion with a focus in Women's Spirituality from the California Institute of Integral Studies located in San Francisco, CA. Jeannette’s dissertation presents the stories and examines the spiritual aspects of the work of spiritual ecofeminist activist artists. Jeannette also has a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Alliant International University. If you would like more information about Jeannette’s ecofeminist creative and scholarly work, please go to Jeannette’s website at jeannettekiel.com.

Isabella La Rocca

Isabella La Rocca is an artist, educator, and activist working primarily with photography. Her work is part of a long tradition in art and photography: to bring to light and find beauty in the disregarded - hidden, unconscious, commonplace. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. in Photography from Indiana University. Awards for her work include the Ferguson Grant from the Friends of Photography in San Francisco, CA for excellence and commitment to the field of photography. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States including a solo show at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY. She currently teaches Multimedia Art at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, California, and Photography at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Conference Organizers

Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein, M.A., is a writer, speaker, and professor of sociology and women’s studies. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016) and co-editor of the new anthology, Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014, is lead coordinator for the Los Angeles chapter of Women, Action and the Media and is on the board of Global Girl Media.

Kaya Foster

Kaya Foster is the Student Greening Program Director at Sustainable Works, an environmental education organization housed at Santa Monica College in the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies. Sustainable Works inspires individuals to adopt behaviors that contribute to healthy and equitable communities. She is also a consultant for the SMC Environmental Affairs Committee, and an advisory baord member for the UCLA Extension Environmental Studies Program. Kaya received her B.A. in Women’s Studies from UCLA. She is thrilled to be have the opportunity to bring this event to the community for a fourth year.

Walter Meyer

Walter is a full-time faculty member and has taught at SMC since 2002. His current interests combines identity politics and all things digital in relation to visual literacy and pedagogy through privileging discussing issues of race, class, gender & ethnicity in digital and hybrid environments to learn the required canon for his art history transfer students. Currently he is the co-chair of the Technology Planning Committee and he has sat on the Information Services Committee and the Distance Education Committee for the college and served as the faculty adviser for the “Surf Club”. Walter has been a member of the College Art Association since 1997 and is a member of the Professional Practices Committee for CAA. In 2015 he started his term as President of the Art Historians of Southern California and has been on its board since 2012 and a member since 1998. He is a former Arts Commissioner and the former chair of the Public Art Committee for the city of Santa Monica and former board member for the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Arts Foundation.

Eugene Hsu

Eugene Headshot.jpg Eugene Hsu is an outspoken feminist and is excited to be able to assist in organizing this year’s conference.  He was recently accepted into UCLA and he will be majoring in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies.  Eugene is an avid proponent for social justice and is a recipient of multiple Global Citizenship scholarships from Santa Monica College.  In addition, he is a multiple award winner of SMC’s Global Citizenship Symposium and was invited to speak on the socialization of gender at this year’s symposium. ​

Thank you to our sponsors:

Global Citizenship Trader Joe's SMC Foundation