Labor leader and civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta, to speak at Marin Academy’s Conference on Democracy

Marin Academy’s 17th Annual Conference on Democracy will explore local, national, and global issues with student activists, leaders, and luminaries. This year’s virtual conference will feature Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and civil rights icon, Dolores Huerta, who along with Cesar Chavez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association.

APRIL 23, 2021, SAN RAFAEL, CA - Marin Academy’s Conference on Democracy, founded in 2004, earned nationwide recognition for Marin Academy as a leading independent school focused on equity and justice. The conference features sessions that are designed and facilitated jointly by MA students and faculty in partnership with local and national experts, activists, and stakeholders. Amidst a global pandemic, the ongoing fight for racial justice, a climate crisis, and the recent presidential election, Marin Academy’s student leaders decided that this year's conference will focus on how we are supporting the longevity of democracy in terms of the three main pillars of sustainability: social equity, environmental protection, and economic viability. 

The slate of speakers and topics will focus on systemic inequalities rooted in our society and invite students to identify meaningful ways to increase the sustainability of our democracy individually, locally, and globally. From behavioral economics, neuroscience, and voting rights to youth activism, ethical listening, and gardening for food security in Marin County, the 17th Annual Conference on Democracy will challenge individuals to listen, learn, and initiate change in an environment of collaboration. 

Marin Academy student activists, educators, alumni, and parents are eagerly anticipating the final keynote address by Dolores Huerta on Thursday, April 29. Huerta, a civil rights pioneer, brought an intersectional vision to her community organizing work, recognizing that the specific needs of workers varied depending on their diverse identities. “Her lifelong pursuit of workers, immigrants, and women’s rights and the courage she has had as a leader is inspiring to me. She has embodied her call to action of “Si, se puede” in so many ways, including often being the only woman, or the first woman, to be in various organizations or leadership roles at the time. She is a groundbreaker and inspires me to be one too.” Chiara Savage Schwartz, one of the conference’s student organizers shared. Huerta, now 91, is still active in community organizing and will be speaking about civic leadership and how to sustain one’s civic engagement.

Other featured speakers include: 

  • Jared Huffman, American Congressman who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for California’s 2nd congressional district (which includes Marin County). 

  • San Rafael Mayor, Kate Colin 

  • Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant who explores the convergence of the issues of race, gender, religion, and education in society through different artistic mediums. He is an award winning film and music producer and poet and currently serves as the Associate Dean and Director of the Office for Inclusion, Belonging, and Intergroup Communication at Stanford University.

  • Miyoko Schinner, chef, cookbook author, animal sanctuary founder, and owner of Miyoko’s Creamery. 

  • Nil Zacharias, entrepreneur, advisor, and author who has spent the past 10 years focused on the intersection of food and sustainability.

  • Shirzad Chamine, NY Times Bestselling Author and Stanford Lecturer.

  • MA alum Trevor Cohen '08, author of Bright Green Future, a book about solving climate change.

  • Armando Quintero, Director, California State Parks.

  • Christina Hammonds Reed, NY Times Bestselling Author Of The Black Kids.

Limited press tickets available for keynote speakers, including Dolores Huerta. Contact Justine Clifford for press access to the event.

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ABOUT MARIN ACADEMY

Founded in 1971, Marin Academy is a co-educational, independent high school in Marin County. The multidimensional nature of MA’s educational approach creates an environment in which our students thrive as scholars, athletes, and artists. Students experience the value of working with others as they grow their appetite to pursue their own passions, questions, and paths. Marin Academy’s mission statement “asks every individual to think, question, and create in an environment of encouragement and compassion, and challenges each person to accept the responsibilities posed by education in a democratic society.” 

CONTACT

Please contact Justine Clifford, Director of Marketing and Communications, at jclifford@ma.org, or call 415-482-3289 to schedule an interview. 

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