Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023
5 - 7 p.m. PST



Who is Invited

Campus Community, Public

The title and theme of the 2023 Ethnic Studies Conference are Decolonial Spiritualities, Healing and Social Justice.

The panelists include the first woman and person of color elected as the Episcopalian Bishop of the West Diocese of Tennessee, a holistic and critical Ethnic Studies healer, a scholar specializing in plant healing medicine, and a practitioner of Indigenous and African curanderismo.

The panelists will address how their work integrates critical, intersectional social justice activism through the cultivation of truth-telling and healing of the wounds inflicted on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) within the U.S. and Mexico/Latin America.  

Register for Zoom URL

Sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies


5:00 – 5:05 p.m. Dr. Mary Roaf & Dr. Xamuel Banales  - Opening remarks
5:05 – 5:10 p.m. Kanyon – Land Acknowledgement
5:10 – 5:15 p.m. Introduce new faculty
5:15 – 5:20 p.m. Dr. Goshu Tefera – labor acknowledgment 
5:20 – 5:35 p.m. Bishop Phoebe Roaf
5:35 – 5:50 p.m. Rev. Dr. Trinity A. Ordona
5:50 – 6:05 p.m. Victor Manuel Escoto
6:05 – 6:20 p.m. Dr. Javier Perez Robles
6:20 – 6:50 p.m. Q&A
6:50 – 6:55 p.m. Closing with Kanyon
6:55 – 7:00 p.m. Closing with Dr. Mary Roaf


Victor Manuel Escoto is a creative artist and spiritual practitioner based in Mexico City. As an artist, Victor Manuel's paintings incorporate a variety of themes, including existential, transcendental, and political, and his latest art piece is featured on the spring 2023 cover of Feminist Formations, the leading journal of the National Women's Studies Association. As an art restorer, he has worked in the Frida Kahlo Museum, Chapultepec Park, and Templo Mayor—the main temple of the Mexica (or Aztec) people. As a spiritual practitioner, Victor Manuel Escoto is grounded in his grandmother's cultural ways of curanderismo, which is a traditional (and syncretic) holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit that has been used in the Americas for hundreds of years.  

Javier Perez Robles completed his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Biotechnology and has carried out research on physiology and genetics of marine organisms, biomedicine, and nanotechnology. He has also participated in community development projects implementing eco-technologies in remote areas and is a specialist in plant-based medicines/psychedelics and their healing properties. 

Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, Ph.D., is an award-winning scholar, historian and activist with a 55-year history of civil rights activism in people of color, women’s and LGBTQ communities here and abroad.

Her 2020 article on Asian family acceptance of their LGBTQ family members is a 30-year history and testimony to her transformative grassroots approach. 70% of the Asian American community now supports same-sex marriage – the highest of all other racial groups in the US.

Today, Rev Dr. Trinity applies her gifts to Inner Beauty Healing, her self-healing practice with her sister, which is a combination of Western cognition, Eastern meditation, indigenous spirituality, psychic reading and astrology-based divination.

Bishop Phoebe Roaf life had prepared her for the moment in May 2019 when she was consecrated and ordained as the Bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee.

Growing up 144 miles southwest of Memphis in the Arkansas Delta city of Pine Bluff, she knows the struggles and the potential of this part of the U.S.   Trips for shopping and entertainment brought her to Memphis on occasion.  She received a law degree from the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, clerked for two years for a federal Court of Appeals judge, and worked in a New Orleans firm from 2000 to 2005.

By her early 40s, she had come to understand that her life’s calling was not the law.  Rather, it was to serve as a member of the clergy in the Episcopal Church.  Armed with her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MPA from Princeton University, she attended Virginia Theological Seminary, the flagship seminary for the Episcopal Church, graduating in 2008 and now serving as vice-chair of its board of trustees.

Kanyon Sayers-Roods is Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash; she also goes by her given Native name, “Coyote Woman”. She is proud of her heritage and her native name (though it comes with its own back story) and is very active in the Native Community. She is an Artist, Poet, Published Author, Activist, Student and Teacher. The daughter of Ann-Marie Sayers, she was raised in Indian Canyon, trust land of her family, which currently is one of the few spaces in Central California available for the Indigenous community for the ceremony. Kanyon’s art has been featured at the De Young Museum, The Somarts Gallery, Gathering Tribes, Snag Magazine, and numerous Powwows and Indigenous Gatherings. She is a recent graduate of the Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale, obtaining her Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in Web Design and Interactive Media. She is motivated to learn, teach, start conversations around decolonization and reinidgenization, permaculture and to continue doing what she loves, Art.

Ethnic Studies Conference artwork