2022 Keynotes and Plenaries

4W-STREETS Plenary

Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 10:00am CST

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

“What does justice mean for survivors of human trafficking? A panel discussion toward a collective vision of the future”

Decorated water bottles in the sandSurvivors’ perceptions of justice for themselves do not often endorse traditional forms of retributive justice for their traffickers. Instead, survivors often seek the ability to move on from the trafficking experience to find autonomy and empowerment through achieving self-defined goals. 4W STREETS prioritizes the amplification of survivor voices in our efforts to confront human trafficking. Toward this end, we will be hosting another compelling panel with three leading survivor advocates representing different communities of women who have overcome injustice related to sex trafficking. We will hear what justice means for Nigerian women in Spain and the European Union, Native American women in the United States and Canada as well as women trafficked in their own communities in Wisconsin.

Moderator: Dr. Araceli Alonso

Survivor Advocates:

Babette Sandman
McKenzie Valenza
Blessing Joseph

Alice Wong in Conversation with Dr. Sami Schalk

Thursday April 7, 2022 at 7:00pm CST

***CART Captioning  and ASL Provided

Co-sponsored by UW-Madison’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, The Asian and Pacific Islander Desi American Student Center and the Student Multicultural Center of UW-Madison
Other co-sponsors include: UW-Madison’s Asian American Studies, The Disability Studies Initiative, and UW-Madison Anonymous Fund

Photo of an Asian American woman in a power chair. She is wearing a blue shirt with a geometric pattern with orange, black, white, and yellow lines and cubes. She is wearing a mask over her nose attached to a gray tube and bright red lip color. She is smiling at the camera. Photo credit: Eddie Hernandez PhotographyAlice Wong (she/her) is a disabled activist, writer, media maker, and consultant. She is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture created in 2014.

Alice is also a co-partner in four projects: DisabledWriters.com, a resource to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists, #CripLit, a series of Twitter chats for disabled writers with novelist Nicola Griffith, #Crip-TheVote, a nonpartisan online movement encouraging the political participation of disabled people with co-partners Andrew Pulrang and Gregg Beratan, and Access Is Love with co-partners Mia Mingus and Sandy Ho, a campaign that aims to help build a world where accessibility is understood as an act of love instead of a burden or an afterthought.

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Photo of Dr. SchalkSami Schalk is an Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She is the author of Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Duke UP 2018) and the forthcoming Black Disability Politics (Duke UP 2022). Schalk is also a pleasure activist, a writer for Tone Madison, and a board member for Freedom Inc., a Black and Southeast Asian activist and advocacy organization in Madison.

Voice of Witness

Friday, April 8, 2022 at 11:00am CST

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

Storytelling as Resistance: A Feminist Approach to Oral History

Voice of Witness Logo (a speech bubble surrounding a cartoon symbol for an eye) and an image of a selection of their books

The Voice of Witness plenary will connect threads across its recent projects focused on climate disaster in Puerto Rico, youth migration from Central America, and Indigenous resistance in order to explore the use of ethics-driven oral history as a liberatory methodology and a feminist approach to storytelling. The panel will also discuss lessons learned from the pandemic and how we can ensure structures and practices of empathy, justice, and equity.


Lorel Cubano Santiago is a narrator in the latest book in the Voice of Witness series, Mi María: Surviving the Storm, Voices from Puerto Rico. Lorel is a community organizer with previous experience in the tourism industry as well. She is the founder of the Old San Juan Heritage Foundation and the community arts center Colectivo PerlArte. After Hurricane María, Lorel mobilized mutual aid efforts with her community to feed hundreds of people despite not receiving any aid from the supply ships that docked just minutes away from their neighborhood of La Perla in San Juan.

Ashley Hemmers is a Mojave Tribal Administrator and a narrator in How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America, an oral history book in the Voice of Witness series. Growing up in the American Southwest, Ashley experienced challenges around intergenerational trauma, environmental racism, and a lack of Indigenous representation in education.

Soledad Castillo is a student in the UC Berkeley Social Welfare Master’s Program and a narrator in Solito, Solita: Crossing Borders with Youth Refugees from Central America, an oral history book in the Voice of Witness series. Born in Honduras, Soledad came to the US as an undocumented immigrant at age fourteen.

Dao X. Tran is the Managing Editor at Voice of Witness. Born in Mỹ Tho, Dao was a youth and community organizer in Philadelphia and has been politically active in Providence and New York City. Before joining Voice of Witness, Dao was senior editor at Haymarket Books and a freelance book editor.

Dr. Kim Nielsen

Friday, April 8, 2022 at 4:00pm CST

***CART Captioning and ASL Provided

Co-sponsored by the UW-Madison Department of History and UW-Madison’s Disability Studies Initiative

“Unbuilding, Imagining: Anna Ott, Dorothea Dix, and the Burdens of Our Pasts”

Photo of Dr. Kim NielsenAt this moment, weary and terrified as we are, many of us ache to imagine, and then to live, new feminist futures. This talk uses nineteenth-century U.S. figures Dorothea Dix, a promoter of insane asylums, and Anna Ott, a long-time inmate of the Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane, to analyze overlapping, entangled, and unjust historical power structures that remain with us—medicalized incarceration, ableism, settler colonialism, misogyny, and racism. Via greater understandings of the past, Nielsen will explore how we begin to unbuild in order to imagine care, justice, and community anew.  

Historian and Disability Studies scholar Kim Nielsen is Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Toledo where she teaches courses on disability history, activism, gender, eugenics, and law.  Nielsen is author of the widely used A Disability History of the United Statesmultiple other books and articles, and co-editor of the award winning Oxford Handbook of Disability History. Her most recent book, Money, Marriage, and Madness: The Life of Anna Ott, analyzes a Madison physician incarcerated for two decades at the Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane in the mid-19th century. In addition, Nielsen has received two Fulbright appointments, numerous scholarly prizes, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Dr. Chloe Diamond-Lenow

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 9:00am CST

Yoga in the WGS Classroom as an Embodied and Affective Pedagogy of Feminist and Queer Care

Dr. Chloe Diamond-Lenow Trauma-informed restorative yoga is a productive site of queer and feminist pedagogy of self and community care in and outside of the feminist classroom. Black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde famously wrote, “The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free.” This presentation argues for the importance of feminist pedagogy as care that focuses on the body, affect, and emotion as sites of knowledge, learning, and resistance. I specifically discuss my use of yoga as feminist pedagogy within my Women’s and Gender Studies courses during the pandemic as an example of a pedagogy of care that forefronts students’ somatic and affective experiences as sites of knowledge within, and as sites of resistance to, the colonial formations of neoliberal heteropatriarchy that often negate the body and its knowledges. I also consider the neocolonial formations that subtend the practice of yoga within the U.S. and ways to move towards a more decolonial praxis of yoga as feminist pedagogy. The presentation ends with an accessible short guided meditation and restorative yoga practice as a grounded example of this work.


Dr. Chloe Diamond-Lenow (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at SUNY Oneonta. They teach courses about, and informed by, practices of queer care, including a seminar on Feminist Theories, Practices, and Methods of Care and Introduction to Queer Studies.  Dr. Diamond-Lenow’s most recent research examines the politics of feminist and queer care in yoga and yoga as feminist pedagogy. They are a registered yoga teacher and have been teaching feminist, queer, and body-positive yoga since 2013.

African American Health Network

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 10:00am CST

B-Black B-Strong: Health, History and Representation Matters

A group of five African American women holding up a banner that reads

The African American Health Network is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster networking among African American health professionals and community health advocates and promote health education, healthy lifestyles, self-advocacy, empowerment and well-being among African Americans in Dane County.

Gale Johnson – Moderator

Gale D. Johnson has been the director of the Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP) in the Department of Health Services for more than 20 years. This statewide program is Wisconsin’s component of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ms. Johnson is a past Chair of the CDC Council for Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. For three years she was also a member of the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. For many years, Ms. Johnson has been a very active member of the Wisconsin Women of Color Network. She has also been a member of the African American Health Network of Dane County since its inception in 2003. Recognizing the importance of women living long healthy lives, Ms. Johnson has coordinated health programs for both organizations.

Ms. Johnson is a “life-long learner” and has had the opportunity to work with, and learn from many outstanding clinicians, researchers, advocates and community leaders who are dedicated to the health and well-being of women and their families.

Carola Gaines – Panelist

Carola Gaines has worked for Quartz and UW Health for 28 years, working with Medicaid families advocating and creating programs that would support their health and assist in removing barriers to health care.  She currently serves as the Community Liaison Manager working with nearly 50,000 Quartz BadgerCare Plsu(BC+) members, that continues to grow.  Since 1994 the membership has grown from 1,200 in Dane County to approximately 50,000 members in 17 counites throughout the Western and Southern counties of the State. She is challenged daily as she works to meet the great needs of the members in many areas of their lives. Her goals are to coordinate and provide a heightened level of support to the BC+ providers and BC+ membership.

To accomplish these goals, she has proactively developed and implemented programs to improve access to care. She works with BC+ providers to coordinate patient care and inform them of new state programs and initiatives. She advocates for members with high-risk health care needs and works to educate BC+ members about preventative health measures such as early prenatal care, appropriate postpartum services, childhood immunization and timely physicals.

Carola graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Journalism/Communications and pursued post graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work.

She is an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist (MTZ) church. She is one of the founders of the MTZ Children’s Choir and served as Director for 30 years. Carola is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., where she served as the Wisconsin State Coordinator and as Chapter President of the Madison Alumnae Chapter. She serves on the Board of Director’s for The Foundation of Black Women Wellness, One City Early Learning Center and President of the Rainbow Project orgnazation.  She also gives of her time to many community service organizations and projects.  She has received numerous awards, including the YWCA- 2010 Woman of Distinction, Dane County Walk of Honor Award, Madison Links Service Award, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Trailblazer Award, South Madison Community Service Award and others too many to name.

She has been married to Arnold “Clyde” Gaines for 40 years and is the mother of three children: Clifton Le’Reece, Cachell Courtney, and Corvonn Julian Hezekiah Gaines. She is a mother-in-law to Delisa Gonzales Gaines and grandmother to Cruz Reece Gonzales Gaines, Alessandra Caelle Gaines, Carol Christiano and Lyric Lizeth Lacayo, who all live in Texas. Her sister is Maria D. Peterson, lives in Chicago.

Deana WrightPanelist

Deana Wright is a Madison native, a UW-Madison alum and an award-winning radio personality and TV journalist.  As a multimedia broadcaster, Deana considers it a blessing to have graced the airwaves in several major media markets including Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York City, the #1 ranked media market in the country where her audience topped 3 million listeners. Her broadcasting career spanned almost 30 years. She has interviewed Hollywood celebrities, international recording artists and political figures, including former President Barack Obama. She has been the recipient of numerous career achievement awards and as a longtime voiceover actor, Deana’s voice has been heard on many national radio & TV commercials and documentaries.

Deana is currently serving older adults in Dane County as NewBridge Madison’s Diversity and Inclusion Manager, where she is intentionally committed to health education, addressing racial disparities and inequities in health, promoting joyful aging and providing social engagement for Black and Spanish speaking older adults. She is also involved in mentoring and supporting fellow adoptees. Deana is a member of the African American Health Network, the African American Opioid Coalition, the Dane County Caregiver Advisory Board, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the National Association of Black Journalists, Women in Focus, and is a lifelong member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Deana is the proud parent of two adult children, Derek and Britni … and her 11-year-old granddaughter Aliana fills her life with endless joy!

Dr. Eva Vivian-Panelist

Eva Marie Vivian is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in 1995, Master of Science in Population Health from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2013, and Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology in 2020.

Dr. Vivian has received several teaching awards at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy and was recognized as an outstanding woman of color in 2014 for her commitment to education and community outreach. Dr. Vivian has been referred to as “the researcher with a servant’s heart” because of her service to underserved communities in Madison, WI.  Her research interest focus on identifying disparities in the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases among ethnic minorities, particularly African American and Latino American patients and developing and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them.

Dr. Vivian is the current president of the African American Health Network of Dane County whose mission is to promote health education, healthy lifestyles, self-advocacy, empowerment and well-being among African Americans in Dane County. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Access Community Health Centers, a local federally qualified health center; and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Metropolitan Madison Chapter of the Links, organizations that work tirelessly toward social justice.

Dr. Ada Cheng

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 1:00pm CST

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

Loving Myself With/In A Thousand Cuts

A photo of Dr. Ada Cheng

In this storytelling performance, Dr. Cheng will weave various stories to highlight the intricate impact of micro-aggression, gender-based violence, and anti-Asian racism. She will use these stories to demonstrate how these spheres of violence collectively shape our self-identity and our state of well-being. This performance will be about 45 minutes, followed by a 15-minute Q & A.

Bio: An educator-turned artist, storyteller, and creator, Dr. Ada Cheng has utilized storytelling to illustrate structural inequities, raise critical awareness, and build intimate communities. Committed to amplifying and uplifting marginalized voices, she has created numerous storytelling platforms for BIPOC and LGBTQIA community members to tell difficult and vulnerable stories. Because of her artistic and intellectual work, she has recently been named the Educator of the Year by the 7th Congressional District’s Multi-Ethnic Task Force and the American Multi-Ethnic Coalition, Inc.   

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Artist Roundtable

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 2:00pm

***CART Captioning Provided.  ASL available upon request

Collaboration as a Strategy in Contemporary Feminist Activist Art

Collaborative working methodologies have been crucial to feminist art practice since the 1970s, and the collective approach continues to be an especially effective strategy for feminist artists today.

This artist roundtable will examine a variety collaborative approaches being used by contemporary artists to address social, political, and environmental subjects. Subjects addressed by scholars in women and gender studies are likely to have artists using visual strategies to bring attention to the same issues. This roundtable will examine a range media, and collaborative practice between artists and activists, community organizers, community and public organizations.

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