Gender Equity Conference

November 15, 2022 Gender Equity
Conference 2022

Conference Feedback
Nebraska Union Plaza and Broyhill Fountain.

gen·​der eq·​ui·​ty  |  ˈjen-dər ˈe-kwə-tē  |  noun.
A structural and systemic concept allowing for the creation and provision of opportunities for people of all genders.

The annual Gender Equity Conference is set for November 15, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Swanson Auditorium.

Theme: Restorative Justice and the Intersections of Gender Equity

Highlights of the conference are eight 20-minute TED-style talks; four 1-hour breakout workshops; and a lunchtime keynote address by Ernie Chambers. Topics will cover the leadership, advocacy, social justice, and community impact/interest topics related to gender equity and intersectionality.

A continental breakfast and lunch meal are included, too.


9:00 a.m.  |  Breakfast and Check-in

Check in opens at 8:30 a.m. on the 2nd floor of the Nebraska Union, outside of Swanson Auditorium.

Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. in Regency Suite. Opening remarks will be given by Dr. Laurie Bellows.

10:00 a.m.  |  Relationship Between Race, Ethnicity, and Acceptance into a School-Based Restorative Justice Program

Emily Barajas, senior, Psychology and Criminal Justice major

This study examined youth’s likelihood of being accepted into a school-based restorative justice diversionary program based on their race and ethnicity and how that relates to the race and ethnicity of those who were harmed by their offenses. Race and ethnicity are important factors to examine in ensuring that this juvenile restorative justice program is available to all eligible youth and youth are not being unintentionally excluded based on race. The findings of this study provided researchers with a more refined understanding of how shared racial identity impacts the juvenile justice system.

10:30 a.m.  |  Restorative Justice through Victim-Youth Conferencing: An Analysis of Race and Ethnicity

Ana Cienfuegos, Fullbright Scholar, Social and Cognitive Program

Restorative Justice (RJ) practices are increasingly prevalent in juvenile diversion programs given they can facilitate healing and reparation. Despite their ubiquity, little research has examined whether there are unintended racial inequities resulting from the way the programs are conceptualized and implemented. This presentation will describe one such school-referral diversion that utilizes victim-youth conferences (n = 335; 54.9% male, 48.2% racial/ethnic minority) in response to assaults or disturbing the peace incidents. Results demonstrate initial racial disparities in acceptance into and willingness of the youth to participate in the diversion program. Further, results will examine racial differences with presence of victims and youth supporters at the victim-youth conferences.

11:00 a.m.  |  The Bonobo Principle: The Power of Sisterhood in Promoting Women in Leadership

Jennifer Okoliko, graduate research assistant

Based on the book by Diane Rosenfeld: The Bonobo Sisterhood, there is a need for a revolutionary call to action for women and their allies to protect one another from patriarchal violence. In her book, the author introduces us to a groundbreaking new model of female solidarity; one that promises to thwart sexual coercion. Mentoring and sponsorship among women motivated by a determination to support more women to gain everything they need to reach for big things and achieve them will help us see more women breaking stereotypes and overcoming the limitations that have held us back from top leadership positions. Through this bond we can form a haven for females all over the world, give her the courage she needs to confront her oppressors and to scare off predators. Like the Bonobos, we will be sensitive to the cry of every woman around us and will never abandon her to fight alone. This is how we achieve gender equity.

11:30 a.m.  |  Surviving Stigma: The Role of Parental Support in Transgender Folxs’ Quality of Life

Amy Jo Ellefson, instructor, UNO School of Communication

Using questionnaire and interview data, transgender participants' overall well-being and quality of life are examined in relation to their perceived parental support. Among participants, support from loved ones improves mental and physical health outcomes and reduces the long-term effects of gender identity-related stigma.

12:00 p.m.  |  Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Ernie Chambers, former senator, Nebraska State Legislature

An American politician and civil rights activist who represented North Omaha’s 11th District in the Nebraska State Legislature from 1971 to 2009 and again from 2013 to 2021. Chambers is the longest-serving state senator in Nebraska history, having represented North Omaha for 46 years. He is also the only African American to have run for governor in Nebraska and the first to have run for U.S. Senate in Nebraska history.

1:00 p.m.  |  Finding Ways to Reduce Health Disparities Faced by Transgender People in Pakistan

Dr. Humaria Jami, Fullbright Postdoc Fellow

Dr. Humaira Jami (PI, Postdoc Fellow) and Dr. Jay Irwin (Co-PI, Director Women’s and Gender Studies, UNO) under Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program initiated this research project to create awareness about transwomen healthcare needs among medical students in Pakistan. A team of experts in UNMC, a couple of other states of the USA, and Pakistan involved in trans healthcare and policymaking collaborated to develop training following WPATH’s Standard of Care. It is assumed that correct knowledge, better attitude, reduced transphobia, and improved self-efficacy in treating transwomen patients among future doctors will help address health disparities that transwomen face in health settings.

1:30 p.m.  |  Restorative Justice and Application for Sex-Based Cases

Kristen M. Blankley, professor, UNL College of Law

2:00 p.m.  |  Beyond the Scale: Promoting Health and Beauty at Every Size

Katie Leu Hoatson, 3rd-year student, UNL College of Law

One in nine people in the United States will experience an eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating disorders are an intersectional mental health crisis. They are the second most deadly mental illness behind opioid addiction. BIPOC individuals with eating disorders are half as likely to be diagnosed or to receive treatment. Transgender individuals are over 4 times more likely than cisgender folks to report an eating disorder diagnosis. This project is aiming to destroy weight stigma and promote inclusive and accessible spaces through eating disorder education in the community.

2:35 p.m.  |  Building a Strengths-Based Mindset in the Pursuit of a Life Well Lived

Kaitlin Ferris, assistant director, Clifton Strengths Institute, UNL College of Business

The CliftonStrengths assessment has been completed by nearly 30 million people around the world. One of the guiding principles of strengths development is the belief that differences are advantages. People are unique. Race, gender, and nationality indicate almost nothing about a person's strengths. Let us celebrate what makes each of us unique, let us embrace the value we bring to our teams and communities and let us reflect upon the meaning of a life well-lived.

3:00 p.m.  |  Options for Conflict and What an Ombuds Can Do for You

Lisa PytlikZillig, faculty ombuds

This presentation will include a discussion of strategies for approaching conflicts and disputes in the university context, including how restorative justice and other principles can be applied to make discussions about conflict topics more productive. In addition, the presentation will include information about ombuds services in general and at UNL specifically, including information about principles guiding ombuds work and services that ombuds do and do not provide.

3:30 p.m.  |  Closing Remarks and Reception

Domonique Cudjo, assistant director, UNL Women's Center