The Future of Women's History 2021

The Future of Women's History

The celebration of Women's History Month (March) is dedicated to highlight the often-overlooked contributions of women in US history. In 2021, the Commission on the Status of Women is choosing to highlight local women who are creating women's history now. 

The Future of Women's History features four San Mateo County young women who are walking their own path of advocacy, art, and leadership.

This panel is hosted by the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women with the collaboration of San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto. 

Save the Date to meet and learn what these four women are doing to create change here locally. The forum includes poetry and a question and answer period. 

Wednesday, March 24
12:00pm - 1:00pm



Sanjyot Pia Walawalkar works as Equity and Outreach Librarian at Skyline College. Besides teaching critical information literacy and research methods, Pia plans and implements a variety of social-justice centered events in the Skyline College Library such as Banned Books week, Building a Wall of Support for Undocumented Students, Celebrating Black Hair and Crown Act, to name a few. She also leads the Skyline College Human Library events that are part of the international Human Library movement. She has co-facilitated workshops and discussions on antiracist education and decolonization of teaching for Skyline College faculty.

Amanda Safi is a first-year student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Politics. Passionate about social justice, Amanda spends much of her time volunteering for political campaigns. She is also a period equity activist spearheading the Period Project in San Mateo County to fight the stigma around menstruation and make period products free in high schools. Amanda hopes to collaborate with other legislators, coalitions, and activists to expand the fight for period equity outside of the County.

Sophie Mateja is a sophomore at Pacific Collegiate School. She is the assistant Editor-in-Chief of the school literary magazine, The Finch. Her work has been praised by critics for its “evocative language and deep insight,” taking first prize at numerous local competitions in the past two years. Recently, Sophie was declared a finalist in the Palm Beach Poetry Festival’s ekphrastic poetry contest and published in Inlandia’s spring issue. Her work has been published frequently in the Half Moon Bay Review and other anthologies including AIPF’s di-vêrsé-city. This year, she is competing in Poetry Out Loud and a variety of national essay and poetry contests. In addition to writing, Sophie enjoys playing orchestral classical music as the principal violinist of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony and working as a staffer on political campaigns. She is also one of the 27 appointed Youth Commissioners of the County of San Mateo. 

Hilary Cruz Mejia, a 20-year old Latinx immigrant from Puerto de Iztapa, Guatemala, a first-generation college student and a queer poet, who sometimes is unable to find meaning in logical language, though poetry with its rhythms and alliterations has been a healing process through her transition in the U.S. She is in her second year at Skyline College, but will be transferring to SFSU in Spring 2021. She has been the president of the student Poetry Club at Skyline College since Spring 2020. In order to maintain a connection with her ancestors and to allow the soul of the newcomers to value the legacy of our ancestors, she is aspiring to become a Professor of Literature of the Americas. Hilary is currently working on her first poetry book where she encourages her readers to find the guidance of self-transcendence in their lives, and to connect with their adventurous soul.

Ashlyn So is a 13 year old middle school student, fashion designer and an activist. She had her first runway show at the age of 9 and has since had two more shows during New York Fashion Week. Her design is avant-garde and out of this world. At the end of the pandemic, she started making masks for frontline workers and made it to the news for her unusual mask design and generosity to the community. Congresswoman Jackie Speier sent Ashlyn a Letter of Appreciation for her work during the pandemic. In November 2020, E! People's Choice Awards have also chosen her as one of the People's Heroes for her tireless contribution to her community. She also spent her summer teaching fashion design courses online and is now teaching a fashion club/extracurricular class at her school. When she first saw the video of an Asian elder senselessly pushed on the sidewalk and other Asians being bullied, she organized a rally on February 27th, 2021 in San Mateo to Stand For Asians and against AAPI hate where hundreds showed up to support. Ever since, she has been invited to speak at Anti AAPI Hate rallies all over the Bay Area alongside local activists and City officials. She has also been on multiple local and national news media on TV, digital, as well as print. She is also being invited to speak at Youth events and multimedia platform Gen Z communities. Her ultimate goal is to eliminate racism through education programs, peer-to-peer reading programs, and most of all an integrated American History course that includes the minority experience.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Contact Commission Director for more information:

Tanya Beat,

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