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Moxie Conference

Reclaiming Our Time

Moxie Conference

Registration for The Moxie Conference is now closed. Please contact the Race & Gender Equity Department at 608.257.1436, option 3 with any questions or concerns that you may have, including cancellations or substitutions.

“This was one of the most useful conferences I have attended. I attend 2-3 per year and this is one that I will not forget!”

May 31, 2018 at Monona Terrace

About The Moxie Conference

Mox•ie [mok-see] – noun, slang.

  1. vigor; verve; pep.
  2. Courage, determination, and nerve.
  3. skill; know-how

The Moxie Conference is designed for women who want to expand their network, impact, and leadership skills with an emphasis on leadership as a behavior, rather than a social location or title. Our approach is intersectional and focuses on building meaningful relationships and networks that help participants carry the conference forward.

Keynote Speakers

Bringing Intersectional and Inclusive Leadership to Life // SANDRA KIM
Sandra Kim is the Founder and Training Director of Everyday Liberation and Founder and President of Everyday Feminism. She recently founded Everyday Liberation, which is an educational platform supporting people in building explicitly anti-oppressive and liberating lives and communities – with a regular healing practice. Everyday Liberation offers online training programs for building organization explicitly structured to be anti-oppressive and pro-liberation and healing from oppression as both marginalized and privileged people. She also founded Everyday Feminism in 2012 and led it to become one of the largest independent feminist media sites in the world, with millions of people visiting the site every month. It supports people in applying intersectional feminism to their everyday lives in order to address the daily struggles of violence, discrimination, and marginalization.

Reclaiming Me: Owning my Journey Courtnee // COURTNEE CARRIGAN
Courtnee Carrigan is the CEO and Executive Trainer at Raising the Bar Performance Group, LLC. With over 15 years’ experience as a nonprofit leader, executive trainer, and strategic facilitator for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Ms. Carrigan combines innovative strategy with effective communication to influence positive change and build organizational capacity. Courtnee has successfully created diverse partnerships working with over 30 nonprofits, schools, universities and businesses to implement well-researched and documented methods to improve workforce performance and community relations. Ms. Carrigan has assembled award-winning curriculums that build awareness and promotes individual and systemic change through common sense actions.

Breakout Sessions


AM1   Breaking the Confidence Code // Courtnee Carrigan
Join Courtnee Carrigan, CEO of Raising the Bar Performance Group, in an interactive discussion about confidence and how to turn our thoughts into actions to ensure that our voices, opinions, and expertise are part of decision making within our workplaces. Through sharing and learning, attendees will walk away with a new understanding that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

AM2   Indigenous Women Shall Lead: Embracing Our Identity, Culture, and Leadership
// Wenona Wolf, Kelsey Harker, Tara Tindall, and Rebecca Ramirez
Four Indigenous women will speak on how their culture and their identity have influenced their roles as strong leaders within their fields, their Indigenous communities, and the broader community. They will discuss the difficulty in maintaining a culture in the context of white supremacy and patriarchy in the USA and also how they embrace their culture and identity to disrupt systems of oppression and bring Indigenous issues to the forefront. This discussion will help allies understand the barriers that Indigenous women face in exercising leadership in order to better prepare themselves to support and respect the leadership of Indigenous women—something that is long overdue.

AM3   Negotiating for Your Worth // Mel Barnes
Discussing your compensation can be a tense conversation, especially when asking for a raise. One look at the gendered and racial pay gap, however, makes it clear this is a critical conversation many of us need to be having. This session will focus on skill-building and negotiation tactics, with an emphasis on negotiating compensation and salary. Participants will gain tools to assess, and leverage, their value in conversations with current and future employers.

AM4   Own It: Building your Brand // Beth Zuhlke and Mollie Bell
Through stories of disappointment and triumph, this inspirational, candid, and reflective discussion and workshop will introduce you to the theory of deeply understanding your leadership story; owning your authentic self; and, applying your knowledge to create a path for your future success and the success of those around you. It is never too soon to start giving to others. If we as women are ever going to achieve equality in leadership roles we must continually bring others with us.

AM5   Building Power: Women in Elected Roles // Arvina Martin, Erin Forrest, Sheila Stubbs, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff; Moderator: Carousel Bayrd
Panel discussion with women in elected office and the Executive Director of Emerge WI. Participants will learn about what is involved in the process of pursuing elected office from start to finish. Panelists will talk about what it’s like to run for office, what it’s like to be in their elected roles, what the time commitment is like, what areas of interest you can be involved in, etc. Participants will also hear about opportunities to receive support in running for elected seats and how to lower barriers and level the playing field by demystifying the process of getting engaged, and connecting women to the knowledge and resources needed to win. Resources for women supporting each other once in office and involved in committees will also be discussed.

AM6   Body Bravery: Embracing Radical Self-Love // Katrina Simyab
So often women are bombarded with constant media messaging telling them how to look smaller, lose weight or restrict their diets. It’s not surprising that a recent study showed only 2% of women say they are completely happy with their bodies. It’s time to increase that number! Join blogger, Body Positivity speaker, and plus-size model Katrina Simyab in an exploration of what it means to truly love your body, express self-love and learn to find comfort in your own skin. Through storytelling, activities and discussion, we will learn why it shouldn’t be a radical act to love your body, but a normal one. 

AM7   Este Es Su Momento // Ginna Isunza and Luciá Ledesma
En este taller tendremos la oportunidad de aprender varias técnicas de relajación y cuidado personal que nos ayudaran a enfrentar situaciones estresantes que vivimos día a día. ¡El tiempo que pasemos juntos será interactivo y divertido!

AM8   Toma Control de tus Finanzas // Jane Olson

¿Sabes dónde va tu dinero? ¿Te ha sucedido que en ocasiones tu dinero se escapa como agua entre tus dedos? Únete a Jane Olson, Gerente de Sucursal – Summit Credit Union, en esta sesión especial que te entregara técnicas que te ayudaran a establecer metas ,estimar y monitorear tus gastos, y planificar el destino de tu dinero.

Además, aprenderás a tomar decisiones que se ajustaran al estilo de vida que tanto anhelas, y establecer nuevos hábitos que te prepararan para tu éxito financiero.

Temas de vital importancia: Como manejar el crédito a tu ventaja, o como pagar tus deudas de manera más rápida y efectiva serán el centro de nuestra atención.

Por ultimo hablaremos de cómo prevenir el robo de identidad, así como también evitar ser víctima de fraude.

Te esperamos para así aprender juntos y poder tener un mejor futuro en tus finanzas personales.

AM9   Tapestry Model of Intersectionality // Naomi Takahashi (Con Interpretación Simultánea)

The Tapestry Model of Intersectionality is a framework that deepens understanding of the term intersectionality by exploring the ways social identities and experiences of domination and subordination interweave and interplay. The model helps participants examine the intersection of different identities and inequalities at different times and in different contexts, deepening intercultural awareness and thus intercultural relationships. Just as tapestries are woven on the structure of a loom, which shapes what gets created; social identities and lived experiences are also shaped by and embedded in larger societal structures impacting how we perceive ourselves and how we relate to others.

El Modelo de Interseccionalidad del Telar
El Modelo de Interseccionalidad del Telar es un marco de referencia que profundiza la comprensión del término Interseccionalidad mediante la exploración de las formas en que las identidades sociales y las experiencias de dominación y subordinación se entrelazan e interactúan. Este modelo ayuda a los participantes a examinar la intersección de distintas identidades y desigualdades en diferentes momentos y en diferentes contextos, profundizando la conciencia intercultural y por lo tanto, las relaciones interculturales. Así como los telares se tejen dentro de la en la estructura de madera, que da forma a lo que se crea; las identidades sociales y las experiencias vividas también están conformadas e integradas en estructuras sociales más grandes que impactan en como nos percibimos a nosotros mismos y como nos relacionamos con los demás.

AM10  Black Women Heal: Reclaiming our Spirits, Our Minds, and Our Bodies
Lilada Gee
*This Session is Intended Only for Black Women
Reclaiming our time begins with reclaiming ourselves—our spirits, our minds and our bodies—from every person, place, and thing that has robbed us of our authentic self. Join Lilada Gee, Founder of the #BlackWomanHeal Movement for a time of engaging discussion, introspective writing and intimate sharing, in a sacred space created for Black women; that will lead us to self-reclamation.


PM1   Healing in Order To Respond to Everyday Oppression with Love and Justice
Sandra Kim
As socially conscious people and activists, we bear the traumatic weight of being both personally targeted by and benefiting from systemic oppression and proactively exposing ourselves to it through our work. This too often leads to burnout, depression, and compassion fatigue. Sandra provides an alternative model that supports people in healing from systemic oppression while building our capacity to respond to situations of injustice from a sense of care and shared humanity. We can validate our experiences and take care of ourselves in a society that claims our pain isn’t real and our needs aren’t important. And as we able to hold more compassion for ourselves, we are also able to do the same for others. So instead of reinforcing our traumas, our activism becomes a vehicle for our own healing and reconnection to those who unconsciously perpetuate systemic oppression – including ourselves.

PM2   Reclaiming Our Identity: Internalized Sexism, Bias, and Intersectionality
Deborah Biddle
This workshop asks participants to examine how social identity is constructed through a process of bias and stereotyping, and the impact that this can have on teams. We will look at how our organizations inadvertently create barriers for different groups of people — for example, by gender, ethnicity, generation and religious beliefs. We will further challenge common assumptions that frame our work and explore how our individual social conditioning may interact with our professional experience. Additionally, we will take a look at the effect on female self-image resulting from the sexist messages received over the course of their lives. Participants will identify and assess how these messages have shaped their attitude toward and engagement with other women. Activities will include strategies to challenge internalized sexism and affirm the women and girls in their lives.

PM3   Reclaiming Safety in Unsafe Spaces // Laura Klunder
This breakout is a survivor-centered inclusion workshop that focuses on self-advocacy skills for self-identified womxn and womxn of color. The workshop was first developed for womxn of color student activists at UW-Madison (2016) and was adapted for the YWomen Lead Series (2017). Participants will gain strategies for centering their voices in unsafe spaces.

PM4   Earn It: Living your Brand // Beth Zuhlke and Mollie Bell
Knowing where you want to go is only part of the battle. This workshop focuses on key strategies for achieving the path that you have defined for yourself. The strategies will become personal through reflection and sharing of successes and struggles and by applying them in the workplace. This session will include discussion of networking, mentoring, peer sharing, sponsoring others and how these activities help your career and help bring others along with you.

PM5   Yes, YOU Can Advocate! // WI Women’s Policy Institute: Kara Pennoyer, Bianca Shaw, Dawn Ankney, Karen Tredwell, Libby Holte, Mandy Meloy, Mary Criss, and Rachel Westenberg
Join a team of alumni from the Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute to learn about how they have worked advocacy into their professions. After the panel, presenters will cover the dos and don’ts of contacting elected officials and attendees will learn about and prepare their own advocacy elevator speeches on an issue of their choosing.

PM6   Reclaiming Ourselves: Wellness and Taking Care // Lisa Peyton-Caire
Never has there been a greater demand on our time, energy, and bodies as social justice advocates. The need, pressure, and urgency to be present and engaged in “the work” on multiple fronts is at an all-time high.  Yet, as passionate advocates on the forefront of change, burnout is real and personal well-being often neglected. Join Lisa Peyton-Caire, Assistant Vice President of Life, Learning & Events at Summit Credit Union and Founder & President of local non-profit The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness to take a timeout and delve into the importance of nurturing self and committing to a practice of radical self-care.

PM7   Latina-Emprendedora—5 Maneras de Transformar tu Pasión en Negocio
Jessica Cavazos and Brandie de la Rosa
El emprendimiento femenino ha ido en aumento en los últimos años. Los estudios sugieren que las mujeres empresarias son más ambiciosas que sus equivalentes masculinos y no hay indicios de que este rápido crecimiento disminuya. Sin embargo, muchas posibles empresarias latinas—aunque  están inspiradas para iniciar un negocio—se quedan estancadas al principio del proceso de creación de un negocio. En esta sesión ofreceremos 5 aspectos importantes para iniciar un negocio, a partir de el emprendimiento. Con una discussion informativa sobre estos importantes temas, podemos motivar a empresarias en como desarrollar una idea innovadora, como convertirse en el proceso de negociación, y cuales son las habilidades esenciales para tener éxito como empresaria.

PM8   Assimilation or Deculturalization?
Brenda Gonzalez, Faustina Bohling, Maixia Thao, and Missy Tracy (Con Interpretación Simultánea)
Assimilation is often a strange and confusing environment for many. Ways of life and traditions of a group are handed down from generation to generation to keep one’s heritage alive. Others find they are at the crossroads of defining their personal understanding of multiculturalism, culture, and identity.

In this session, we will hear about the impacts of personal, social, and system dynamics related to assimilation and acculturation.  Acculturation is the process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group, assimilation is yielding to conformity.  Attempts to force or “help” people to adjust to a western civilization proves to be impractical.  Attendees will leave with personal tools to navigate these dynamics and with a message of hope for the future.

¿Asimilación o Aculturización?
La asimilación suele ser un concepto extraño y confuso para muchas personas. Formas de vida y tradiciones se transmiten de generación en generación, para mantener viva la cultura. Otros, se encuentran en la encrucijada de definir su comprensión personal de la multiculturalidad, la cultura y la identidad.

En esta sesión escucharemos acerca de los impactos de las dinámicas personales, sociales y del sistema relacionadas con la asimilación y la aculturización. La aculturización es el proceso de adopción de los rasgos culturales o patrones sociales de otro grupo; la asimilación  cede a la conformidad. Los intentos de forzar o “ayudar” a las personas a adaptarse a una civilización occidental resultan ser poco prácticos. Los participantes de esta sesión se irán con herramientas personales para navegar estas dinámicas y con un mensaje de esperanza para el futuro.

PM9  Claiming Your Future Self // Sagashus Levingston
*This Session is Intended Only for Black Women
I don’t know about Y’all. But when I was changing my life, it seemed just when I thought I had conquered an unhealthy pattern in my life, I was back at it again. I just couldn’t “get right.” But one day, I realized that in order for me to get the kind of results I was looking for, I had to be willing to do things I had never done before. Join me for a session that is meant to make you laugh, cry, and think. But most of all, it will inspire you to make an important trade: Giving up the woman you are for the woman you want to become!

Moxie schedule

Thursday, May 31, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 registration and Networking
8:30 – 8:45 Welcome // Vanessa McDowell
8:45 – 9:45 AM Keynote: Bringing Intersectional and Inclusive Leadership to Life // Sandra Kim
9:45 – 10:00 Break
10:00 – 11:30 AM Breakouts
11:30 – 11:45 Break
11:45 – 1:00 Women of Distinction Leadership Awards Presentation and Luncheon
1:00 – 1:30 Networking Break
1:30 – 3:00 PM Breakouts
3:00 – 3:15 Break
3:15 – 4:30 Closing Plenary
Spoken Word Performance // Opal Ellyse Tomashevska
PM Keynote: Reclaiming Me, Owning My Journey // Courtnee Carrigan


Moxie Conference Planning Committee

Jillana Peterson, Zendesk – Co-Chair
Stephanie Muñoz, Kids Forward – Co-Chair
Amanda Yu, Zendesk
Christina Henriquez, Overture Center for the Arts
Alicia Haynes Barlow, Forward Community Investments
Angela Arrington, State of Wisconsin
Jessica Palmer, Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Joyce Dieter, American Family Insurance
Paula Steinhorst, Alliant Energy
Wenona Wolf, Kids Forward
Allison Evans, Madison Metropolitan School District
Melissa Gombar, City of Madison
Missy Tracy, Ho-Chunk Gaming
Ginna Isunza, UNIDOS

Category: ,
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Date: May 31, 2018
Duration: 1 Day
Type: Open
Entrants: Unlimited