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Center for the Advancement of Women

2022 Women's Leadership Conference Event Program

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (PDT)

Mount Saint Mary’s University
Chalon Campus
12001 Chalon Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

The event will be in-person.

View 2021 Event Recordings
  • 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

    Registration, Light Breakfast, Coffee, and Connect

  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    Tell Us Your Story - Walk Ups and Appointments Available All Day

    Stop by the mobile storytelling booth to share your leadership story. What does leadership mean to you? What type of leader are you? What type of leader would you like to be?

    How it works
    When you register for the conference, you can also sign up for your 15-minute time slot. During your session, a facilitator and filmmaker will prompt you with some questions. You can participate alone or with another person. Your story will be edited into a 30-second video featured with all the other stories on our website and for your own personal use. Space is limited.

    FacilitatorMary Trunk

  • 9:45 - 9:50 a.m.

    Opening Remarks

  • 9:45 - 10:15 a.m.

    Opening Keynote: The Neuroscience of Narrative: How Stories Impact the Brain

    How do our brains enable us to tell and follow stories? And how do stories affect our minds? Keynote speaker Dee O’Neill will discuss the cognitive processes involved in constructing and exchanging stories, exploring their role in the neurobiology of mental, emotional, and social experiences.

    Speaker: Dee O’Neill, MS, LPC, BCN

  • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m.

    Wellness Break

  • 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.


    Interested in learning how you can you leverage stories as a strategic tool to empower people, advance social justice issues and educate communities? Learn from creative professionals who use various mediums to tell stories in the most impactful ways to inspire change. 

    Session 1: Women’s Stories: Driving Change Through Film

    Experts will discuss the power of social impact filmmaking in the modern age and will offer practical advice for anyone seeking to bring women’s stories to life through film to drive social change.
    Moderator: Sylvia Hathaway Chavez, Executive Director, Look What SHE Did!
    SpeakersYu Gu, Anayansi Prado, Marlene McCurtis

    Session 2:  Personal Stories and Advocacy: Stories for Change

    Personal stories can be powerful tools for communication. They help people feel connected, as well as provide information that can shape the listener's understanding of an issue. This session will explore the structure and elements of a compelling personal story and the ethics of incorporating personal stories into advocacy efforts. Participants will listen to sample stories and reflect on case studies.

    Speaker: Andrea Spagat

  • 11:15 - 11:30 a.m.

    Wellness and Nosh Break

  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.


    Whether you’re marketing yourself, selling a product or motivating a team, storytelling is fundamental to your success. Industry professionals will offer strategies to help you craft and articulate powerful stories. 

    Session 1: Storytelling: An Essential Tool for Landing Your Next Job

    Today’s workforce is competitive. In this session, experts from leading companies will share strategies and tools to help you bring your authentic self to the forefront and get noticed (and get ahead) in your career. 

    Speakers: Michelle Bonoan, Victoria Kurzweg, Stacey Gordon

    Session 2: Magnetically You: Mastering the Art of Connection and Communication

    Women at every level have the power to cultivate communication and leadership skills to inspire change for you and others. The secret: to be more YOU. In this session, you'll learn 3 business storytelling strategies you can use to unlock your magnetic stories to create more connection, influence, and impact in your career and life. 

    Speaker: Stephanie Zhong

  • 12:15 - 12:30 p.m.

    Wellness and Nosh Break

  • 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

    Closing Keynote

    Speaker: Coming soon

Program Speakers

Stacey Gordon

Yu Gu

Sylvia Hathaway Chavez

Ashley Lauren Joseph

Victoria Kurzweg

Marlene McCurtis

Dee O’Neill

Anayansi Prado

Andrea Spagat

Mary Trunk

Stephanie Zhong