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Green & Gold Speaker Series

The Green & Gold Speaker Series was created to reflect the ideas expressed in our campus Inclusive Excellence Statement which emphasizes our shared commitment to...

"work collaboratively upon principles of cultural humility and respect for all to create an atmosphere in which a sense of belonging within our community can flourish."

Focus on Justice

The Green & Gold theme for 2022-23 is Focus on Justice. Our focus is on justice as notions of fairness & inclusion between individuals in society, equal access to resources and opportunity. We will explore topics surrounding the increasing of equity, diversity & social privileges, and expanding human rights for all.

We are excited to bring to you a slate of dynamic speakers who will lead us in the exploration of our theme, Focus on Justice. Our topics include disability justice, tribal justice, reparatory justice, and environmental justice.

Environmental Justice


On Monday, April 10th, 2023, we welcome Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali to Sac State as the final 2022-2023 Green & Gold Speaker on Environmental Justice. Join us from Noon – 1:00 pm in the Union Ballroom or online via Zoom webinar.

Dr. Ali is a renowned thought leader, international speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator. Ali serves as the Executive Vice President for the National Wildlife Federation. He is also the founder of Revitalization Strategies, a business focused on moving our most vulnerable communities from “surviving to thriving.” Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Ali was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change.

Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, he worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He began working on social justice issues at the age of 16 and joined the EPA as a student, becoming a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). Ali uses a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities and has worked with more than 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health, and economic justice.

Dr. Ali currently serves as a board member for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, Rodenberry Foundation, TREE, and Climate Hawks Vote. He is frequently seen on television, including appearances on MSNBC, CNN, VICE, BET, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Democracy NOW!

ASL-English interpretation and closed captioning will be provided

Register today!

Disability Justice

Haben Girma

habin-red-dress-headshotHaben Girma returned to Sac State as the first featured speaker for the 2022-23 Green & Gold series on September 12, 2022. As the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities in higher education and beyond. Haben has received global accolades and many honors such as White House Champion of Change, the Helen Keller Achievement Award, and the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her disability justice work. Her best-selling book, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, is this year's One Book.

Learn more about disability justice!

Tribal Justice

On Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 from noon to 1 p.m., we welcomed Chief Tribal Judges Abby Abinanti and Victorio Shaw to the Green & Gold Speaker series. This virtual panel discussion was moderated by our own Sac State Native American Studies faculty and focused on Tribal sovereignty, Tribal courts, and their approaches to achieving Tribal Justice and positively influencing the CA State judicial system.

chief-judge-abby-abinanti.jpgChief Judge Abby Abinanti is an enrolled member of the Yurok tribe and first California Tribal woman to be admitted to the California bar. Judge Abinanti has many distinguished accomplishments, including establishing her own private practice, legal director and director of Lesbians of Color Project’s National Center for Lesbian Rights, and serving as directing attorney for California Indian Legal Services. Since 2007, she has served as Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court where she has been instrumental in developing the Yurok Children's Code, the Yurok Family Code, and the Judicial Ordinances.

victorio-shaw.pngChief Judge Victorio Shaw is an Indian Child Welfare Act specialist who also works for the protection of Indian children at the Indian Child and Family Preservation Program. He is an enrolled member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and is a descendant of Karuk, Yurok and Apache Mescalero people. As the longest tenured member on the Board of Trustees of California Indian Legal Services (C.I.L.S.), he has helped many families preserve and create healthy family structures for their children, provided services directly to families and individuals, as well as to continue focusing on traditional tribal representation.

Learn more about tribal justice!

Reparatory Justice

Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D.

Shirley N. Weber iCA Secretary of State Weber in blue blazer with white blouse.s California’s first Black Secretary of State and only the fifth African American to serve as a state constitutional officer in California’s 170-year history. Weber's genuine passion and tireless quest for equality and fairness in all sectors of life have resulted in her pursuit of reforms in education and criminal justice. Her equity-oriented legislation has focused on school finance and accountability, classroom safety, ethnic studies, early learners, attendance and dropout rates, quality instruction, law enforcements’ use-of-force and body camera practices, restorative justice, and reparations among many others.

Secretary Weber continues the pursuit of equity as she returns to Sacramento State at noon on February 6, 2013 to discuss notions of reparatory justice. In 2020, as a member of the California State Assembly, Weber authored AB 3121, which established a nine-person Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States. Since June 2021, the Task Force has been holding regular public meetings, and in June 2022 it published a historic Interim Report and is expected to publish a final report to the Legislature with policy recommendations by July 1, 2023.

Learn more about reparatory justice!

Secretary Weber Recording

Green & Gold Speaker Archive

Explore our archive of past Green & Gold Speaker Series featured guests.