CCSWG Speaker Series

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is proud to present their youth–focused Speaker Series.

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is hosting a series of discussions that center the issues highlighted by our Youth Advisory Council as those pertinent to youth today. Speakers will bring their diverse experience and perspectives into the conversation as we delve into topics that explore gender equality and equity in communities, education, sports, government, and more.


The Power of Storytelling

Join us for a conversation with Meghna Bhat, Ph.D., a renowned feminist scholar, consultant, narrative criminologist, change-maker, and storyteller. We will explore how we can shift the narrative and promote culture and social change around gender violence and the impact of storytelling in inclusive, accessible, and culturally responsive community spaces free from violence, abuse, harassment, and oppression.

Mark your calendars and save the date!

June 18th 2:30-3:30 pm

Register here




Meghna Bhat, Ph.D. (she/her) is an independent gender and social justice consultant, multidisciplinary artist, storyteller, interdisciplinary feminist scholar/educator, and an aspiring cultural practitioner based in California. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, and currently living in the US, Dr. Bhat’s experiences encountering and witnessing recurring unpleasant cycles of gender violence and street harassment deeply motivated her to be an outspoken advocate and prevention educator. She has 19+ years of extensive work experience including but not limited to feminist research, training, and technical assistance in the anti-gender violence field, community education, and culture change.

As a first-generation South Asian immigrant woman and survivor, Dr. Bhat strongly believes in the power of true and personal stories in creating community dialogue, shifting culture, and fostering ongoing decolonized narrative change. She has successfully presented and facilitated workshops and plenary sessions at statewide and national anti-gender violence conferences, hosted by the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC), Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV), and the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV). As one of the 45 recipients of the 2022 Seeding Creativity Individual Artist Grant by the Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture, Dr. Bhat created Gulabi Stories: A South Asian Healing Initiative, an interdisciplinary storytelling project that centers the voices and stories of the larger South Asian diaspora in the US. Her project has been featured by the ABC local news, Solving Sacramento, and the Deccan Herald (India).

Further, she earned her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law, and Justice (CLJ) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a specialization in Gender and Women Studies. Dr. Bhat primarily studies media representations of gender and gender violence in cinema and pop culture, narrative change frameworks, and alternatives to criminalization. She serves on the Board of Directors and as a Vice-Chair in the Gender Division at the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). Dr. Bhat was recently awarded the 2024 Alumni Impact Award as a Creative Disruptor by the UIC CLJ department.