2023 - 2024 CCSWG Speaker Series

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is proud to present the 2023-2024 Speaker Series.

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is hosting a series of virtual panel 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.

Check back often to see what 2023-2024 holds!


October 19, 2023 ~ Gender Equity and Equality in Sports

Brandi Mitchell is the founder of San Diego Soccer Women, an organization that serves to increase opportunities for women to join, continue or return to soccer without the limits of age or gender. Positioned as an advocate for “play at every age,” Brandi is connecting and expanding the global community of recreational female soccer players of every ability level. Ms. Mitchell is a member of the board of directors for The Sports Bra Project and has been recognized as an ambassador to the Global Goals World Cup, United Nations Association of San Diego and the Equal Playing Field 2019 World Record Event. 

Stephanie Tseu (pronounced “zay-you”) is a Sacramento native and Sacramento State graduate. Before joining Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento in January 2021, she spent 17 years in government relations, focusing to policy issues such as women’s comprehensive health care, environment, pay equity, and quality early childhood education.  At Girls on the Run, she oversees program delivery and expansion of services, community partnerships, strategic planning and supporting our coaches and Board of Directors. 

Eliza Dy graduated with her bachelors in Sports Sciences from UOP and transferred to Cal State San Bernardino to pursue her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and completed her playing career in 2013. She began her coaching career with the Boy’s Varsity basketball program at Galt High School in 2013. Eliza is currently an adjunct faculty member and women’s basketball coach at San Joaquin Delta College. She is also a co-owner of Fitness Works gym in Lodi and is living in Stockton with her daughters Nyla (11) and Kalee Grace (10 months). Full bio

Kim Turner is Co-CEO of Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) and has over a decade of experience as a nonprofit Title IX attorney, including with Legal Aid at Work’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports project. Most recently, Kim has served as Director of the Gender Equity Initiative at Positive Coaching Alliance advancing sports-based gender equity for girls, coaches, schools, youth sports stakeholders, and community programs. She is an expert on sport-based gender equity and Title IX advocacy for equity-spurring legislation; and, served as a member of the review panel for the Women’s Sports Foundation report: “50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet.” Full Bio

Tifani Bartow is the Deputy Director of Operations and Grants at the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG). Ms. Bartow oversees Commission operations as well as the Women’s Recovery Response Grants, College Students Rights to Access Act and the State Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault. Ms. Bartow is a proud graduate of Sacramento State University where she earned her degree in Criminal Justice with honors and played softball. Tifani is also heavily involved in U.S.A. Gymnastics, with a daughter who is a competitive gymnast. Tifani is committed to building a culture of health and safety for all athletes. Full bio

Watch the Recording Here

August 2nd, 2023 ~ Youth Civic Engagement & Why it Matters


Joelle Gomez was appointed CEO of Children’s Home of Stockton in October 2016.  She spent 24 years as CEO at the Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services. In addition to chairing the San Joaquin County Human Trafficking Task Force, Joelle is a board member on the California Alliance for Child and Family Services, the St. Joseph’s Medical Center Transitional Advisory Committee and Commissioner on the Children’s Coordinating Services Commission and California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Joelle is the recipient of the John Aguilar Spirit Award, presented in 2018 by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Full bio.

Dr. Alisha Wilkins has called the City of Temecula home for more than 17 years. She joined the community in 2002 and has been an active and engaged community member ever since. Though Dr. Wilkins has lived and worked in Temecula for many years, garnering extensive public affairs and government relations experience in for-profit and nonprofit sectors, she has also served communities and residents across the state in an official capacity. She was appointed State Commissioner to the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2014 and reappointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. Full bio.

Sade Elhawary invests her energy in the fight for justice and liberation both in her career and personal life. She has served as a fem-/mentor to countless young folks, foster mother in a time of crisis, college counselor at her alma mater, youth organizer in South Central, and high school history teacher. Most recently, Sade led the youth engagement strategy to help elect the first woman – and Black woman – as Mayor of Los Angeles. Standing on the shoulders of generations before her, Sade is immensely proud of her organizing career at Community Coalition, where she helped fundraise $12M to build an unprecedented center to train and support activists for the social justice movement. Sade has spent over 15 years tackling issues of equity and access, committed to building solidarity to transform underserved Black and Brown communities. The eldest daughter of Egyptian and Guatemalan immigrants, Sade is a multilingual UCLA and Harvard alum who never forgets where she came from. LA-born and bred, Sade’s been involved in local politics since being elected Student Body President in elementary school.

Michelle Teran-Woolfork joined the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in 2022 as the Director of Policy and Legislation. Prior to the Commission, Michelle served as the Legislative Director to Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. She also worked as a Legislative Aide for Assemblywomen Susan Talamantes Eggman and Cristina Garcia. Prior to working in the State Capitol, Michelle worked for the United Farm Workers where she advocated for the dignity and respect of farm workers. She led a number of political campaigns and was instrumental in the passage of AB 1066 (Statutes of 2016) which extended overtime wage protections to farm workers statewide. Full bio. 


Watch the Recording Here

Pride Month Panel – June 21, 2023

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is celebrating Pride Month with the first panel of our ongoing CCSWG Speaker Series focused on Supporting the Health, Safety, and Wellness of LGBTQIA+ Youth & Our Roles as Advocates, Allies, and Policy Makers. 

Panelist Senator Caroline Menjivar, CCSWG Commissioner 

Senator Caroline Menjivar (she/her/ella), elected in November 2022, represents Burbank and the San Fernando Valley in California’s 20th Senate District. Menjivar has volunteered on the Board of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Los Angeles Chapter, the Advisory Board of Help Group’s Kaleidoscope, and as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for San Fernando Valley Young Dems Club. 

Panelist Alexis Sanchez, Director of Advocacy and Training, Sacramento LGBT Community Center

Alexis’ background is in public health policy with a specialization in substance use disorders in the LGBTQIA+ community. She served on the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Advisory Board for 4 years and in this role worked to create numerous policy changes and campaigns to create a safer city for transgender people.

Panelist Dana TherActivist Johnson, MSW, Director of Youth Housing & Trainer, Rainbow Community Center

Dana TherActivist Johnson, MSW (They/Them/Theirs) is a gender non-binary masculine of centered community activist that brings experience as an Author, documentary filmmaker, DEI&B practitioner, and Professional Development trainer. Dana also has 18 years’ experience counseling and servicing justice involved youth. Dana serves as a LGBTQ+ Commissioner and PRIDE Initiative co-chair for the County of San Mateo; and a board member of CoastPride Center.