Fall 2020

Vince Harper Photo

Towards Social Equity in Our Community

Vince Harper

Monday, October 12, 2020 noon – 1 pm

Vince Harper is a longtime Sonoma County resident and community advocate. He has held numerous roles with the Community Action Partnership (CAP) Sonoma organization and currently serves as Director of Community Engagement. His areas of advocacy include: youth and adult leadership development programs , resident organizing efforts, a mobile family resource center , a parenting class series for Spanish speaking parents and community engagement for the agency and agency programs.   His most recent projects are youth-led voter registration and Census 2020 outreach for Hard-To-Count. He has been active in the community as a current member and past co-Chair of the City of Santa Rosa’s Community Advisory Board, member of the Health Action Sonoma County Leadership Team and Wellness Development Team, Chairperson of the Santa Rosa Health Action Chapter, member of the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership’s Operational Team.  Mr. Harper has received multiple awards including the Sonoma State University Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award,  Sonoma County Jefferson Award, PDI Hero Award, the Bob Tunks Peace Award. Mr. Harper has emerged as a key voice in local conversations around social equity and racial justice.  His Arts and Lectures discussion, Toward Social Equity in our Community, will talk about these challenging times; the question of how to achieve equity has become a high priority for communities across the nation. It will explore our equity journey from the pre-Covid-19 and BLM movement to the current state of equity in Santa Rosa. The journey includes early struggles with the equality vs. equity question, fully understanding the roots of inequities, and the struggle to find strategies to address disparities of today. In addition, it will explore current efforts and progress of our equity work. This discussion will be moderated by SRJC faculty member Joanie Dybach.




Eki Shola Photo

Gift of Grief

Eki Shola Abrams

Monday, October 26, 2020 noon – 1 pm

Relocating from New York City to Sonoma County, California, songwriter and physician, Eki Shola uses her music as a conduit for healing. She’s released three solo albums: 2016’s Final Beginning and in the aftermath of the wildfires that destroyed Eki Shola's home, 2019’s Possible and Drift. She has performed in the NPR’s Tiny Desk series and has opened for artists including Bebel Gilberto, Habib Koité, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kitaro, and DakhaBrakha. Working on her keyboards and backed by digital effects, the ASCAP Plus and three-time NorBay Music Award winner for electronica, crafts jazzy, ambient tones with ethereal melodies that often carry dreamlike messages of hope and a sense of gratitude for life.




Alegria de la Cruz Photo

Alegria de la Cruz

Monday, November 9, 2020 noon – 1 pm

Alegría De La Cruz was born in Delano, California and was raised in the heart of the movement for farmworker justice. She has spent her career in public interest and public service. In 2017, she was appointed Chief Deputy County Counsel Sonoma County and has served on multiple local boards, including, Los Cien Sonoma County and Santa Rosa City Schools. In September of 2020, she was appointed to serve as the first director of Sonoma County’s new Office of Equity, aimed at addressing racial disparities in health, wealth, and wellbeing in Sonoma County. De La Cruz’s discussion will be moderated by SRJC faculty member Joanie Dybach.






Armando Garcia image

WOLM - Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas

A Discussion with ABC News Reporter Armando Tonatiuh Torres-Garcia

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 noon – 1 pm

SRJC alumnus Armando Torres-García is a campaign embed reporter and field producer for ABC News. Armando was embedded in several presidential campaigns, including Sen. Kamala Harris, Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg. As a field producer, Armando has also helped cover some of the biggest headlines of the past few years, including Hurricane Maria and the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Armando grew up in St. Helena and got his start in journalism at Santa Rosa Junior College, where he took journalism classes and worked at The Oak Leaf. He transferred in 2011 to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. Armando worked as a reporter for Univision Costa Central for two years before getting his master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School. 
He is passionate about telling compelling human-interest stories. One of his biggest projects to date is his “This is Home” project, in which 50 child refugees told their stories through photographs.