City College women’s conference empowers students, faculty to fight for gender equity

City Women Rock conference set for March 8


Mariam Mena talks to attendees at the 2022 City Women Rock Conference, which was held online due to pandemic. The 2023 conference will return to fully in person for the first time since 2019. San Diego City College on Flickr

Shamere Grimes, Multimedia Reporter

When Mariam Mena describes City Women Rock, she compares it to an underground fight club.

Only instead of fighting each other, Mena said, the organizers of the annual conference at San Diego City College are fighting against a system that doesn’t treat women as fairly as their male counterparts.

“Nothing that is worth it is easy,” Mena said.

The City Women Rock conference “cultivates leaders, empower(s) every woman to aspire beyond severe limitations and redefin(es) a new generation of women,” according to the event’s mission statement.

Now in its seventh year, the event will take place in the P building on March 8. It starts at 8:30 a.m. It is the first time since 2019 that it is being held as an in-person event due to the pandemic.

The event will feature a panel of women picked to inspire the next generation of leaders, four of them former City College students.

The keynote speaker will be Tara Monsod, an executive chef from Animae restaurant in Downtown San Diego.

Mena, who is the CalWORKS program coordinator, is a key organizer of the conference, which is happening in conjunction with Women’s History Month.

City Women Rock is planned by a committee that has existed since 2016. Mena is a big believer in its mission and what can be accomplished through dialogue. 

“City Women Rock, to me, represents the fact that we have women on campus who are courageous enough to work towards gender equity,” Mena said.

Gender equity ensures “that all people, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to realize their full potential,” according to the National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality Fact Sheet.

 A 2021 report by Global Gender Gap estimates it will take another 135 years before the gender equity gap closes.

“The main purpose of the panel is to immediately boost the confidence of the participants,” Mena said.

Title IX Celebration flyerFollowing the City Women Rock Conference, City College Athletics will host a 50th anniversary of Title IX celebration at 12:45 p.m.

It will include a softball game and women’s tennis match, according to

There will be a barbecue and a softball jersey given out to the first 100 in attendance. 

Sports editor Joel Nevarez contributed to this report.