Youth Steering Committee

March 10th, 2004

Bill Graham
Civic Auditorium
San Francisco, CA

We inspire!
We act!
We’re young women –
step back!
  keynote speakers
Jump to: Conference Emcees

March 2004
The 4th Annual Young Women's Health Conference will feature:

State Senator Jackie Speier
Jackie Speier is an unrelenting champion for young women and a living example of how all women can change the world. Her commitment to public service was forged in tragedy 25 years ago, on a remote airstrip in Guyana. As a young, congressional staff person, she nearly lost her life in an attempt to uncover facts regarding allegations of the Reverend Jim Jones and his People’s Temple followers. Over 900 people died that fateful day. Jackie was shot 5 times and left to die. Today, she carries the memories of Jonestown in her unique ability to speak truth to those in power, uncover corruption, question the status quo and steer a course of change on behalf of all Californians.

Jackie Speier has the courage to lead in uncertain and changing times. Her remarkable courage guided her first win to the legislature, taking on her own party as an outsider, and winning by several hundred votes, for a seat in the California Assembly. Jackie was forced to tap the reservoir of courage again when tragedy struck her for a second time. As a young mother, pregnant with her second child, Jackie lost her husband in a tragic automobile accident that left her with a financial and emotional crisis. Jackie’s “survive and thrive” attitude helped her overcome her grief. Today, Jackie is regarded as one of California’s most popular and most respected leaders. In addition to being a busy legislator, Senator Speier is a wife and mother to Jackson, aged 15, and Stephanie, aged 9.

Nancy Milliken, MD
Nancy Milliken is the Vice Dean of the UCSF School of Medicine and the Director of the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoE). The CoE is dedicated to improving women’s health care by advancing our knowledge of women’s health through research, by integrating and coordinating comprehensive clinical care service, and by engaging individual women and communities in partnerships to improve their health. Dr. Milliken is a women’s health advocate, a clinician, and an administrator. She has devoted herself to effective leadership development of women and has implemented widespread improvements in research and academic programs, community education, and comprehensive clinical care. As Director of the UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Program, she is developing programs to advance women’s health across the lifespan, and her efforts have helped create an integrated network of first-rate health care for women throughout the Bay Area. Her training includes a B.A. in History from Harvard University and two years pre-med at Stanford University. She received her degree in medicine from Duke Medical School and was an Ob/Gyn resident at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Cynthia Cooper
Houston Comets
Multi-talented and multi-lingual Cynthia "Coop" Cooper was born in Chicago,Illinois, and raised by a single mother of eight in Los Angeles, California. While majoring in physical education at USC, she made three NCAA Final Four appearances, won two national championships, and still ranks eighth on USC's all-time scoring list, with fifth in assists and third in steals. After college she played overseas in Spain and Italy and helped the US win a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics. During her four years playing with the Houston Comets she was twice voted WNBA Most Valuable Player and holds a career averages of 21.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 120 games. Coop is also the CEO of Cooper-Metoyer Communications, and founder of the Mary Cobbs "Building Dreams" Foundation in honor of her mother, which helps raise funds for breast cancer research, education and treatment. A rapper, singer and dancer, she signed a recording contract with Virgin Records, wrote an autobiography titled "She Got Game" and released a collection of her poems called "Reflections." She lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Brian; sons Tyquon, Anthony and Tyrone; and twins Brian Jr. and Cyan.

Krishanti Dharmaraj
Sri Lankan native Krishanti Dharmaraj, M.A., M.B.A., is the Executive Director and the cofounder of the Women's Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights (WILD), an organization advancing human rights in the US through the leadership of women. She is known for her grandeur in impacting public policy by utilizing international human rights treaties through grassroots organizing. Because of Dharmaraj and WILD, the city of San Francisco became the first in the US to pass legislation that locally implemented an international human rights treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women. She has co-authored and edited two books, Making Connections: Human Rights in the U.S. and Making Rights Real:
Implementing Human Rights Standards in the United States
. Most recently, she has served on the boards of the Horizon's Foundation of California, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, and Amnesty International.

On a life path strewn with the kind of boulders that would stop many in their tracks, Mystic has figured out how to celebrate the good life while taking a hard look at the bad. Moving to San Francisco in the fourth grade, she was introduced to urbanity, and hip-hop. But, misconstruing her mother’s advice to be independent, Mystic began skipping school, trying to do it her way. Later moving to Oakland, she struggled with public education until a turning point where one of her teachers recognized her gift. Her English teacher recommended that Mystic attend a summer program for the arts, giving her a way to be truly productive in an educational setting. It was then that she knew who she was. She was an artist. Ultimately, she would leave school, recognizing that it wasn’t for her. But her true education came from the arts. She was a published poet by the age of 16. Surrounding herself with her art and with friends who expressed profound validation of her works, Mystic furthered her poetry into music, performing all over, and advancing at an unfathomable rate. Today, she is one of the biggest and most inspiring names in hip-hop. “My life has always been difficult,” she says, “but it has always been beautiful.”

Francine Ward
A powerful motivator and an inspiring author who shares and models her proven strategies for building self-esteem. Francine is living proof that actions speak louder than words. At 14, she was addicted to drugs and alcohol; today she is 24 years clean & sober. At 18, she was a high school drop-out; today she's a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. At 21, she was a call girl, paying lawyers lots of money to keep her out of jail; today she is a lawyer. At 26, she was hit by a car and told she'd never walk again; in her 40s she ran two 26.2 mile marathons. Finally, at 28, she was self-centered and self-absorbed; today at 51 she has a consciousness of giving. She made such dramatic changes in her life by doing Esteemable Acts. Join Francine as she shares her strategies with you. A former practicing lawyer, Ward now spends her time writing, coaching, and traveling around the country speaking on self-esteem and how to create a life worth living.

Conference Emcees

Renel Brooks-Moon
A Bay Area native, Renel attended Woodside High School and earned a degree in Literature from Mills College. Never forgetting where she came from, Renel is deeply committed to empowering women and children, and over the years has spoke and volunteered for schools, youth groups and women’s groups. In 2000, she made history by becoming the first female African-American public address announcer in Major League Baseball, when she became the voice of the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park. Renel serves as a board member of The Friends of Faith, a non-profit organization dedicated to breast cancer awareness and prevention, and to finding a cure. She has been honored by the American Honor Society for her efforts in the fight against breast cancer.

Renel has been nominated by Billboard Magazine as "Radio Air-Personality of the Year," and was nominated by City Flight Magazine as one of the "10 Most Influential African-American in the Bay Area" for the year 2000. She has received awards from the Bay Area Black Media Coalition, California Music Awards, and Women of Excellence. She is the recipient of the Pioneer Achievement Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women of the Bay Area, the Women’s Inspiration Award for Girls Inc. of Alameda, the African-American "Profiles in Excellence" Award for KGO-TV. When she's not in front of a microphone or the camera, Renel enjoys time with her family, her husband Tommie and their german shepard "Othello," working out, cooking, tailgating at Oakland Raider games and simply hanging out with her "home girls."

Pam Moore
Pam Moore co-anchors "NewsCenter 4 at 5" at 5:00pm and "NewsCenter 4 Nightbeat" segments for NewsCenter 4. Before joining KRON, Moore worked as an anchor at WBZ-TV in Boston and at KCBS in Los Angeles where she was a general assignment reporter. Moore was the first recipient of the San Francisco NAACP Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Civic Rights Award in 1998. Among her other awards, Moore received top honors from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and Best Documentary Award by the California Associated Press Television Radio Association for the 1998 five-part news series and documentary "About Race."

Margaret J. Norris
Margaret J. Norris, is Director of the Omega Leadership Academy and Host of the Street Soldiers Radio Show in San Francisco, California. She holds a Bachelors Degree in English and Ethnic Studies from University of San Francisco and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at St. Mary's College of Moraga. Norris has received numerous civic and statewide honors, including a proclamation from California Governor Gray Davis, recognizing her work in transforming underprivileged Bay Area youth into college graduates. She lectures on academic achievement and school safety throughout the country. She developed the Omega Leadership Academy and the Omega Training Institute. She is currently implementing a college matriculation program for students at San Bruno's Peninsula High School. With more than thirty years of teaching and counseling experience, Norris has achieved a reputation as a leading national expert in developing effective academic programs for youth and professionals. She has been featured in Ladies Home Journal and on The Oprah Winfrey Show (2001). She is the single mother of three sons. Marcus is a graduate of Tennessee State University; Brandon is senior at Adams State College; and, Jonathan is a senior at Clark Atlanta University.

special guests

Lisa Hunter
With guitar in hand, Lisa Hunter is a dynamic singer-songwriter, performer, speaker and leader. Love Yourself Just As You Are, her latest album and workshop series, was sparked by Lisa's own personal struggles and triumphs with self-esteem. Facing depression, anxiety, distorted body image, and a feeling of emptiness that she tried to fill with addictive behaviors, Lisa received the most important advice of her life from a wise counselor: "The only thing that will fill that emptiness is your love for yourself." Lisa responded by creating a whole album of songs about that love, and more specifically, about the process of unconditional self-acceptance. Now she spends her time touring nationally with her Love Yourself concerts and workshops. Born in Detroit, Michigan of mixed Filipino and European American descent, Lisa's powerful style has earned her a Lilith Fair Finalist title and Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Acoustic Performer, Songwriter and Recording. In addition, her songs have been heard on The Discovery Channel, The Disney Channel, and on commercial and college radio stations nationwide.

Janice Mirikitani
Janice Mirikitani, a Sansei (third generation) Japanese American is recognized as a poet, editor, and community activist. Appointed San Francisco's Poet Laureate for the Year 2000 and 2001, publications include her latest collection, We the Dangerous, and Love Works which will be released this winter. She is Executive Director of Glide Church and President of the Glide Foundation, where she directs 50 comprehensive programs providing outreach and services to the poor and homeless of San Francisco. She has been instrumental in developing comprehensive services for women, children and youth, including establishing a program to provide free mammograms to poor women.