Conocimiento Experience: Conference on Student Belonging & Community Organizing 

At William Paterson University we come together to explore our collective strengths and share strategies to build a beloved community on and off-campus. The Conocimiento Principle emphasizes the necessity of consciously creating community within the group to heighten the potential for personal growth and shared action.  

Attend any sections of your choice! This experience is open to all students, faculty, and staff.  Each session is eligible for credit towards the Social Justice Leadership Badge.  

Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Location: Student Center, UC Ballrooms

2023 Conference Agenda Below. New Details Coming Soon! 

Conocimiento: Cultural Resilience & Testimonials. The Conocimiento Principle emphasizes the necessity of consciously creating community within the group to heighten the potential for personal growth and shared action. This is an interactive experience with activities to build awareness of one’s individual strengths and identify strategies for building a Beloved Community

Conocimiento:  La resiliencia cultural y testimonios.  El Principio del Conocimiento enfatiza la necesidad de crear comunidad conscientemente dentro del grupo, para aumentar el potencial del crecimiento personal y la acción compartida.  Ésta es una experiencia interactiva con unas actividades para crear la conciencia de las fortalezas individuales y para identificar estrategias para construir una Comunidad Amada.

Facilitated by Dr. Ellen Frye, Dr. Lilian Milanes and Director Yolany Gonell 

Conocimiento: Migration, Displacement & Community Organizing Plenary Session. Cultural Resilience suggests that individuals and communities can deal with and overcome adversity not based on individual characteristics alone, but also from the support of larger sociocultural factors. Art is a means of community organizing that highlights the impacts of displacement towards building a Beloved Community.

Conocimiento:  La Sesión Plenaria sobre la migración, el desplazamiento, y la organización comunitaria.  La resiliencia cultural indica que los individuos y las comunidades pueden enfrentar y superar la adversidad no sólo en función de las características individuales, sino también del apoyo de factores socioculturales más amplios.  El arte es un medio de organización comunitaria que destaca los impactos del desplazamiento hacia la construcción de una Comunidad Amada.

Moderated by Dr. Alejandro Anreus this Plenary Session will feature contemporary artists and scholars to examine colonization and parallel resistance of Puerto Rico.  This experience is sponsored by University Galleries and Student Government Association. 

El Cartel/The Poster: Puerto Rican Graphics is on view in South Gallery from January 30 – May 5, 2023. Curated by Alejandro Anreus, WP professor of art history and Latin American/Latinx Studies, this exhibition highlights printed posters created by leading Puerto Rican and Nuyorican printmakers drawn from an impressive collection formed and recently donated to the William Paterson University Galleries by artist Gloria Rodríguez Calero.

About the panelist:

My project-1 (37).pngJuan Sanchez - Born to working-class Puerto Rican immigrants in Brooklyn, NY, Juan Sánchez is an influential American visual artist, and one of the most important Nuyorican cultural figures of the latter 20th century. Maintaining an activist stance for over forty-five years, his art is an arena of creative and political inquiry that encompasses the individual, family, the communities with which he engages, and the world at large. Sánchez has produced an extensive body of work that consistently addresses issues that are as relevant now as they were in the 1980s – race and class, cultural identity, equality, social justice, and self-determination. He emerged as a central figure in a generation of artists using diverse media to explore ethnic, racial, national identity and social justice in 1980s and ’90s.

My project-1 (38).pngDr. Susanna Temkin - Dr. Susanna Temkin earned her master’s and PhD degrees from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where her research focused on modern art in the Americas, with a focus on Cuba.  As Curator at El Museo del Barrio, Dr. Susanna Temkin recently curated the on-view exhibition, DOMESTICANX and helped organize Juan Francisco Elso: Por América, with Olga Viso. Additionally she also co-curated the museum’s inaugural Triennial exhibition, La Trienal-ESTAMOS BIEN (2020-2021) with Rodrigo Moura and Elia Alba, as well as the museum’s fiftieth anniversary exhibition, Culture and the People (2019), among other projects. Prior to El Museo, she served as Assistant Curator at Americas Society in New York, as well as the research and archive specialist at the Cecilia de Torres, Ltd., where she assisted in co-authoring the digital catalogue raisonné of artist Joaquín Torres-García. Dr. Susanna Temkin has published essays and reviews in exhibition catalogues and magazines including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Alice Neel: People Come First; the Rutgers Art Review; Burlington Magazine; among others.

Conocimiento: Student Presentations on Inequities and Community Action. Increased bonding and trust in the group can lead to deeper sharing, greater insights, increased commitment to action, and the inspiration of feeling that you are greater than one person – you are part of a community.

Conocimiento:  Las presentaciones de los estudiantes sobre las inequidades y la acción comunitaria. Una mayor vinculación y confianza en el grupo puede conducir a un intercambio más profundo, mayores conocimientos, un mayor compromiso con la acción, y la inspiración de sentir que eres más que una persona: eres parte de una comunidad.

This is an interactive experience introduces the work of Latina feminist philosopher María Lugones and aims to showcase student’s work related to consciously creating community, coalition building, and potential for growth and shared action against injustices.  Following the presentations participants will engage in “Knowledge Seeking (Cononcimiento) hunt”.

Moderators Dr. Franklin Rodríguez and Dr. María Tajes

About the Presenters: 

Deborah Gonzalez- photo.jpegDeborah Gonzalez (she/her) is a junior at William Paterson University studying Early Childhood Education, ESL/Bilingual education, and Spanish. Deborah is a writing consultant at the university’s Writing Center, where she helps undergraduate and graduate students with their writing projects. On the side, she is also a private Spanish tutor and a substitute teacher. She is passionate about teaching young children, especially those learning English as their second language.


Yisel Vales- photo.jpegYisel Vales (she/her) is a junior at William Paterson University majoring in Spanish. Yisel is planning to take the Praxys Core and be able to start the education program in K-12. On the side, she is also a preschool teacher at Reach Academy on Clifton. She enjoys working with young children.


Jennifer Garcis - Cono student presenter.jpgJennifer García (she/her) is a senior at William Paterson university majoring in Spanish with  a minor in disability studies. She has been speaking English and Spanish since early childhood. Jennifer is passionate when it comes to learning languages and learning about other people experiences. Her goal is to always work with children and made has made the decision to focus on disabilities. She hopes to one day help all children and use her skills with languages to benefit their education!

Aura uribe picture redoit.jpgAura Uribe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies at William Paterson University. During her junior year, she worked as a Spanish tutor. Aura is currently a full time worker as an Assistant Administrative Accountant. Her hobby is baking healthy cakes. Aura’s motto: “It is never too late to be better”.


Rina Paola - cono student presenter.jpgRina Rosazza (she, her) is a junior at William Paterson University studying Social work and Spanish. She helps the Accessibility Resource Center and currently volunteers for an ESL foundation for immigrants in her town. She serves as a translator in other languages and speaks English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and some German. Rina helps translate documents for the library in her town and also helps Latino Families in her community by translating at local schools. When not volunteering, Rina enjoys being a fitness instructor.

Tracy Galvan.jpg Tracy Galván (she/her) is majoring in Spanish and is currently working on her second degree with the goal of obtaining her teaching endorsement in Spanish.  She is currently a teacher of Italian at Brick Township High School in Brick NJ.  She is passionate about opening up the world to the youth of today by teaching other languages and cultures.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching her four children compete in sports and other activities and when she is not doing that you can find her on a plane travelling to some foreign destination.


Andre costa.JPGAndre Costa-Ferretti (he/him) is a senior at William Paterson University studying media production in the Communications department. Andre is a member of Brave New Radio and the TV Club here at William Paterson University producing content for the visual marketing team.

MicrosoftTeams-image (55).pngDevin Lee (he/him) is a Sophomore at William Paterson University majoring in Communications and Studio Art. Devin is a CDI (Center for Diversity Inclusion) Student Ambassador and is the Project Coordinator for the Conocimiento Conference Art Mural displayed. Beyond his passion for art, he is into fashion and loves cats. 

Marianna Simoes-Barbosa (She/Her) is a senior at William Paterson majoring in education and Spanish with an endorsement in English as a second language and bilingual. She represents William Paterson in the New Jersey Education Association Preservice an an ambassador. Additionally, she enjoys spending most of her time on the William Paterson campus. Marianna has been speaking three languages since the age of six and heavily cares about helping others learn English.

Anabella Cogorno (she/her) graduated from William Paterson University where she obtained a Bachelors in Spanish. She is currently a formal Spanish teacher for three elementary schools in Wayne NJ. With her hard work and dedication she was selected as The Governor's Educator of the Year in 2021-2022 and currently she is member of The National Society of Leadership and Success. In her free time she likes to do outdoor activities.


Justin Reynoso-Dumé (he/him) is a 4 + 1 student who studies communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism and a minor in film studies. Justin plans to attain a graduate degree in Professional Communication from William Paterson University.  He currently serves as a DJ at Brave New Radio and hosts "Shuffle Play" on Thursday nights from 7 to 9 pm. Additionally he created a podcast about musicians called Music Magic for the newly formed Dead Podcasters Society located at Hamilton Hall.  Beyond his role as a DJ on campus, Justin is an active member of OLAS and was previously the PR chair for WPSPJ in the past year. 

Yahaira Santos (she/her) is a senior at William Paterson University studying psychology with a minor in forensic studies. Yahaira is a sister of Theta Phi Alpha and Vice president of Allocations for the Student Government Association. Yahaira is also in the National Society of Leadership and Success and an active member of this campus helping out in any way she can. 

Conocimiento: Networking Social Hour.  This is a casual experience with music and refreshments. Come and decompress over dominoes and loteria. 


Center for Diversity & Inclusion; Campus Activities Service & Leadership; University Galleries; Language & Cultural Studies Program; CTE, College of Arts Humanities & Social Science; Brave New Radio, Sigma Pi, Lambda Tau Omega Sorority, Inc; Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc; Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Inc; Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc; and the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS). 

Conocimiento 2023 Committee members: 

Claudia Morales, Alexandra Quintero, Jessica Cordero, Karyme Rivera, AJ Kamara, Nicholas Wilkerson, Marcus Moss, Gabriella Juarez, Devin Lee, Ariadna Giraldo, Yolany Gonell, Myranda Barreau, Roy Garcia, Alma Diaz, Yvette De La Valle, Casey Mathern, Nadia Estela, Dr.  Ellen Frye, Dr. Lilian Milanes, Dr. Maria Tajes, and Dr. Franklin Rodriguez and Dr. Alejandro Anreus.