The Women's Empowerment Conference

September 21, 2019

Austin Community College Eastview


Additional tickets will be availble at the door on September 21. Registration includes access to all workshops and panels lead by Central Texas women! Registration includes light breakfast and lunch, childcare, Spanish-English interpretation, and a networking hour. Student admission is for university students with a student email. Admission is free for teens (12-18).

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About WE Con

The annual Women's Empowerment Conference (WE Con) is presented every spring by the Women's Community Center of Central Texas. WE Con strives to be a welcoming community event where women, girls, femmes, and those who care about them can share knowledge and insights, build community, and find self-empowerment. We are celebrating the 6th year of WE Con, and invite you to be part of what is becoming an Austin tradition. We Belong!


Schedule coming soon.

WE Con Sessions

Session One — 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM


SoulFULL Somatics

Sade M. Jones

Ashé Arts Austin

Modern society has conditioned us to see the mind as more of a dictator over the body. However, the body can restructure and restore the mind. It is by the “doing” that we experience togetherness. Embodiment practices can identify, heal, and empower. In the workshop, we will use somatics to explore the ways we engage internal/collective environments, then shift these patterns or develop them further. New movement may bring to light new ways to view ourselves, others, and situations. All with the backdrop of Afro-modern movement and soulful beats. Workshop will include grounding/centering, embodiment practices and information to use in your own sister circles.
LGBTQI+, Skill-Building, Self-care/Wellness, Anti-racism

StoryTELLit: Tap into the connective power of stories

Kim Caldwell


We all have stories; so how do we weave them into our communication in a way that builds connection? StoryTELLit will help you understand why stories are so powerful, tap into your own foundational stories, then consider your audience in what stories you tell.
Skill-Building, Professional Development

Coming Up Aces: A Panel on Asexual Identity and Community

Nora Greenstein Biondi, Patrik Parker, Kristen Lopez, Kara Nassour

Panelists will discuss asexuality as an identity and the asexual community. They will start by giving some foundational information, then go into personal stories, including how they came to discover asexuality and their journey to embracing their identity. Tother identities interact with their asexual identity as well as the necessities and complications of community building within asexuality and the LGBTQIA+ spectrums. We will conclude with questions from the audience, as a way to inform the audience about a widely ‘invisible’ identity.
Skill-Building, Professional Development, Self-care/Wellness

How to do Personal Growth When the Self-Help Industry is Gaslighting You

Jen Pavich

Our cultural narrative of personal responsibility, binary thinking and assignment of blame extends into much of the personal development industry. There are countless books and “experts” that convince womxn that if they just stay positive and work hard, they’ll get everything they’ve ever wanted.

Research shows that optimism is good for well-being, but believing our destiny is dependent on the ability to maintain positivity at all times comes at a cost - to individuals and community.

We’ll explore how true personal growth comes from combining learning and mindset shifts, while also acknowledging external factors like economics, oppression, and social justice.

Self-care/Wellness, Technology and Media

Hashtags and High Heels

Kennetta Piper

The Birthing Point

In the age of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #TimesUp, #BlackGirlMagic and everything in between, this panel will focus on how hashtags have united women and people all over the world around a cause, a belief, and an injustice. The focus will also be around how to take the conversation from online to the streets and having REAL conversations beyond the hashtag
Professional Development, Self-care/Wellness, Technology and Media

Session Two — 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM


Community Care: Joy Practices for Hard Times

Reverend Erin Walter, Simone Monique Barnes

Reverend Erin Walter's Website | Simone Monique Barnes' Website

Oppression, health crises, exhaustion, expenses, car trouble, work deadlines, stress, the news— do we ever get a break? We must! Simone and Erin offer tools for finding joy in hard times. Part presentation, part hands on Laughter Yoga and Zumba experiences—NO yoga mats or athletic wear needed. Infuse your WECon experience with a fun, interactive session for all bodies. Leave with strategies to soothe your spirit whatever your circumstances. Simone and Erin believe we need to intentionally cultivate joy practices that help us care for ourselves and our community to feel that deep sense that WE BELONG.
Skill-Building, Self-care/Wellness

Creating DIY Creative Communities in the Age of Displacement

Leticia Urieta, Marilyse V. Figueroa, Nia KB, Audrea Diaz

@LeticiaUrieta | Leticia's Website | @unapologetic_scorpio

For many emerging artists and writers, prestigious programs and artistic organizations are purported to be the best place to develop their work, gain a community, and find artistic mentorship. However, these organizations and programs are often not accessible or hospitable to writers with marginalized experiences, especially in a rapidly gentrifying Austin. This panel will discuss how marginalized writers build community through subverting hierarchies and expectations of what it means to be an artist, choosing instead to create inclusive spaces for artists and writers to develop their work and celebrate each other.
LGBTQI+, Skill-Building, Self-care/Wellness, Anti-racism

Transgender, Through a Women’s Eyes


Stephanie will speak about the experience of being transgender, diagnostic criteria, myths, and a transgender journey in her own words. This workshop will cover terminology, history, and questions that hurt transwomen.
Wellness/Self-Care, LGBTQI+
English and Spanish

Caring for our daughters and ourselves: Addressing Maternal Depression

Monique Vasquez

Depression can hinder a mother’s parenting ability in a world where women already face a variety of social, cultural and economic pressures. Maternal depression can have a profound impact on family members, including partners and children who witness a mother’s struggles and can feel a range of emotions including helplessness, sadness or anger. Drawing on the stories of Latinx mothers with depression, we will discuss the ways in which depression affects the whole family, with a focus on daughters. We will have a group discussion to brainstorm strengths-based solutions at the community, family and individual levels to support multiple generations of women.
Skill-Building, Self-care/Wellness, Youth Engagement, Immigration

Effective Networking Strategies for Introverts

Summer McAfee

Helping ladies who would consider themself introverts/semi-introverted/shy with tools and methods to effectively network to include questions to prepare, tips for posting and responding on LinkedIn and other social media outlets and tips for how to effectively follow-up with leads and new connections after an event.
Skill-Building, Professional Development, Self-care/Wellness

Session Three — 2 - 3:15 PM


Improv for Empathy, Connection, and Belonging

Nichole Bennett


Improv requires you to understand group dynamics, tell stories, and say yes in the face of the unknown. In many ways, improv draws upon the very same skills we cultivate in our daily lives. This beginner-friendly improv workshop will use the tools of improvisational theater to help you become a better collaborator, increase your storytelling skills, and become more relaxed with all of the unknowns that come with your path.
Skill-Building; Professional Development; Self-care / Wellness

Celebrating US: Writing Who We Are & Always Been

ena ganguly


This writing workshop will interrogate the white supremacist ideologies we have internalized while tracing back our roots to what is kind, gentle and compassionate. There will be time to write our own philosophies through poetry and prose and time to engage in group sharing. Readings include powerful works of queer & straight women of color who wrote about liberation, connection and freedom.
Wellness/Self-Care, LGBTQI+

Using Feminist Theory to Mentor Adolescent Girls: Building Partnerships for Strength

Ederi Center for Women and Girls

This presentation focuses on a mentorship model for adolescent girls through a community of women. The model incorporates the intentional use of feminist theory and the incorporation of two traditional adolescent programs: 4-H and Girl Scouts. The use of feminist theory in the model incorporated the tenants of giving to and participating in an equitable community. Outcomes around both the women’s and the girls’ experiences were evaluated using qualitative interviews and those experiences will be shared.
Reproductive Justice, Skill-Building, Professional Development, Youth Engagement

Having the Tough Conversation: How to advocate for yourself to break toxic workplace cycles

Melanie Dyer, Samantha Schak

But Have You Considered Therapy Podcast

Melanie, a LPC-Intern, and Samantha, a Senior Project Manager at local design agency, lead this interactive workshop on how to prepare and execute those tough conversations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. They are co-hosts of the podcast But Have You Considered Therapy?
Skill-Building, Professional Development, Self-care/Wellness

When They See Us: Voices and Visibility for Women of Color in the Workplace

Stephanie Ritcherson, M.A., LPC-I, Jasmine Jenkins, Ph.D.

The workshop will include the following topics of discussion:

  • What is it like to be a woman of color in spaces dominated by White males.
  • How to communicate when being challenged/in challenging situations.
  • How to address situations where your tone and body language are misinterpreted.
  • Let’s talk about…hair
  • Navigating professionalism

During the workshop, we will provide tools that can be used to cope in the workplace. For example, we will cover:

  • Being present/Mindfulness methods
  • Self-care techniques
  • How to utilize resources (counseling, family, church, community organization, etc.).
  • Empowering other women
Skill-Building, Professional Development, Self-care/Wellness, Anti-racism, Gender-based Violence

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can attend?
  2. What accommodations do you provide?
  3. What is new this year?
  4. What about food?
  5. Where do I park?

1. Who can attend?

WE Con 2019 is open to women and girls (cis and trans), and those who are interested in learning about issues affecting these communities in Austin and the surrounding areas. Even if you're not part of these communities, this is your chance to learn what you can do to support them.

2. What accommodations do you provide?

WE Con offers complimentary childcare, Spanish-English translation, and snacks every year. A local care provider service, Mom's Best Friend provides childcare, and the ratio of child to care provider is relatively low. This year we will also be introducing children's programming in the childcare room! Spanish-English interpretation is available, and included with ticket costs. The ACC Eastview campus has entrances for people with disabilities.

3. What is new this year?

This year we are continuing a networking hour at the end of the conference, from 3:15 - 5 p.m, and will also have our first ever keynote panel! Panelists TBD. After a full day of workshops and panels, we invite you to stick around for drinks, conversation with new friends and the presenters, and the Resource Fair and Market.

4. What about food?

Buffet style lunch will be served at 12 p.m. Light breakfast, snacks, and beverages will be provided at 9 a.m., and an afternoon dessert and coffee provided during the Networking hour.

5. Where do I park?

Parking is free! Yes, free parking in Austin is still a thing. There are two lots, Lot E and F, with plenty of space. Street parking is metered, and available on Webberville Road. Disabled parking is available in Lot G.The ADA accessible entrance to building 8000/8500 is on the Webberville side. Bike racks are located behind building 3000.


Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Directly sponsor snacks and lunch, childcare, the cost of attendance, and Spanish-English interpreting services for all participants.

Purchase the cost of attendance, lunch, and childcare for someone else

Contact us at for more information.



Volunteers help make it possible for us to keep WE Con affordable to attend and it's a great way to get to know people and support the event. We would really appreciate your help! For future volunteer opportunities, email

Volunteer Form

Table or Advertise at WE Con

WE Con brings great exposure to your business or organization, with an expected attendance of 250 people. The Resource Fair & Market is on Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with setup at 10 a.m., at Austin Community College Eastview. Let's connect your business or organization!

Resource Fair & Market 2019 lineup TBA

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