Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Rebekah Spicuglia

Executive Director | One Community Action
Pronouns: She/Her
Rebekah Spicuglia is the Executive Director of One Community Action (OCA), a grassroots organization working for culturally competent solutions that ensure the future and vibrancy of the Santa Maria Valley community in North Santa Barbara County, CA. As a bereaved mom, writer, and advocate, she has worked for racial justice for 15 years. Previously Rebekah served as the Director of Strategic Communications & Public Engagement at Race Forward, where she supported anti-criminalization work through the launch of MassFreedom.com; the Drop the I-Word campaign; Shattered Families report; and Facing Race 2010 (Chicago), 2012 (Baltimore), 2014 (Dallas), 2016 (Atlanta), and 2018 (Detroit).

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Community Violence Solutions

Ending community violence requires us to innovate, invest, and collaborate across sectors. Smaller cities and underserved regions with high rates of violence have far fewer resources. This is the case in Santa Barbara County, CA, where North County is significantly more diverse and in need of all kinds of services. However, even in SB, it is not enough that rates of youth and gun violence have been managed through strong intervention and prevention efforts; with the proliferation of guns especially, this is not a long-term solution. We must safeguard human life as well as we protect property and interests of wealthy white landowners.

"Community Violence Solutions" will be an important space for information sharing on innovative strategies on violence intervention, prevention, and healing/after-care.

Rebekah Spicuglia and Cristel Ramirez will share the work of One Community Action of Santa Maria Valley, which started as a coalition in response to a rise in violence that took the life of Rebekah's son, Oscar. That violence continues today, including but not limited to shootings and school violence, in a community with a significant population of low-income immigrants and migrant workers. Through organizing, advocacy, and culturally competent services for youth and families, OCA is working to build a safe, vibrant community, with culturally competent institutions supporting equity and access for all.

Refugio "Cuco" Rodruiguez will share how the Hope and Heal Fund is investing in a public health, racial equity, and community-based approach to preventing gun violence in California.

Speakers: Rebekah Spicuglia, Refugio "Cuco" Rodruiguez, Cristel Ramirez

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Reframing Stories from a Racial Justice Perspective

Storytelling is an essential tool for engaging audiences and reframing the conversation from individual bias to one focused on structural racism and racial justice. In this workshop, Race Forward staff and Colorlines writers will present articles, pulled from our own Colorlines reporting, that demonstrate reframing work in action. With a reframing guide created by Race Forward, we will examine stories that “get it wrong” and practice reframing them to avoid harmful racial discourse practices.

Speakers: Aura Bogado, Julianne Hing, Rebekah Spicuglia