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SOU Latino Youth Chavez

SOU’s Latino Youth Leadership Conference addresses equity, racism, barriers

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — More than 350 Latino youth from Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane county high schools will meet on the Southern Oregon University campus on Friday, March 9, for the seventh annual César E. Chávez Leadership Conference.

The event – which this year will feature Hispanic civil rights advocate Luis Avila as keynote speaker – celebrates the heritage of César E. Chávez and teaches young people to carry on Chávez’ legacy of leadership.

This year’s conference will include 22 workshops in the areas of leadership, college and career, culture, identity and arts, and life skills. The workshops are intended to inspire Latino youth to become leaders and work for social justice, and to empower them to pursue higher education.

The event is particularly relevant in a year when immigration and racial issues are at the forefront of national conversations. Students at the conference will learn how to ensure that their voices are heard.

Avila, an advisor with 270 Strategies, most recently served as the national program director at Stand for Children – a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education.

While at Stand for Children, Avila worked with immigrant parents to mobilize thousands of voters and protect funding for their children’s schools. He was awarded the agency’s National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching and developing organizers around the country.

Avila serves on the executive board at the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and is on the board of TNTP – an organization focused on ending educational inequality.

A record number of high schools and participants are expected at this year’s event. Students are nominated to attend by teachers and counselors at their high schools.

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Latino High School Conference Coming to SOU

(Ashland, Ore.) — Latino high school students from across Jackson County will gather on the Southern Oregon University campus Friday, March 16, for workshops on leadership, cultural arts and college preparation. It’s the inaugural Cesar Chavez Leadership Conference.

“The goal of the day-long conference is to increase Latino high school students’ preparation to become leaders and develop their knowledge about contemporary Latino issues,” says Jonathan Eldridge, Vice President for Student Affairs. “And hosting these students on a college campus also reinforces what they can look forward to as they prepare for high school graduation and beyond.”

The conference keynote speaker will be SOU Writing Professor Alma Rosa Alvarez. Approximately 150 Latino high school students from North and South Medford, Eagle Point, Phoenix and Crater high schools are expected to attend. Assisting will be members of the SOU Latino Students Union.
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