The Northwest Student Leadership Conference (NWSLC) is the largest and most exciting, student- led, leadership conference in the Pacific Northwest. The conference provides dozens of workshops specifically designed to develop and engage student leaders and provide them with organizing and advocacy skills they can bring back to campus. The Northwest Student Leadership Conference provides a politicizing, engaging space for students to gain valuable tools that allow them to become better leaders, organizers, and social justice advocates. NWSLC is made possible each year with the support of the Oregon Student Foundation.
NWSLC 2017 Summary
The 2017 Northwest Student Leadership Conference: Making Waves and Navigating the Waters of Student Organizing moved forward the mission and vision of the Oregon Student Foundation by educating and empowering 240 students from various parts of Oregon, Washington and Canada. This year’s program included a tabling fair where we were joined by over a dozen community organizations and nonprofits, a Building Solidarity Panel, Professional Profiles Panel, Ready to Run! featured programming to engage students in running for public office, over 30 workshops and two keynote speakers.
All programming for the event provided mentorship and networking through interaction with student leaders, non-profit professionals and community organizers. This year, we also offered various tools to give participants the opportunity to customize their conference experience according to 5 workshop tracks that reflected each individual’s interest and goals. In addition, we were also pleased to offer each participant a skills inventory worksheet which helped each person assess their own development and determine areas of growth for themselves. Keynote addresses included remarks from Jobs with Justice Executive Director, D Pei Wu and Oregon Voice Executive Director, Aubrey Harrison who joined our Building Solidarity Panel with Oscar Guerra-Vera from Unite Oregon and Tashia Harris from Western States Center.
Finally the Professional Profiles Panelists included, Bus Project’s Daisy Quiñonez, SEIU’s Matt Swanson, NWHF’s Jen Matheson and Representative Teresa Alonso Leon.
We not only engaged students leaders in learning more about direct action organizing, personal leadership development, legislative advocacy, and community activism but provided a space for folks looking to get engaged with the student movement could build community and connect with each other. It is our hope that the tools gained and friendships made will continue to guide, inform and support the student movement.