The first conference for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in Spokane took place on Saturday, October 21, at the Spokane Public Library, where students engaged, learned and networked
This year's conference, ‘Finding a Sense of Belonging,' aimed to create a space where students feel comfortable and represented talking with professionals who shared similar backgrounds and are now professionals working for different areas in the community.
"We are trying to create a BIPOC space for students to learn, succeed and find a sense of belonging in Spokane,” said Li Velasco, Latinos Unidos en Acción Alianza (LUNAA) program manager. “This conference was meant for students to find methods to thrive in their careers and with their mental health. "
The event allowed students to meet professionals of color in the industry, access a resource career fair, and connect with the community.
The conference workshops centered around mental health and the importance of wellness in higher education and the professional setting.
Some of the professional speakers at the conference include UW Assistant Teaching Professor Edmundo M. Aguilar. He was awarded the 2019-2020 Eastern Washington University College of Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.
Aguilar engaged and motivated students with his dynamic and powerful speech during the conference with topics about social identity, race, class, gender, power, privilege, and how education brings value to their communities and opens doors for them to participate responsibly and contribute to democracy.
Other speakers who participated in the conference include Spokane City Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson, funder of ‘Hear You Sis’ Prosparetti Coleman and Spoken Word Darrien Mack- ‘Rosethrow.’
Nuestras Raices Centro Comunitario and the Carl Maxey Center will work together to bring the conference next year for students and professionals in the community and ensure they find that sense of belonging while navigating the professional world.
Click here for our Facebook folder's student and professional conference photo gallery.