The Latinx Youth Leadership Conference is an annual event that celebrates Latinx culture and helps Latinx middle and high school students learn to share peace through leadership.  The primary goal of this event is to promote youth development, leadership, and positive cultural identity while enabling teens to see their role as peacemakers and learn individual actions to share with their families, schools, and neighborhoods. Participating youth have the opportunity to meet students from other schools while learning and having fun in cultural workshops, presentations and activities relevant to their lives. What makes this a one-of-a-kind event is that it is planned by and for Latinx youth; a team of high school students meet weekly for 8 months to plan and develop all conference elements.

Please contact Franklin Zumba at or Adrian Diaz at or by calling 612-872-6165 if you would like more information about the event.

2022 Conference

May 10, 2019 was the last time the Latinx Youth Leadership Conference was held in-person prior to the start of the pandemic. In May of 2021, we hosted our conference virtually. We returned in-person on Friday, May 20, 2022 at our new venue, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). This year’s theme, ‘Adelante Seguimos’ (We Move Forward), focused on looking back at our past, the barriers our community has overcome, and how we have moved forward.

To prioritize the health of all event participants, attendance was limited to 100 students. Even though the number of students was less (approx. 150 than in previous years), the energy of this year’s Conference was higher than ever! A total of 105 students, which included the event’s planning team members, and 27 adults participated at this year’s conference.

The event was kicked-off by our two youth emcees, Santi Rodriguez and Layaned Sanisaca. They welcomed students with a fun Latinx jeopardy, followed by a welcome from Trumanue Lindsey (Vice President of Equity & Inclusion, MCTC).

The participants enjoyed performances from two dance groups: Kalpulli Yaocenoxtl (Aztec dance group) and Mexico Azteca Inc (Tapatio folkloric dance group). Both groups delivered vibrant and energetic performances, as well as powerful messages about cultural representation and history.

Workshops highlighted a variety of topics, from mental health awareness, healthy relationships, entrepreneurship, community leadership, ways to step outside your comfort zone, and cultural appreciation.

The success of this event was a result of a labor of love from the Youth Planning Committee. The support from sponsors and donors was also essential for making this event possible. Thank you to our sponsors YouthPrise and Minneapolis Community & Technical College, and donors Mall of America and McDonald’s for their support and contributions.

98% of youth expressed an increase in cultural pride, 85% expressed an increased sense of and capacity for leadership, and 92% expressed an increase in skills, knowledge and/or positive attitudes in at least one of the following areas: self, relationships, education, and/or community. 

Past conference topics have included:

2021: Community Healing & Resiliency
2020: (The conference had to be cancelled due to the pandemic)
2019: Justicia y Sostenibilidad Ambiental
2018: Cuídame, Cuídate
2017: El Pueblo Unido (The People United) – Theme: Social Action/Activism
2016: De Donde Vengo y Adonde Voy (Where I’m From and Where I’m Going)
2015: Express Your Identity
2014: Cultivating My Well-Being
2013: Traditions in Our Hearts, United We Thrive
2012: Growing Healthy Relationships Together
2011: Dancing with the “Sole”, Bailando con El Corazón
2010: Mind Opening Scenes: Artes Visuales
2008: Who am I? Finding Myself to Promote Peace
2007: Our History and Traditions: The Key to the Future
2006: Hip Hop: A Tool for Peace and Social Change
2005: Healthy Lifestyles
2004: An Intergenerational Dialog on Immigration