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.  DSC_0200 (2)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 Adrian Diaz at adriand@oportunidad.org or by calling 612-872-6165 ext. 120 if you would like more information about the event.

 

2018 Conference

On May 11, 2018, 263 youth gathered at Augsburg University for La Oportunidad’s 18th annual Latinx Youth Leadership Conference.

Health was the theme selected by the Youth Planning Committee. The Committee titled the 2018 Conference, “Cuídame, Cuídate” (Take Care of Me, Take Care of You). The Committee’s President Maria Rios emphasized the theme will help youth “explore and grow knowledgeable of different aspects of health so they can become more resilient, as well as take action and leadership to breakdown stereotypes and stigmas that have to do with health in the Latinx community. We are the power in our community and together we will continue striving for a brighter and healthier tomorrow!”

The event’s highlights were a powerful message from local keynote speaker Maria Isa, an award-winning songwriter, poet, composer, and activist; as well as 12 energetic and interactive workshop breakout sessions led by local Latino leaders. Workshops covered all aspects of health: psychological, social, and physical. Topics ranged from understanding stereotypes that exist within Latinx culture and the ways they affect us, exploring healthy relationships, and learning about traditional-natural remedies that have been lost in our society.  Performances by the Aztec dance and drum group, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli and bboy crew Phaze II reinforced the beauty in Latinx art and history.

85% of youth participants expressed an increase in cultural pride, 84% expressed an increased sense of and capacity for leadership, and 85% expressed an increase in skills, knowledge and/or positive attitudes in at least one of the following areas: self, relationships, education, and/or community. 100% of school chaperones mentioned they were happy with the event.
The success of this day-long event was a result of a labor of love from the 13 members of the Youth Planning Committee. The planning committee, made up of high school Latinx youth leaders and mentors, met for two hours every Thursday over an 8-month period to plan all aspects of the conference: theme, presenters, keynote speaker, conference design logo, performance groups, and even the food served. Additional to the mentors, huge support came from our sponsors: Augsburg University, Youthprise, East Minneapolis Exchange Club, McDonalds, Blick Art Studio, and Mall of America. The Conference would not be possible without the support and passion of the many groups who contributed.

PHOTOS of this event were posted on our Facebook page, to view them click here.

Past conference topics have included:

  • 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
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