27th Annual Students of Color Conference 2017

Yakima WA

Apr 6 - 8, 2017

Welcome to the 27th Annual Students of Color Conference! We are honored that you have joined us in a long legacy of learning, resistance, and visioning for a more just and equitable society. We celebrate 27 years of hosting this conference for students of color in the Washington State Community and Technical College System. Our theme this year is “Cultivate Our Truth with Unity and Resilience.”

Each year we plan for this conference to be a space that you learn, engage and build community. This year is no different but we understand the need for this conference is greater this year for our communities to gather. If you reflect on our graphic, there is meaning behind the theme and graphic. In a time when our stories are being rewritten or not told by our hands, we want to provide a space to celebrate that we are the owner of your own history. Our stories are rooted by our truth and should be told to unite us to become a stronger community. Our history has shown, the stronger the roots we have the more resilient the community we build.

“When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.”-Anonymous

We hope this conference will not only inspire you but prepare you with the tools to identify and acknowledge your own story in order to cultivate your truth and help create social change. This is a space that is designed for you to challenge yourself and to think critically. We invite you to dream, to hope, to vision, to act, to speak your voice, to start healing, and to come into your power. Take the knowledge and wisdom you gain from these few days and pay it forward to your communities.

A special thanks to all of the organizers, participants, and to you for moving the conversation around identity, justice, and equity forward and your continuous support.

Enjoy your learning at SOCC 2017!
-Multicultural Student Services Directors’ Council 



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Frank Leon Roberts

Professor, NYU

Bio: Frank Leon Roberts Recently referred to by Dr. Cornel West as one of the “powerhouse intellectuals” of his generation, Frank Leon Roberts is an educator and political organizer on the frontlines of the contemporary movement for black lives. He is the Creator of Black Lives Matter Syllabus, the nationally acclaimed, public educational curriculum that provides resources for teaching BLM in classroom and community settings. Frank’s pioneering work as the “Black Lives Matter Professor” has been featured in Fader Magazine, NPR, CNN, The San Francisco Gate, CBS and an extensive variety of other national media outlets. He is currently on the faculty at New York University, where his course on the black lives matter movement has been widely acknowledged as the first college course of its kind. Committed to the idea of teaching as a form of community organizing, his courses continue to make headlines as national interventions. He has previously held teaching appointments at The New School for Public Engagement, The City University of New York (at both Hunter College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. Educated at New York University and Yale University, Frank is the winner of NYU’s 2015 Michael Parkes Distinguished Alumni Award; the 2015 MLK Trailblazer Award (given in honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King), and a past recipient Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the National Research Academies. His areas of scholarly expertise include 20th century African American literature, race and ethnicity studies, U.S. social movements, and the history of black art, media, and expressive culture. His forthcoming book, Black Lives Matter Syllabus: Key Writings from the Movement for Black Lives is currently under review at The University of California Press. Outside of academia, Frank’s career as a grassroots political organizer has spanned nearly two decades. He began his career as a teenager; mobilizing disenfranchised voters in the wake of the 2000 Bush/Gore Election. Later, in 2004 Frank co-founded the National Black Justice Coalition with Barack Obama’s Harvard Law School classmate Keith Boykin. He then went on to serve as the special assistant to legendary civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran, whom he worked with on the early legal movement for racial reparations. Frank then spent a decade on the frontlines of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in black communities—working as a prevention organizer in some of New York City’s most at-risk communities. In 2015, for his career long commitment to doing racial justice activist work in an intersectional paradigm, he received the 2015 Bayard Rustin Award at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Frank’s expansive history as an organizer and thought-leader has landed him in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony, BBC Radio, The Huffington Post and at hundreds of institutions and colleges around the globe. Rooted in a commitment to teaching as a form of community organizing, his work inspires audiences to use the energy of today and the teachings of yesterday—to create a world that works for everyone.

Black By Popular Demand

Improv Comedy

Bio: In 2013 the Black-identifying improv community in Portland Oregon emerged when three Black improvisers came together and created Black By Popular Demand. Over three years the group grew, performing both locally and at improv festivals throughout the country. Several members of BBPD went on to create Broke Gravy. Their signature format “James Earl Jones” has made Broke Gravy a favorite in the national and international improv scene. The performers are honored to bring their united effort to the SOCC in a multi-genre showcase that will include several styles of improv and the oral tradition and art of storytelling. Portland, OR has a relatively small, but powerful, black community compared to other cities. Improvisational Comedy, also has a very small, but powerful, black community. So what happens when brothers and sisters from across Portland get together and Improvise? You’ll just have to come check it out, if you want an answer to that one. Black by Popular Demand is a long form improv comedy group that is made up of members, whom identify as black. We are a family doing what families do, tell stories. Join us on our adventures as we take a central character and expand their boundaries to see how they impact their world and their world impacts them.

Kendy Trinh

University of Washington Tacoma

Bio: Hello my name is Kendy Trinh. I am a junior at UW Tacoma and I am a first generation college student. I am currently majoring in Ethnic, Gender, Labor Studies with minor in progress. I plan on graduating and doing work in Human Resources and possibly study in Student Affairs and Services for Graduate School.

Aaron Reader

Director of Multicultural Services, Bellevue College

Abraham Rodriguez

Equity and Race Relations, Seattle Public Schools

Alissa Morales

Student, The Evergreen State College

Ata Karim

Vice President for Student Affairs, Bellevue College

Berkan Koroglu

Student, University of Washington Tacoma

Dennis Denman

Assistant Director, Edmonds Community College

Dolly England

Diversity Outreach Manager, Clark College

Dominique Austin

Inter-Cultural Center Leadership Adviser, Multicultural Affairs, Highline College

Dr. Mari Acob-Nash

Associate Vice President for International Education, Skagit Valley College

Dr. Sy Ear

Dean for Student Success - Enrollment and Entry Services, Edmonds Community College

Edgar A. Neri

Student, Whatcom Community College

Eileen Yoshina

Manager, Puget Sound ESD

Eric Izaguirre

Coordinator, Equity & Inclusion, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Faisal Jaswal

Assistant Dean of Student Programs, Advisor to the ASG-BCC, Bellevue Community College

Gregory Marks

Actor/Model, Colleen Bell Agency

Guillermo Espinosa

Multicultural Support Coordinator, Spokane Community College

Jerod Grant

Director, Diversity & Equity Center at Everett Community College

John Kellermeier

Faculty Mentor, Carnegie Math Pathways

Joshua Magallanes

Equity and Inclusion speaker and consultant, Joshua Magallanes LLC

Justin Francisco

Student, Washington Student Association

Kandi Bauman

Director of Advising and Counseling, South Puget Sound Community College

Karama Blackhorn

Diversity and Equity Center: Program Coordinator, South Puget Sound Community College

Katie Stutts

Curriculum Advisor, Pierce College District

Katie Viola

Coordinator, Basic Food, Employment, and Training, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Austin Escalera

Student, South Puget Sound Community College

Camila Davila Schrandt

SOCC Intern, The Evergreen State College

Fialauia Lamositele

Student, Whatcom Community College

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We are excited to use Whova as our event platform. Attendees please download Whova event app, to access the documents and handouts shared by the organizers.