Latin X reaches out to familia

By James Jackson - Staff Reporter

Highline's third annual Latin X Summit is committed to empowering young Latino students, one of its organizers said recently.

This year the planning committee decided to move in a new direction. Instead of holding the summit over two days during the week, it will be moved to a Saturday, changing it to a one-day professional conference format, said Joshua Magallanes, the committee chair person.

Magallanes, who is a counselor at Highline has been a presenter at Latin X the last two years. This year his role has changed to Planning Committee Chair Person.

Magallanes, said he is very passionate about summit and feels a strong connection to the students.

"Yes, this summit is part of me and I feel a strong draw to the summit. These students were myself when I was in high school. I didn't know what was available to me and how I could attain it if it were available to me," Magellanes said.

The three key tracks for the conference are identity development; empowerment; and the arts, including visual, musical, writing and poetry. Parents, advisers and community members will be provided with information on college admission requirements, health care, immigration law, access services and Puente, the college's new Latino student support program.

Unlike the Black and Brown Male and Young Educated Ladies Leading (Y.E.L.L) summits, Latin X is gender non-conforming. The X in Latin X signifies gender neutrality, Magallanes said.

The summit is open to high school and college-aged students who identify as Latino. All programs will take place in buildings 2 and 7, beginning with registration and welcome at 8 a.m. with closing remarks at 3 p.m.

This year's theme is Intersections of Familia. "This term is referring to the intersectionality of all Latin peoples," Magallanes said.

The keynote speaker, Luis Ortega, director and founder of Story Tellers for Change, takes the stage at 8:30 a.m. His message is that the power of stories move people to use their power to build positive social change.

Magallanes said he hopes the summit will open doors for many people. "I hope for us to express how we can provide open access to students, and that our institution of higher learning, though it may seem challenging to navigate, people are here," Magallanes said.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Joshua Magallanes at 206- 592-3998

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