Students of Color Conference promotes diversity

Twenty UW Tacoma students will be chosen — based on application — to attend the 28th annual Students of Col­or Conference in Yakima, Washington.

Of those who apply, 20 will be se­lected to participate in the conference with no personal expense. Students will be expected to attend two meeting ses­sions prior to leaving for the conference and to share the knowledge that they receive after the conference.

Applications are available in the Of­fice for Equity and Inclusion and are due no later than noon Jan.16. The ap­plication includes a basic questionnaire and four essay responses to see how engaged applicants are in the conversa­tion of diversity.

The conference will take place April 12–14 in the Yakima Conven­tion Center.

This conference is put on by the Multicultural Student Services Direc­tors’ Council, which is made up by a group of directors of cultural centers throughout the majority of the Wash­ington community colleges. The only universities that are invited to attend besides the community colleges are UWT and Evergreen State College.

Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley, Direc­tor of Equity and Inclusion, has at­tended the conference three times her­self — two times as a student with Highline Community College and once as a student with UWT. This year she will be attending as an advisor and is excited to see what the students take away from the experience.

“Being there and being able to ab­sorb the environment is empowering — it’s encouraging,” Humphrey-Pressley said. “I left with a new awareness around my identity and the fire was sparked in me to continue to explore that and be the advocate that concern students of color on campus.”

The three day event will get students inspired with panel sessions, workshops, speakers and small group conversations. There are five themes of the conference including: identity development, aware­ness of others, skills development, social justice and social activism, and per­sonal development.

Students will be placed into their affinity group to explore their personal racial identity.

“You are there to do self-exploration and to learn about others,” Humphrey-Pressley said.

The conference is an opportu­nity for Washington state students to be more in touch with who they are and to become agents of change in a diverse climate. Both UWT un­dergrad and graduate school students are encouraged to apply to be con­sidered for the opportunity to attend this conference.

“Every student would benefit from this,” Humphrey-Pressley said.

PHOTOS BY CHASE CHARABA

Sophia Sonovich

Sophia is a UWT senior double majoring in communication and arts, media, and culture with a minor in business administration. She is the director of the Little Gym of Puyallup and is a freelance writer for various local web and print magazines. Sophia enjoys spending time with her family, and friends and reading books.

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