About 100 high school students from around the state had a chance to focus on future goals, and the role of higher education in attaining those goals, during the annual Adelante Con Educación (ACE) Conference at the University of Washington this spring. The event was co-sponsored by the Jackson School’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies program.
The conference, organized by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (Chicano student movement of Aztlan or MEChA), consisted of workshops focusing on student empowerment, cultural appreciation, higher education, self-care and issues occurring in the Chicano community such as House Bill 1079, signed in 2003, which allows eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
The two days of discussions encouraged students to dialogue and work toward resolutions. After the first day of workshops, students attended Noche Cultura (night of culture), designed to provide insights into different cultures through performance.
The second day concluded with a demonstration in UW’s Red Square focused on the controversy at Sakuma Farm, where workers eventually won a lawsuit against the farm after the owner told workers there was not room for their families to live there. A Skagit County judge ruled that since Sakuma provides housing, he isn’t just a farmer, but a landlord, and he can’t discriminate.
Students left the ACE conference with a better understanding of college life and the steps necessary to get to college. Many said they planned to return next year.