Free and Open to All

February 25, 2017

8 a.m.–3 p.m.

Highline’s main campus, Building 2

Come to campus for the third annual Latinx Summit. The event will include speakers and workshops designed to provide students with the tools they need for success in higher education and beyond. The free summit is open to all, but registration is required.

This year’s summit has undergone a format and name change. Previously held on two consecutive mornings, the event will now run one full day and is called the Latinx Summit. Organizers are using the term Latinx as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina, hoping to stress the inclusive nature of the summit.


Contact Joshua Magallanes at jmagallanes@highline.edu or (206) 592-3998.

Meet the Artist

Are you curious about the artwork used in the Latinx Summit image above? Learn about artist and Highline alumna Samantha Montes de Oca and her work.


Space is limited. Register today to guarantee your spot.


8-8:30 a.m.: Check In

Check in at the entrance of Building 2.

8:45-9:15 a.m.: Keynote Address by Luis Ortega: “You Are My Other Me

In Lak’Ech, a timeless Mayan precept that means “you are my other me,” serves as an opening invitation to immerse in Ortega’s stories about empathy, solidarity and resilience. Ortega will share his journey as an immigrant and storyteller with poems and humor in an effort to illustrate the power of sharing our stories to advocate for our communities. Ultimately, he will make a call to action for each student to believe in the power of his or her stories to make a difference.

9:30-10:45 a.m.: Session 1

Summit organizers will put students into three groups; each group will attend one of the following three presentations:

Stephanie Ojeda Espinoza: “Ni de Aquí Ni de Allá: On (Slowly) Losing My Cultural Shame”

Do you get picked up from school in an embarrassing van or go to school with frijoles for lunch? Do you feel pressured to be, like Selena’s dad said, “more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans”? In this workshop, Espinoza will talk about her identity crisis, navigating cultural bullying, and being an educated feminist Latina. Students will explore their own identities and discuss ways to be confident in their own identities.

Biography: Espinoza was born in Los Angeles and raised in Bakersfield, California, where she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at California State University, Bakersfield. After completing her master’s and post-baccalaureate certificate in writing, she moved to the San Francisco area to pursue her teaching career in higher education. In 2014, she moved from California to Washington for a tenured teaching position in the English department at Highline College. She has worked in various student outreach programs, such as the Umoja learning community and is currently co-coordinating the Puente program at Highline. Espinoza identifies as Salvadoreña, Mexicana and American. Her passion is improving educational access and equity for students and educators.

Dr. Ben Gonzalez

Coming Soon: Presentation description and biography.

Osbaldo Hernandez Sahagun

Coming Soon: Presentation description and biography.

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Session 2

Summit organizers will put students into three groups; each group will attend one of the following three presentations:

Joe Aguilar: “Knowing Why, How and For How Long”

Have you been told to go to college? Or perhaps the opposite? We are always being told to do or not to do things, but are we ever given a good answer as to why? During this workshop, you will find out what it means to pursue higher education and why some sort of post-secondary education is important now more than ever. You will explore your passions and interest. You will also learn and start practicing Advisor Joe’s tips for academic success.

Biography: Growing up in Wenatchee, Washington, Aguilar was heavily involved in sports and wanted to be a sports broadcaster. However, it was at Washington State University where he became deeply involved in student-led organizations and while working with WSU, he fell in love with helping students pursue higher education and decided to change his career path.

Like many students do, Aguilar went through many obstacles and hardships during college, but he was able to earn his bachelor’s degree in communications and society with an emphasis in organizational communication. Currently, he is an academic adviser at Highline College, guiding students into the paths to achieve their dreams. He is also involved in many initiatives that promote higher education within the community.

Aguilar plans to pursue his master’s degree in higher education leadership and policy studies at the University of Washington. His career goals include becoming a director of a student services program and possibly a vice president or dean within a higher education institution. His passion is helping students of all backgrounds reach their academic, career and personal goals.

Darline Guerreo

Coming Soon: Presentation description and biography.

Martha Molina Magallanes: When Sinking Isn’t An Option: An Undocumented Dreamer Experience

When failing isn’t an option in your quest to become a college graduate, getting a “no” turns into just another hurdle. Living in a political climate where much uncertainty exists for immigrants and undocumented students, here’s an opportunity to learn firsthand of a survival guide to higher education. When politicians seem to think of you as solution to save money, how do you build the courage to say I deserve this as much as your white peers? Here you will learn what to do when the rules and policies don’t apply to you because you’re not a textbook student and how to demand equality even if the school’s policies do not cover your unique circumstances.

Biography: Magallanes’ passion for advancing Latinos in higher education lead her to her work to mentor Latina students. Being a first generation immigrant, she quickly learned that being a traditional good student would not be enough in her efforts to earn a bachelor’s degree. She and her family immigrated to the United States from Guatemala in 1989. They first resided in Los Angeles, where she experienced the L.A. riots as a child in 1992, as well as Proposition 187, one of the contemporary racially charged laws that intended to exclude immigrants from access to health care and K–12 education. In 1995, her family found refuge in Seattle, and for the first time in her life, she was a student in an integrated classroom. Los Angeles schools did not begin full efforts toward racial integration until 1994.

Magallanes completed her associate degree at Highline College, where she was a writer and editor for the Thunderword. In 2008, she graduated from the University of Washington, earning a degree in political science, with an emphasis in political theory and a minor in Spanish. After graduating, she stumbled into a career as a workers’ compensation professional. When she is not conquering the world of workers’ comp for Seattle City Light, she enjoys attending sporting events with her husband Mario Magallanes and long walks with her 3-year-old Chihuahua, Buttercup. Her volunteer experience includes more than 10 years as a scholarship mentor for the Miss Hispanic Seafair program

12:15-1 p.m.: Lunch

Enjoy a free meal while visiting with fellow attendees.

1:10-2:25 p.m.: Session 3

Students can select from one of the following three presentations:

La Clave: Performance

La Clave will give a live musical performance.

Dr. Francisco “Cisco” Orozco: Capoeira Performance

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music.

Biography: Orozco is a faculty member in the Department of Music at Highline College.

Originally from Oakland, Calif., Orozco arrived in Seattle in 2003 to pursue his academic interests in son jarocho and fandango and Latino popular music in the U.S. He eventually earned a doctorate degree in ethnomusicology in 2012 from the University of Washington.

Some of his collaborative work over the years has included researching the “Chicano Soul” scene of 1960s San Antonio; working as associate curator on the ground-breaking exhibit “American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music;” and teaching in the departments of Music and American Ethnic Studies at the UW.

He is involved in the Pacific Northwest’s cultural arts community, including the art of capoeira, the Seattle Fandango Project, and De Cajon Project, an Afro-Peruvian “artivist” group.

Jake Prendez: “The Art of Rebellion: Social Justice and Chicana/o Visual Arts”

This workshop will focus on how subversive art has been used in social movements. We will discuss the relationship between Mexican muralism, social realism and civil rights art of the 1960s to current social justice art.

Biography: Prendez is a strong advocate for youth empowerment and the power of positive reinforcement. He grew up being told he was worthless. As a youth, he was put in special education classes due to undiagnosed dyslexia. He became involved in the gang culture in middle school. Thanks to positive role models later in life, he turned his life around and became heavily involved with the Chicano movement and student organizations like MEChA. Prendez went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in American ethnic studies at the University of Washington and his master’s degree in Chicana/o studies from CSU Northridge. His thesis was titled “The Art of Rebellion: Social Justice and Chicano Visual Arts.”

Today Prendez is an outreach counselor and works with high school and community college students around the state of California. He is also a renowned visual artist displaying his work in numerous exhibitions around the country. His artwork focuses on themes of culture, activism, social justice, pop culture and satire. His artistic style ranges from Chicano and indigenous influences, social realism and tattoo esthetics to colorful urban style art.

2:30-3 p.m.: Closing

Hear a closing message and have a chance at winning one of many raffle prizes.

Approximately 150 high school students from the south King County community are expected to attend Highline’s third annual summit. Event organizers hope to empower Latino/a youth to embrace higher education and knowledge while celebrating their cultural heritage and background.

Guest speakers, including educators and graduates from Highline, will share both their professional and personal experiences with attendees.

The summit is an extension of Highline’s commitment to diversity, social justice and multiculturalism for which the college has earned several awards and recognition.

Most recently, for the fourth straight year, Highline received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Highline was one of only two institutions in Washington — and one of only nine community colleges nationwide — to receive the 2016 award. The award is given annually by Insight into Diversity magazine.

In 2014, the college received a prestigious Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges for increasing diversity and social equity on campus. Highline was one of six colleges in the nation earning recognition and won in the Advancing Diversity category.

Highline serves the most diverse community in the state, which is mirrored in its student population that includes more than 70 percent students of color, 17 percent of whom are Hispanic/Latino.

Curious About the Art?

Highline Alumna Creates This Year’s Summit Image

Artist and newly minted Highline alumna Samantha Montes de Oca contributed her time and talent to this year’s Latinx Summit by creating the artwork and materials promoting the event.

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and now living in Kent, the 23-year-old’s artistic talent has been recognized on a number of occasions at Highline, including the college’s recent film contest where she collaborated with fellow alumna Lisa Lopez to take third place for the animated film “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”

And in spring of 2016, she earned the award for outstanding program contribution as a member of the college’s Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) design team.

A member of the Latinx Committee, who had worked with Montes de Oca when she was on the CLS design team, asked her to create the design for this year’s summit.

Click on image to enlarge

“Iesha Valencia contacted me and explained to me what this event is about. I took that information plus I researched about the culture of each Latin country and looked at pictures to find inspiration,” said Montes de Oca, who is proud of her Latina heritage.

“I wanted to create something that represents each and every one of us and the fact that we are present all around the world. We have a lot of similarities such as the use of bright colors, music, patterns, styles, etc. Still, each country has it’s own identity.”

She used a number of symbols to represent each country, such as the sugar skull for Mexico, penguins and yerba mate for Argentina, and the mask for carnivals in Brazil.

To see more of her work, visit her online portfolio.

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The post New Format, New Name for Latino-Focused Summit appeared first on Highline College.

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