Southern Oregon University is hosting the seventh annual César E. Chávez Leadership Conference on the SOU campus. The conference is a gathering of Latinx high school students/leaders from regional high schools. The goal of the day-long César E. Chávez Leadership Conference is to increase Latinx high school students’ preparation to become leaders and develop their knowledge about contemporary issues within the Latinx community. In addition, the conference strongly encourages Latino youth to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school. Participants attend workshops focusing on leadership, cultural arts, and college preparation. Students are assigned to groups hosted by SOU’s Latinx student ambassadors throughout the day’s events.
"To instill in our Latinx youth the value of education, which nurtures mind, body and spirit in order to develop a social consciousness that empowers them as leaders for social justice and civic responsibility in the greater community."
Luis Avila's BioLuis Avila is an advisor with 270 Strategies. Most recently he was the national program director at Stand for Children, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education, where he worked with immigrant parents to mobilize thousands of voters to protect funding for their children's schools. While at Stand, he was awarded its National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching, and developing organizers around the country.
Luis was a field organizer in New Mexico for President Obama's 2008 campaign and field director at Arizona State University's ADA Parent Education Program, where he oversaw a program that united parents and teachers to transform the educational experiences of children at home and at school. Luis serves on the executive board at the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States and is on the board of TNTP, an organization focused on ending the injustice of educational inequality. Additionally, he is a NextGen Fellow at the Pahara-Aspen Institute. Luis was recognized in 2009 by Latino Perspectives Magazine as one of the 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 for his work in education and parental involvement programs for low-income families. Luis also received the Latino Advocacy Champion Award in 2014 by Profiles of Success for his work in the defense immigrant rights.
Born in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico, Luis founded a youth publication in Queretaro at the age of 16 to give students a chance to voice their opinions on social and political issues. His passion for giving others a voice eventually brought him to the United States, where he has spent the better part of his career working to improve the quality of life for people in his community by expanding access to quality education.
Luis has worked as a writer, director, and actor in both theater and film, and hosted radio shows in Phoenix, AZ including the Spanish-language Sin Mordaza on 1190 AM and the bilingual youth show El Break on 95.1 FM. He enjoys volunteering at his local library in his free time and can be found on the weekends exploring his new neighborhood in Oakland.
For more information contact:
Jonathan Chavez Baez
Coordinator for Minority Outreach Programs