Now in its 19th year, School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policy makers from across the country.

Attendees hear from thought-provoking presenters and learn new strategies to build strong programs and equitable systems for young people, in and out of school. Reflected in all aspects of the Bridge Conference are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishment, change, innovation, and community. Our attendees and presenters represent the diverse communities we work with across the state. In 2021, for our second virtual conference, we will come together to celebrate, influence, and learn in community with the expanded learning field.

We gather to:
  • Engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives
  • Identify the ways that racial inequities impact youth, expanded learning opportunities, and educational outcomes
  • Experience a sense of belonging to nourish social connection and professional networking
  • Learn how to implement tangible practices that promote an equitable expanded learning opportunity ecosystem
  • Strive to recognize power dynamics throughout programs and systems and begin to strategize how to co-create stronger partnerships across sectors

2021 Bridge: From Seedlings to Stardust
Across time and cultures, humans have found comfort, guidance, and knowledge amongst the stars. Before we had the technology to tell us what was out there, we were grounded and deeply connected to this unknown we reached for it. The stars can be said to be our first home, the first dreamscape of humankind. We have only just begun our rupture – the shattering and deconstruction of—individual and collective realities. This change has brought exhaustion—with no clear path in sight. Yet, we cannot stifle ourselves in normalcy. 2021 Bridge: From Seedlings to Stardust dares us to dream and to pour into the tenaciousness of transformation. The seeds have been sown—now, how do we shape this change?

Systems Leader Cohort
For 2021, the Systems Leader Cohort will include a Pre-Conference on October 26 and a series of recommended workshops for funders, policymakers, and community leaders. This cohort will focus on advancing equity through a well-supported expanded learning system in this profound moment of change.

Bridge Conference Registrants: Once you register, participants will receive an email from Sched inviting you to create and/or log into your Sched account so you can create your personalized schedule and prepare to attend the event. Check out our Attendee Guidance Checklist for more info on "how" to show up to this virtual event or contact our Customer Service team at bridge@schoolsoutwashington.org if you have any challenges navigating the platform. 
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, October 27 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Advocacy 101: Using Your Voice to Impact Public Policy

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Public policy and funding advocacy for issues impacting children and youth is always difficult – especially for the expanded learning and youth development field. However, the COVID crisis has provided a growing public and policymaker knowledge of the purpose and importance of this field. Additionally, a new joint advocacy effort between a variety of organizations across the whole-child support spectrum is showing impact – and fast. Learn more about effective approaches, messaging, lessons learned, and how virtual advocacy can work to support our kids during one of the most challenging times in American history. The audience is focused on providers and other stakeholders interested in learning the basics of advocacy in 2021.

STARS Credit offered for live attendance or watching the recording of this session.

Session Survey​​​

avatar for David Beard

David Beard

Policy & Advocacy Director, School's Out Washington
David facilitates SOWA’s advocacy efforts, including educating policymakers and working with providers and stakeholders to secure more funding and better policies for the field. Throughout his career, David has been an advocate for children and families. After working as the policy... Read More →
avatar for Susan Brown

Susan Brown

CEO, Kids Co.
Like many other working women I wear lots of hats...I’m mom to two incredible kids (now young adults), Kelby and Midori, I’m wife to the love of my life, Jim, and I have the incredible honor of being Kids Co.’s founder and CEO. And, I’m a Husky. Beyond the hats that I wear... Read More →
avatar for James Miles

James Miles

Executive Director, Mentor Washington
James Miles is the Executive Director of MENTOR Washington and was previously the ED of Arts Corps and an educator in the New York City public schools for almost 20 years. Originally from Chicago, Miles has worked internationally as an artist and educator. His acclaimed TedX Talk... Read More →

Wednesday October 27, 2021 2:30pm - 4:00pm PDT
Zoom- Meeting