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
Friday, October 29 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Closing Plenary with Keynote Speaker Hollis Wong-Wear: Reimagine Everything: Cultivating Creativity, Community and Change

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Independent artist and community advocate Hollis Wong-Wear will share song and perspectives on the central place of imagination in youth development and social change work, and how community organizing and trust-building is catalyzed by creativity and collaboration. Hollis will share about her personal journey as a student in youth arts programming who became a mentor, teaching artist, and now working artist and public policy consultant. She will also share how the legacy and life’s work of Grace Lee Boggs grounds and frames her approach as an artist-activist.  

avatar for Hollis Wong-Wear

Hollis Wong-Wear

Hollis Wong-Wear (she/her) is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, content producer and strategic facilitator who works at the intersection of creativity, community organizing and public policy. With her roots in spoken word and slam poetry through the nationally recognized... Read More →
avatar for Bertha Villa

Bertha Villa

21st Century Site Director: Tonasket Elementary, Altera/NLA
Bertha Villa has an MA & PhD in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University.  As the 21st Century Site Director at Tonasket Elementary, she seeks out ways to integrate authentic Spanish titles into STEM, art and social programming in after school.
avatar for Senator T'wina Nobles

Senator T'wina Nobles

Sen. T’wina Nobles represents the 28th Legislative District, which includes the cities of Fircrest, Lakewood, Steilacoom, Dupont, University Place, Tacoma, Anderson Island, Ketron Island, McNiel Island, as well as Joint Base Lewis McChord. Sworn into office in 2021, she is the... Read More →
avatar for Janell Jordan

Janell Jordan

King County Program Manager, SOWA
As a youth mentor for grrls and co-founder of Womxn of Color in Tech, a project-based initiative focused on the entry, growth, and sustainability of womxn of color in Seattle tech companies, Janell is driven by their background in critical race theory and community organizing to support intentionally designed spaces and projects that radicate change... Read More →

Sergio Beltran

Pierce County Program Quality Manager, SOWA
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 →

Friday October 29, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am PDT
Zoom- Webinar