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 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Youth Program Quality to Promote Social Justice & Racial Equity

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How can what we know—from youth program quality efforts and from youth justice and equity practices—inform efforts to promote equitable ecosystems for young people to learn and grow? 
Join this session to unpack some of the questions, tensions, and dilemmas that can arise when we look at quality youth programs—rooted in positive youth development—alongside programs that are, by mission or by community, focused more squarely on issues of social justice, racial equity, and social action. This session will engage participants in interactive exercises and group discussion about how youth workers can contribute to both youth development and racial equity.

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


Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom

Consultant, Forum for Youth Investment's Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting
Alicia’s portfolio includes writing and research projects related to out-of-school time, youth program quality and postsecondary success. Alicia holds diverse training and facilitation experience in the areas of youth-focused practice and policy. She has served as an adjunct faculty... Read More →

Dave Martineau

Director of Design & Innovation, Forum for Youth Investment's Weikart Center
David Martineau joined the Weikart Center team in 2018 with more than 20 years of experience in youth development, social justice education, group facilitation, and social services. Dave worked with the HighScope Educational Research Foundation from 1999-2004, where he worked with... Read More →

Friday October 29, 2021 11:00am - 12:30pm PDT
Zoom- Meeting