Whatcom students lead change in community

By Eric Hermosada

The fourth annual Students Leading Change Conference (SLCC) was held on May 20 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Whatcom’s campus in the Syre Student Center Auditorium by the Social Justice, Equity, and Pluralism Committee (SoJEP).

The main goal of the SoJEP committee is to facilitate and provide a safe and inclusive environment which focuses on educating our communities’ and understanding social justice issues according to the SLCC page on the Whatcom website.
Yohaly Camacho is a Whatcom student and the ASWCC Vice President.
Solidarity is one of the main themes of the conference and that we should acknowledge that there are differences between us but we also need to understand that we are all human beings who belong Camacho said in the opening letter.
The conference was completely student led and run.
There was a keynote speaker and multiple interactive workshops on social justice issues that the students and speakers felt needed to be addressed.
The workshops ranged from the significance of turbans in different religions to the importance of acknowledging the privileges that each of us have.
Many of the students that attended the SOCC lead their own workshops and helped facilitate the event.
Diego Chino is a Whatcom student who attended the Students of Color Conference (SOCC) that took place on April 6-8 and lead a workshop at the SLCC.
“The SLCC was the next step in promoting change and was where we brought our skills we learned from the SOCC to share with the community,” Chino said.
Students were not the only speakers at this event, community members also came to speak and teach in workshops.
Justice Steven Gonzalez is on the Washington State Supreme court and was the Keynote speaker for the event and went over the importance of the meaning of justice.
“There’s a difference between equity and equality and we often think that justice means equality and I don’t think it is,” Gonzalez said.
“Because if you take one person who is deaf and one person who hears and you say everybody has the same access to court but we have no interpreters that might be equal, but it’s not equitable and it’s not justice.”
Sandra Ramirez is a Whatcom student and was on a panel where the students that attended the SOCC could share their experiences.
“The next step after the SOCC was the SLCC and next would be just to keep promoting the messages we learned from the speakers and the workshops,” Ramirez said.

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