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SOU will host Latino student conference

More than 350 Latino youths from Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane county high schools will gather at Southern Oregon University Friday, March 9, for the seventh annual César E. Chávez Leadership Conference.

This year's event, which will feature Hispanic civil rights advocate Luis Avila as keynote speaker, celebrates the heritage of César E. Chávez and teaches young people to carry on Chávez’ legacy of leadership.

The conference will include 22 workshops in the areas of leadership, college and career, culture, identity and arts and life skills.

Avila, an advisor with 270 Strategies, most recently served as the national program director at Stand for Children — a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education.

While at Stand for Children, Avila worked with immigrant parents to advocate for funding for their children's schools. He was awarded the agency’s National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching and developing organizers around the country.

Avila serves on the executive board at the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and is on the board of TNTP – an organization focused on ending educational inequality.