On Saturday, November 5, Connecticut Campus Compact and Rhode Island Campus Compact jointly hosted the third annual Student Leadership Conference at Central Connecticut State University. Bringing together nearly 200 students from 29 organizations, which included 17 CTCC Member campuses, 5 out of state campuses, and 9 community partner organizations, the conference was a successful day of workshops, speakers, networking and reflection. The 2016 theme of Linking Identity, Community, and Social Change was designed to provide a framework where students examine their motivations for social justice and service, enhance their understanding of social issues, and increase their capacity and skills to positively impact their campus and community. Overall, the conference created a dedicated space for students who are committed to civic engagement, social justice, and social change.
The morning began with a dynamic keynote address by Kamora Le’Ella Herrington, Director of Youth Programming at True Colors, Inc., a support and advocacy organization for sexual minority youth based in Hartford, Connecticut. Herrington spoke about herown upbringing and the struggles she faced growing up and being confused about her own identity. Born to a white mother and an African-American father at a time when it was barely legal she shared her “entire life has been proving who I am is OK and is going to be OK.” Her personal narrative pushed participants to recognize their own privilege and actively work to address injustice in their communities. Powerful statements included “you have to be activated to be an activist” and “change starts with you.” Kamora’s message resonated with those in attendance and inspired participants to engage.
Workshop sessions throughout the day gave participants an opportunity to delve deeper into various topics from skill development for community engagement to issue-specific social change, social media and marketing, volunteer recruitment and management, program facilitation, reflection, leadership development, confronting privilege, and much more.
A special thanks to our sponsors:
This event was made possible through the financial support of member institutions and local organizations. Through their contributions, we were able to offer this conference free of charge.