Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center

The Diversity Leadership Conference is a free, half-day conference hosted at the University of Washington each year to encourage students to strengthen their leadership skills and cultural awareness, engage in critical dialogues about activism and social justice, and network with peers and professionals from similar backgrounds and experiences.

This year, we are excited to present the 10th annual Diversity Leadership Conference, with the theme “Bridging Perspectives: Leading With Community.” Amidst recent and current crises and discord, diverse leadership can be a guiding compass to help navigate through the challenges. Join us for an opportunity to delve into diverse perspectives and meaningful dialogue. Together, we will engage in a rich array of impactful conversations and workshops designed to strengthen leadership skills, with an emphasis on community-building, social justice, and self-care as we build our collective future.

Conference Registration

Registration for the 2024 Diversity Leadership Conference is now open for all UW students. The conference will be held 1pm – 5:30pm on Friday, February 23.

Register Here

Staff, faculty, alumni, and community members are invited to register for the networking social at the end of the conference, 4:45pm – 5:30pm.

Register for the Networking Social Here

Workshop Sessions

Download the full schedule here!

Keynote Speaker - Reagan Jackson

Reagan Jackson (she/her) is a multi genre writer, activist, and international educator who brings the fullness of who she is to the co-creation of liberatory movements. She is deeply involved in the South Seattle community she calls home and serves as Co-Executive Director of Young Women Empowered. Reagan has worked to empower youth of color in Seattle for 20+ years and is a journalist, speaker, and author. Over the last eight years, she has helped steward Y-WE’s growth from a nonprofit with 4 youth programs to a $2.6M organization with 15+ programs. She is the author of Still True: The Evolution of an Unexpected Journalist (coming in March 2024 Hinton Publishing). Find her other work at:

1:00pm – 2:00pm, Alder Hall Auditorium

Keynote: Creating Changemakers vs. Leading as a Changemaker
Young Women Empowered cultivates the power of diverse young women* to be creative leaders and courageous changemakers through transformative programs within a collaborative community of belonging. But how do we do this? What does leadership look like? How do you show up as your full self in a work appropriate way? Co-Executive Director Reagan Jackson will share Y-WE’s theory of change, and about her journey of cultivating youth leadership as well as her own story of stepping into leadership during the pandemic.

Reagan served Y-WE in multiple roles over many years, forging a distributed leadership model following a founder transition. Her team’s lived experience and professional expertise, and its relational model of responding to youth and community needs and priorities, contributes to Y-WE’s exceptional organizational agility. In teaching youth the skills to find their voice and step into leadership roles, she strives to model sustainable, reciprocal ways to be of service in alignment with the future we are co-creating.

Leading with Authenticity

Presented by Reagan Jackson (Keynote Speaker)

2:10 – 2:55pm, Alder Hall Auditorium

What kind of leader are you and what do you bring to your leadership? Whether or not you see yourself as a leader, movement building for change requires self and situational awareness. Finding your voice and claiming your power is a fundamental step toward building power to create community change. Join Reagan Jackson for an interactive exploration of what it means to be a leader and how your identities shape your challenges and opportunities.

Healing Through Art

Presented by Antonia Ramos

2:10 – 2:55pm, ECC Black Room 306

This workshop takes traditional indigenous teachings, our innate connection to artistic expression, and mental health practices to provide a space dedicated to connecting with your identity to promote self care and mental health healing that are personal to you and your identity.

What Employers Care About When Hiring New College Graduates

Presented by Briana Randall, PhD / Executive Director / UW Career & Internship Center (she/her)

2:10 – 2:55pm, Alder Hall Room 103

The #1 reason students come to college is to get a better job. What many students don’t realize, however, is that simply earning a degree is not typically sufficient for career success. Additionally, many rely on outdated information or inaccurate advice from family, friends, social media and the like when making critical decisions about how to spend their time and build their marketability for career positions. In this session we’ll share findings from national surveys about what employment recruiters look for when hiring new college graduates. While some of it may be old news to you, some of it may surprise you!  We’ll also share resources, opportunities, and programs that could be particularly helpful for Diversity Leadership Conference attendees.

Mobilizing the Conversation on Anti-LGBTQ+ Policies with an Empowered Approach: Promoting Policy Literacy as a Tool for Political Advocacy

Presented by Stephanie Morales, MPHc (she/her)

2:10 – 2:55pm, Alder Hall Room 107

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has chipped away at or completely stripped away essential protections  from the LGBTQ+ community like access to healthcare services, civil rights, and use of public facilities.

The UW Q Center has created a pathway to equip and empower members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies on policy and advocacy content. With the intent to provide easily digestible content that aids in the effort to develop policy literacy as a skill, informed people will be able to recognize the legal and political mechanisms that impact our daily lives. By leveraging people’s analytical and problem solving skills and applying them to develop policy literacy skills through this workshop, workshop participants will be able to enact political advocacy decisions for themselves and communities most marginalized by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

After a description and explanation of policy, basic policy processes and the role of stakeholders, the workshop will pivot to review a case study as a vehicle to navigate policy and the political landscape that LGBTQ+ communities engage with in their daily lives. An explanation and exploration of the various sectors involved as well as how these policies engage with several facets of our lives will be presented. The case study we will be using was chosen because of its use as a narrative to illustrate how anti-LGBTQ+ policies and the context they’re situated in affects LGBTQ+ communities. This will set the foundation for a group discussion.

The Domino Effect: Navigating Generational Challenges with Momentum

Presented by Jacquelyn Acosta, M.Ed (she/her)

2:10 – 2:55pm, Alder Hall Room 105

As leaders, we can shape our communities, starting at home. We have the opportunity to shape the next generation – one that embodies the principles of social and racial justice, nonviolence, and self-awareness. Each of us can disrupt the domino effect and recognize the self-sabotaging and disruptive behaviors that are normalized. Through recognition and discourse, we can help ourselves and those around us bridge perspectives and move forward to a place of healing. This session will discuss the impacts of generational trauma and how it manifests in our daily routine (i.e., school, work, relationships). This session will also discuss the importance of reclaiming power and paving the way for future generations.

Building The Relationship Between Academia and the Community Through Student Leadership and Programming

Presented by Tianna Andresen

2:10 – 2:55pm, ECC Native/Chicano Suite Rooms 206/208

How can we radically change the extractive relationship between the ivory gates and the community through our student leadership? What are the different ways we can intentionally collaborate with the community around us and create more powerful programming? How can we set ourselves up for success post graduation by learning from and with those outside of this institution? As a UW student, how much have you thought about your place in the broader Seattle community?

Especially with everything going on in the world, it is important to build networks of solidarity and support with the community outside of UW Campus. Whether you’re an RSO leader or someone looking for ideas, this workshop will showcase easy ways to expand the possibilities for programming in a community based way. This workshop provides a framework for bridging the gap between UW student programming and community organizations.

Participants will also engage in a group community mapping exercise that will set you up with other like minded leaders and provide tools to put your events into action! For participants with some more experience, we will look at current practices and how you can take them to the next step. Meaningful community connection starts with you!

EnGender and Radical Student-Grown Programs

Presented by Grayson McKinnerney (he/him)

3:05 – 3:50pm, ECC Asian Room 308

EnGender is an emerging program that aims to provide free and accessible gender-affirming items to anyone who needs them. As a program helmed by not only professional but also student staff, EnGender operates as a direct address of student wants and needs. Like period poverty, many have begun to identify just how much more expensive—both emotionally and materially—it is to thrive as a trans person. As this program grows and shifts over time, it has also functioned as a model not only of radical material access but also of how students can directly engage with and even lead the programs they want to see on campus.

Burdens of a Bridge-Builder: How to Identify and Prevent Activism Burnout

Presented by Amber Mak (She/Her, They/Them)

3:05 – 3:50pm, ECC Native/Chicano Suite Rooms 206/208

The workshop aims to introduce participants to ideas of what it means to be a bridge, how activism burnout can develop, and some avenues for mitigating the progression of that burnout. To this end, the workshop will attempt to place emphasis on helping participants to understand and utilize community and self-care tools. Participants will be given the space to reflect on their experiences on the subject and share those experiences within a larger discussion on how we can better support our community against activism burnout.

Banishing Bias: How Diverse Interpretations Challenge White Supremacy

Presented by Victor H. Begay, PhD

3:05 – 3:50pm, Alder Hall Room 103

In this workshop, participants take a deep dive into their own worldviews to highlight and deconstruct their biases. Interpretation Theory sets the framework for this participatory and inclusive workshop. Using the tools of Interpretation Theory, participants will share their assumptions and perspectives in context, recognize how norms/values/status quo are reproduced, and create a broad understanding of how multiple perspectives challenges the tenets of White Supremacy.

Redefining Leadership through Wellness

Presented by Sasha Duttchoudhury, MSW, LSWAIC (they/them) and Tyneshia Valdez (she/her)

3:05 – 3:50pm, Alder Hall Room 105

As the world settles into its “new norm” it’s time to redefine what healthy leadership looks like. Equitable and sustainable leadership requires compassion, mindfulness, community, and belonging, directed toward yourself and those you lead. Join us for a discussion in collaboration with the UW Resilience Lab focused on how leaders can cultivate wellness, and use it as a tool to break from traditional methods that measure success.

To the Left, To the Left: Unpacking Impostor Syndrome and Why You Are Irreplaceable

Presented by Briana Quintanilla (She/Her), Community Liaison and Student Development Specialist, UW Sisterhood Initiative

3:05 – 3:50pm, Alder Hall Room 107

Have you ever felt like you have had to prove your worth, despite all your past accomplishments? Do you ever find yourself in a loop of comparison and believe everyone else must know something you don’t? Join us in our interactive session where we identify our impostor syndrome thought patterns, share tools to challenge our limiting beliefs and celebrate why you deserve everything you desire and have genuinely earned.

Stand Out: Highlighting Your D&I Work

Presented by Anthony Rich, Samantha Guada, Eduardo Carmona, and Veronica Salgado

4:00 – 4:45pm, Alder Hall Auditorium

Join a panel of early-in-career LatinX employees at Microsoft to strengthen your resume and applications through highlighting your D&I work. Learn how to build a D&I section in your resume, how to speak about D&I experiences during interviews (storytelling), and engage in a Q&A about our D&I experiences at Microsoft.

Rooted in Relationship: Inviting Restorative Justice into our Lives and Work

Presented by Mari Ramirez (They/He/Elle) and Lena Nguyen (she/her)

4:00 – 4:45pm, ECC Native/Chicano Suite Rooms 206/208

As Mariame Kaba says, “You are on the right path if you are intentionally trying to reduce the gap between your values and your actions”. If you value interconnection, relationships, and healing harm/conflict, join our workshop! Our time will be filled with reflection, building community, and joy as we discover ways to infuse restorative practices into our day to day. Together, we will explore what Restorative Justice (RJ) philosophies are and how to tangibly bring them into our lives and work. We will also deep dive into RJ circles, and how to engage in them for building trust, consensus, and moving through conflict in community. We’re looking forward to connecting and building with you!

Designed to Find Us: Queer Outreach at the University of Washington

Presented by Ruby O’Malley (she/they)

4:00 – 4:45pm, ECC Black Room 306

LGBTQ+ people have always had to be creative in order to find community. In this workshop, we’ll take a look at UW’s Q Center archives for historical posters and outreach design/community organizing by queer people at UW, and discuss how to continue that legacy of collective liberation through community outreach and intentional engagement to create meaningful connection. Participants will learn design principles in a hands-on poster making activity.

Community-Based Sustainability: Applying a Just Transition to UW

Presented by BB Denton (They/Them) and Kort Maeda (She/Her)

4:00 – 4:45pm, Alder Hall Room 103

This workshop will explore the history and importance of the Just Transition Framework within our communities on the UW Seattle campus through students working at UW Sustainability and the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF). We will explore the linkages between social sustainability and the environmental movement, as well as the role of community within both the history of the Just Transition Framework and the future it envisions.


View information about last year’s DLC here.

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If you have any questions about DLC, please feel free to contact the Kelly ECC Coordinator for Student Leadership, Carolyn Graham,