Impact conference inspires

Nick Campbell, @nicky_charles

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The annual Impact Leadership Conference kicked off this past Friday, welcoming to the college guest speakers from around the Bay Area. It was held at the Community Room in the school library, LMC hosted a panel of leaders who are expert in their respective fields of leadership. The topics varied across different platforms that affect everyday student life. The event began with a panel discussion by the guest speakers. Speakers included current LMC faculty like John Nguyen of Student Life, LMCAS Senator Marco Mendez, and Nicole Westbrook from Student Support and Retention counselor. All gave a glimpse into their personal journeys that led them to their current roles here at the college.

Dr. Olivia Munoz, Director of Residential Life & Community Standards for Mills College in Oakland, hosted a workshop about immigration and political activism in the immigrant community. Munoz brought to the panel her experience in student activism, support for DACA students, first generation students, and using the arts in higher education. Student participants Diana Longoria and Chioma Ezemma enjoyed the “Social Movements, Threats on Brown Bodies” session held by Munoz. “I like that she spoke about visualizing the change we want and to connect with like minded people that can connect you to resources,” said Longoria. Ezemma said, “I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what I can do to impact change.”

One featured guest speaker, Domonique Echeverria, gave a riveting tale about her journey as a disabled and queer Latinx artist. She shared the tragic story of her struggle with mental health that led to her creating an online resource called “Universal Mother” that focuses on unique healing. “Young people are often afraid to question authority, which creates barriers,” said Echeverria. A key speaker on the panel was Jocelyn Villalobos, Student Trustee from the Contra Costa Community College District. She’s a first generation college student and involved in many clubs like Puente, Outreach ambassador and others. Villalobos said, “I’ve never considered myself to be an activist before, but it helps to teach leadership.”

After the panel wrapped their discussion with the conference attendees, lunch was served and they had a spoken word performance by William Bissic, AKA MC Prototype. He gave a great poetic performance that blended spoken word and hip hop lyrics. He also gave a “Creative Process” workshop on using entrepreneurship as a structural model to tackle social justice issues. A high school teacher from Southern California shared some of the techniques he teaches his students. Things like understanding the world, scaling the solution by breaking down goals in layers, and “finding out what you love about what you do.” He enlightened the audience about using a problem/solution model to build a vision for change. “Once you realize your voice matters, then you can affect change,” said Bissic.

Throughout the various workshops participating students learned from a diverse panel of educators. Jenn Wells, Director of SCORE at Scripps College, held a “Brave Space and Identity” workshop about supporting identity based students. She taught about creating an environment of inclusion, equity and accountability. She went into detail about what’s referred to as the “Gender Unicorn” in which gender identity and expression is often perceived and practiced. To learn more you can go to www.transstudent.org/gender.

The participating students left the event informed, fed, and entertained. Student Life would like to welcome all college students to check out future events by visiting the Student Life office on Campus or you can follow them on Instagram at @lmcstudentlife.

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