Latino Leadership Initiative
LLI 2024 1st Immersion Seminar
Saturday, February 19th, we saw students from Edmonds College, Skagit Valley College, and the University of Washington- Bothell come together on Zoom to hear presentations from LLI advisors and other leaders in the community. See the attached agenda for this event!

Welcoming Remarks- We heard from Karla Rios, a LETI Board Member as well as a School Counselor at Everett Public Schools, speak about how she is here to support the students with their projects or answering any questions. She was also in LLI during the 2012 cohort, then she went on the get her Bachelors degree in 2016 and now her Masters in Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services.

Team Formation & Project Planning- We heard from Skagit Valley College LLI advisors Cynthia Aguirre and Jorge Estefan speak about how you can engage in a project. Team formation consists of initial forming, community agreements, and team maintenance. Developing a goal for the project and roadmap to achieve that goal is crucial for success. Make sure that everyone knows their responsibility and that everyone's voice is able to be heard through every aspect of your project planning.

Unveiling Inequality and Racism- Dr. Sally Guzman, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Edmonds School District, presented on this topic. She began to speak about the Amygdala Hijack. Your Amygdala is in your brain and was responsible for our fight or flight and now comes up when we are pushed on cultural norms. Culture is very in depth, where we like to think of it as a cultural tree or cultural iceberg - 90% is underground or underwater. There are three levels of culture - surface level, shallow level, and deep culture. Surface level is what everyone can see based on what you wear or what you eat. Shallow culture includes less explicit aspects like personal space or eye contact. Finally, deep culture is beliefs providing a foundation for culture that are unconscious. Sally also spoke about Bias - preconceived notions, which was a good survival skill to know when things would be harmful for our existence. There are three types of Biases spoken about including Explicit Bias, Implicit Bias, Group/Affinity Biases. Explicit bias is a conscious belief or attitude towards a person or group. Implicit bias is unconscious bias based on prejudice and stereotypes. Group bias is when a people favor their own ingroup members.

Movie Reflection and Discussion- Harvest of Empire Documentary- Juan Peralez, President, Unidos of Snohomish County, led the discussion on the Harvest of Empire Documentary that the students were required to watch. They had a focus on foreign policy and discussed if the U.S. foreign policy of imperialist intervention towards Latin America has changed, white supremacy in Olympia, and about the U.S. backed military crews in South America.

Adapt, Evolve, Grow- The Power of Change in our Journeys- Sixta Morel, Voice actress, Public speaking instructor, shared with us her experience with change. Her chain of change consisted of understanding, embracing, adapting, evolving, and growing. We will not be the same person as we are now - we will continue to evolve. Being patient with your journey is important and listening to yourself, building mental and emotional strength to move forward is key to change. Things can always go wrong, when giving a public presentation for example. If you expect things to happen and humanize your audience, this can help you to understand that it is okay to have bumps in the road. Change require actions- starts with one first step, but you don’t have to change yourself based on how it is received by the public. Embrace change, don’t resist it, give it your best. We can always start over.

Hear more about the sessions and what the speakers had to say in the recording below.

Review the Zoom Recording Here!

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