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April 23, 2020 LA GRANDE, Ore. – COVID-19 has called for a re-imagination of how individuals connect with one another. The fourth annual ¡Conéctate! is going virtual for the first time to gather organizations and individuals focused on serving the region’s Latinx communities.
Hosted by Eastern Oregon University, ¡Conéctate! will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Friday, May 1.
Attendees discuss challenges and triumphs while sharing their organization’s work with peers, philanthropic foundations and regional partners.
The planning committee considered canceling the event but determined that the communities and organizations most involved in ¡Conéctate! have greater immediate needs than ever. This year, there will be a special focus on how communities in Eastern Oregon are responding to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic as well as an opportunity to share vital resources and accurate information to meet the growing needs of Latinx communities in rural areas.
“The driving force is to continue supporting our underrepresented and marginalized communities,” Assistant Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion and International Student Services Mika Morton said.
“I feel that even in the shadows of COVID-19, we have the opportunity to come together to ‘Define the Feeling,’ and that we are all in this together,” said Roman Olivera, Director of the Student Success Center at Blue Mountain Community College and a member of the ¡Conéctate! Planning Committee.
This event is sponsored by the Latino Partnership Program of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, Energy Trust of Oregon, Euvalcree, Blue Mountain Community College, Treasure Valley Community College and Eastern Oregon University.
“Attendees can build meaningful relationships with on-the-ground leaders, volunteers, students and allies in Eastern Oregon’s Latinx communities,” Morton said.
Topics of discussion include education, health and wellness, leadership and community engagement.
Four local and regional community members are invited to share their personal stories in an effort to provide a better understanding of the people that make up these communities and the diverse backgrounds and experiences they contribute.
“From my personal experiences, the thought has come to me: ‘If we don’t tell our story, who will?’” Olivera said.
Olivia Quiros, the Executive Director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, will speak to the advocacy work the organization is doing to support Latinx communities during the COVID-19 crisis and in general around the state.
Special attention will be paid to how communities in Eastern Oregon are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During these uncertain and turbulent times, the need to connect—whether in person (at a safe distance) or virtually—is as strong as ever,” Morton said.
This event is free and open to the public.
To register, visit eou.edu/mc/conectate.
Written by PR Intern Briana Rosenkranz.
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