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June 30, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon community members, students, professionals, and organizations with a focus on serving the region’s Latinx communities are invited to participate in the fifth annual ¡Conéctate! gathering on Saturday, July 17 at Baker High School.
Last year’s ¡Conéctate! was held virtually as communities in Eastern Oregon responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, however, the planning committee made a commitment to bring back the community event in-person.
“We will have the opportunity to re-connect, share experiences, and find meaningful ways to continue supporting each other,” said ¡Conéctate! Planning Committee Chair Edna Murrieta. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence our historically marginalized communities around the state, but particularly in our region.”
Murrieta works in Residence Life at Eastern Oregon University, which first convened the event in 2017 with support from the Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation. This year’s event includes a special focus on women who lead, highlighting the many career paths in Eastern Oregon.
“As a community we have noticed an influx of women in leadership and I believe they have a special message to share with others. We have so much to learn from them,” Murrieta said.
From its inception, the intent of ¡Conéctate! has been to convene a one-day gathering of Latinx-serving organizations, partners, and community members in Eastern Oregon. ¡Conéctate! offers opportunities to build meaningful relationships with on-the-ground leaders, volunteers, students, and allies in Eastern Oregon’s Latinx communities.
“It continues to be a space to discuss challenges and triumphs, and allows community members a chance to connect,” Murrieta said. “The ¡Conéctate! Planning Committee values the sharing of personal stories and believes that it offers a meaningful way of understanding how the people that make up our communities contribute to the diversity of experiences in Eastern Oregon.”
One storyteller this year, EOU student Jackie Amaya said, “I am both excited and nervous to share my story with strangers. However, I know at the end of it all it will make us closer.”
Murrieta said the ¡Conéctate! Planning Committee, community partners and agencies, as well as regional and statewide foundations, all strongly feel that during these uncertain and turbulent times, the need to connect is of importance more now than ever.
¡Conéctate! covers three main topics: career pathways, storytelling and social policy, and leadership. 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 resources and accurate information to meet the growing needs of Latinx people in rural communities.
All participants must follow safety and health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority. These measures include wearing a mask at all times during the event, maintaining physical distancing, and staying home if you are ill. Face coverings will be provided for those who need one.
The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and will take place at 2500 E Street in Baker City, Oregon. Registration is open at eou.edu/conectate. This community event is free and open to the public.
Funding from the Latino Partnership Program of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, and Energy Trust of Oregon make this one-day event possible. The program is supported by Eastern Oregon University, Blue Mountain Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, Baker School District, and Euvalcree.
For more information and to register, visit eou.edu/conectate. Contact ¡Conéctate! Planning Committee Chair Edna Murrieta at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
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