Photo courtesy of the Nevada Latino Leadership Conference

Photo courtesy of the Nevada Latino Leadership Conference

Staff Report

For four days beginning on April 16, the University of Nevada, Reno will host the inaugural Nevada Latino Leadership Conference. The conference, organized jointly by UNR’s Latino Research Center and the Latino Student Advisory Board, seeks to unify Latino students statewide in order to better the Latino community.

The conference, the first of its kind in Nevada, will include workshops, panels, forums and keynote speakers all geared toward discussing relevant topics to the Latino community, from immigration to education, sexual health to professional development.

The conference is open to Nevada high school and college Latinos and those interested in the Latino community, but is primarily focused on college students. Students interested in attending the conference must pay a $10 registration fee. Additionally, the conference is offering special room rates at the Sands Regency Hotel and Casino have been secured for those interested students traveling from outside the Reno area.

The conference was organized with the intent of bringing a state-equivalent form of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute’s National Conference so that Latino students and those students interested in the Latino community throughout the state could be unified and empowered, according to LSAB president Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez.

“We [the members of LSAB] come back [from the national conference] empowered and motivated to make change in our community,” Padilla-Rodríguez said. “[We] realized that it would be really great to have something similar in the state of Nevada for students who don’t have the resources to go all the way to Chicago or New York for a National Latino Leadership Conference.”

Padilla-Rodríguez went on to note that there is a lack of unity between Latino students in Northern and Southern Nevada. Padilla-Rodríguez also expressed a hope that the conference would enhance cooperation while also providing leadership and professional development opportunities.

One of the conference’s organizers, the LRC, has long been involved in bridging the University and Reno’s Latino community. On its website, the LRC describes itself as the nexus between the two bodies, bringing the two together through advocacy and outreach.

LSAB, the other conference organizer, has also played an active role in coordinate and advancing UNR’s Latino community. Most recently, LSAB held a silent demonstration, dubbed “I Am Deportable,” to protest Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s decision to join a lawsuit aimed at overturning President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration.

In addition to the “I Am Deportable” demonstration, LSAB has been involved in both state and federal lobbying efforts, partnered with nonprofits and community organizations and has implemented scholarship mentoring initiatives with the Washoe County School District.

More information can be found at and at the NLLC Facebook page.

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