What is the Student of Color Conference?
Are you a student of color? Have you heard of the Student of Color Conference (SOCC)? I attended this event as a mother, a woman of color, and a student of Yakima Valley College. I wanted to get some insight regarding the workshops regarding “Empowered by our Past, Forging our Future” which was the theme for SOCC 2019 for their 29th annual conference. When I signed up for the application process, I was very intrigued by the questions that it asked, however, the registration link is closed so there is no way to obtain information that I once answered two years ago. Last year’s conference was canceled as the pandemic of COVID-19 hit, leading to this years’ 31st Annual Conference being held on Zoom featuring many quest speakers addressing this year’s theme “Hear Our Voices: Resilience, Empowered, Change”
History of SOCC
Here is some insight and history about the conference, according to the Multicultural Student Service Directors’ Council (MSSDC) flow code website, “The goal of the conference is to support Washington State students to become more active proponents of their own education and life choices, and expand the opportunities and possibilities for students to become agents of change.” SOCC history according to Multicultural Student Services Directors Council in the 1970s there was a group that were concerned about student services and minority affairs regarding a student of color in higher education. Between 1978 to mid-1980s there was a “lack of financial support from the state” so a group found ways to meet to pursue the path of creating support for students of color such as counselors and faculty of color. Then in the late 1980’s the State Board for Community and Technical College (SBCTC) allocated funds to re-establish MCSS/Minority Affairs Offices across Washington State, creating MCSS group to become more “unified and officially recognized as a state-authorized council.” MCSS continues focusing on recruitment, retention graduation, and transfers of students of color with the community and technical college system within Washington State. In the early 1993, the Deans of Students Services Commission officially recognized by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges as “Multicultural Student Services Directors Council (MSSDC)” Then in 2003 the council developed goals areas “Member Orientation, Marketing, Policy & Advocacy, Professional Development and Student of Color Conference”
Whew, that is some very insightful history about SOCC, which is very important to individuals such as me, a woman of color, learning about history from all cultural backgrounds has helped me understand a deeper connection within one another, we are all connected. You can view past conferences, locations, and themes.