By Alison Counts

EUGENE, OR.- April 8th, MEChA also known as, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana de Aztlán, held their 12th annual Raza Unida Youth Conference (RUYC); an all day event for latino/a high school students to ‘promote higher education, culture, and historia.’

Around 500 students met at the University of Oregon to experience multitudes of workshops and speeches from latino/a leaders like Reyna Grande, award winning mexican author of, The Distance Between Us.

Workshops were set up for all students who joined, discussing relevent topics like immigration. High school students were encouraged to stand up and tell their stories and struggles of entering an entirely new culture.

Marches also took place during the conference. MEChA rallied the students and took them on a walk around the university, pulling more attention and support from students at the University of Oregon.

MEChA has big plans for future events, saying, “This year we hope to continue to provide students with memorable conference that will change their lives and empower them as students of color.”

One of the North Eugene students involved in MEChA also had hopes and plans for MEChA in the future. Savanna Senger, sophomore, said, “I personally would like to at least start by informing people of what MEChA is. And what we do in MEChA. I would love it to have future conferences like Raza Unida. I would love to slowly gain equality for latino/a students, especially in schools, staring int North. As well as other kids of color.”