Bridge Conference

Connecting, learning, and growing with community

School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference is a multi-day convening focused on exploring, celebrating, and influencing our collective field(s) through the act of solidarity and unified learning.


Now in its 19th year, SOWA’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policy makers from across the country. 

Attendees hear from thought-provoking presenters and learn new strategies to build strong programs and equitable systems for young people, in and out of school. Reflected in all aspects of the Bridge Conference are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishing, change, innovation, and community. Our attendees and presenters represent the diverse communities we work with across the state.

We gather to:  

  • Engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives 
  • Identify the ways that racial inequities impact youth, expanded learning opportunities, and educational outcomes 
  • Experience a sense of belonging to nourish social connection and professional networking 
  • Learn how to implement tangible practices that promote an equitable expanded learning opportunity ecosystem 
  • Strive to recognize power dynamics throughout programs and systems and begin to strategize how to co-create stronger partnerships across sectors 

Bridge Conference 2021

In 2021, for our second virtual conference, we will come together to celebrate, influence, and learn in community with the expanded learning field. Check back for information about Bridge 2021 which will take place online October 26-29, 2021.

Feedback from attendees:

  • “Very well organized. Today’s participation gave me a feeling of being renewed and healed! This work is exhausting and this was a great opportunity to refuel.”
  • “Inclusiveness, friendly staff, knowledgeable keynote speakers.”
  • “I appreciate the focus on serving and highlighting different cultures. It was really rewarding.”
  • “Getting to meet so many amazing youth workers from our state. To know that the work we’re doing is not alone.”
  • “The vastness and richness of the voices and experiences shared. High-quality facilitation and speakers. Easy navigation and just in time schedule delivered to my inbox.”
  • “The themes of the conference wove so clearly through the keynotes, the workshops, and the storytelling/cultivating connections sessions. I feel really grounded and energized.”
  • “That there was a heavy theme about anti-racism and equity. It’s an important topic that doesn’t get talked about enough.”