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.


SOWA’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policymakers 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, nourishment, 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 and address 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 high quality programs and 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


2023 Bridge Conference

We will come together to celebrate, influence, and learn in community with the expanded learning field on November 6-7, 2023 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center and Marriott Tacoma Downtown.


Tacoma cityscape including Mt. Rainier


Exhibiting and Sponsorship Opportunities

  • We are welcoming back exhibitors to showcase products and services for the youth development field. We expect to open the exhibitor application by July 1. In the meantime, please email our Bridge Customer Service Team at if you’d like to be notified when the exhibitor application opens.
  • We are currently seeking sponsors for this year’s Bridge Conference. Email for more information.

Health & Safety Protocols

We will follow the most current guidance from Washington State and local public health officials for protocols related to COVID-19, as well as those required by our venues. This could include mandatory masking and proof of COVID-19 vaccination status. Review the current COVID-19 guidelines from our lead venue, the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, and current practices for health and safety from our partner venue, the Marriott Tacoma Downtown, which are subject to change as we get closer to the event date. 


Contact the Bridge Customer Service Team at any time at