Bridge Conference

2023 Bridge Conference November 6-7, 2023

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 youth program professionals, community leaders and organizers, funders, and policymakers from across the country.

Many of our attendees work in grassroots youth programs with limited resources. For those attendees, Bridge serves as an important connection to the broader youth development field, relationship building, and knowledge to help them sustain and grow their impact. 

Reflected in all aspects of Bridge are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishment, change, innovation, and community. Our conference actively centers diverse BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voices and youth program providers throughout the event and planning process. In 2022, 64% of attendees identified as BIPOC, and represented a diverse range of urban, suburban, and rural-based programs.  

When gathered, our attendees and presenters work toward a collective vision of more equitable systems for young people that includes community care, best practices, and advocacy.

We gather to: 

  • Learn how to implement tangible practices that promote high-quality programs and an equitable expanded learning ecosystem
  • Identify and address the ways that racial inequities impact youth, expanded learning opportunities, and educational outcome
  • Highlight strengths and inequities in programs and systems and begin to strategize how to co-create stronger partnerships across sector
  • Experience belonging and personal/professional nourishment through social connection and networking

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.

Reflect. Connect. Reimagine.
We have often heard that there is a “brighter future,” but what does that mean and how do we get there? For young people, that future is dependent on our collaborative effort to make change. At this year’s Bridge Conference, we will: 

  • Reflect on our biases while learning and unlearning how to create more holistic and supportive environments for young people.
  • Connect to build our collective power and hold space for restoration.
  • Reimagine our systems and create a foundation for a stronger youth development field.  

Together we will forge ahead in our pursuit of more sustainable systems that elevate and empower young people and their communities. 

Exhibiting and Sponsorship Opportunities

Contact the Bridge Customer Service Team at any time at