2021 Bridge Conference

For our second virtual conference, we will come together to celebrate, influence, and learn in community with the expanded learning field on October 26-29, 2021. Join us for a Systems Leaders Pre-Conference, inspiring keynote speakers, up to 28 workshops to choose from, and unique opportunities to connect with your peers from across Washington State and beyond. About our 2021 theme Across time and cultures, humans have found comfort, guidance, and knowledge amongst the stars. Before we had the technology to tell us what was out there, we were grounded and deeply connected to this unknown we reached for it. The … [ ]

Reflections on Bridge

We did it! 394 individuals virtually gathered over four days to grow, strategize, nourish, and ultimately work to create sustainable impact for our field.   Planning this year was tough, not knowing what folks would need or want in the middle of a pandemic, while also navigating the fight for Black lives and the buildup of fear around the upcoming election. There were so many unknowns we were juggling, and our team worked really hard to ground ourselves and the spaces we curated in our Bridge values: equity, belonging, leadership, nourishing, change, innovation, and community. Some aspects of the conference manifested so beautifully and perfectly timed, and other aspects we dropped the ball a bit and have room to grow.   Holistically, though … [ ]

Planting seeds in the shadow of hope

“This is the shadow of hope. Knowing that we may never see the realization of our dreams, and yet still showing up.” – Austin Channing Brown We often talk about change as moving from one state to another. You are one way. You do something or something happens, and then you’re in a new state. In our quality improvement work, I have referenced different frameworks for change including the “Stages of Change,” which has concrete steps to signify the change process or the matrix for “Managing Complex Change,” which includes flow chart boxes with specific elements of the change process. When looking at the stages, there are gaps between one step to the next step. On the flow chart, there are gaps between … [ ]


What is belonging and why do we often feel so far from it? Why are we telling ourselves that we don’t belong or that we are not wanted in a space when there is no evidence that that is remotely the case? Feeling alone in a room full of people is one of the loneliest feelings I have experienced. What I have also learned about these moments is that they are self-inflicted. Not always, but more often than not.   We are powerful storytellers. Something that unifies us is our constant weaving pieces of information, judgement, internal conflict, and emotions together to create stories about our existence, about people, … [ ]

Introducing Bridge closing keynote speaker Shontina Vernon

Young people play a critical role in shaping the world and fostering positive change in society. This means young people using their voice and agency to contribute to shape the narrative of what is just. Our closing keynote speaker at this year’s Bridge Conference understands this well.  Through her own story, which builds upon the power of intergenerational relationships, experiences with the juvenile justice system, and artistic talents that come to life as a theater artist, filmmaker, musician, and educator, Shontina Vernon has built a body of work grounded in telling the stories and elevating the voices of those most impacted … [ ]

Introducing Bridge keynote speaker Dr. Megan Ming Francis

This has truly been a year like no other, with the devastation and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and the mass racial uprisings that make it inevitable for the country to reckon with centuries of systemic oppression. We are, in many ways, at a crossroads. It is a critical time. A time to look back with clear vision at what has brought us here, the progress that has been made, and the work that is still needed to create a society built on a foundation of equity and liberation.   As we come together this year at the 2020 Bridge Conference with this year’s … [ ]