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OYE Conference 10th anniversary celebrates Redwood City and North Fair Oaks Latinx youth

The conference will feature panelists, local dancers and performances, and a keynote speech by Yosimar Reyes, a Mexican-born poet and activist

After two years and a global pandemic, the OYE conference is back and expected to be bigger than ever. More than 400 people are expected to attend the in-person conference on Saturday at Cañada College.

This is the 10-year anniversary of the conference and the theme is Construyendo Juntos or Building Together. The conference will feature panelists, local dancers and performances and a keynote speech by Yosimar Reyes, a Mexican-born poet and activist.

At lunch, nonprofits will provide resources to teens and young adults, including information on how to find mental health, physical health, immigration and housing services. The city of Redwood City will also be presenting its People’s Budget

Elisa Chavez, collective impact coordinator for Redwood City Together, is one of this year’s panelists and has been part of helping organize OYE since 2014 when she was an intern.  Chavez leads the food subcommittee at Redwood City Together. She is a member of the OYE planning committee and is an OYE panelist this year. 

During her second year in a leadership program called the North Fair Oaks Youth Initiative in 2014, she joined others who wanted to bring back the OYE conference. 

“And now this year, it’s crazy to think... we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the conference,” she said. “And it has grown so much because I remember back in high school, the conference was at the Fair Oaks Community Center and then this Saturday, it will be happening at Cañada College.”

But why the name OYE?

“¡Oye! In Spanish, it’s like, ‘Hear me!’” said Chavez. 

“It’s such a powerful name,” Chavez said. “Latinx youth just want someone to hear them out.”

The name OYE is an acronym for orgullo y educación or pride and education, she said. 

The purpose of the conference is to let youth or adults know that, “Hey! There are resources out here for you,” Chavez said. 

“There is help and we’re here to help and I think people may think, ‘oh, there’s not really any help for me out there,’’ she said.

Chavez said OYE organizers are following all COVID-19 CDC recommendations. Proof of vaccination is preferred, but rapid tests are also available, she said.  

The festivities begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m. Free breakfast –pan dulce with cafecito– will be provided beginning at 8:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to park in Lot 1. Entry is free.  

To register for the event, please visit the Eventbrite link here


Michelle Iracheta

About the Author: Michelle Iracheta

Michelle Iracheta is the Redwood City Pulse editor. Her work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Seattle Times and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Michelle, a Houston native, is married and has two dogs.
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