Indiana Latino
Leadership Conference
Indiana University Purdue University | Fort Wayne, IN

About the Conference

The Indiana Latino Leadership Conference was established to provide a venue that celebrates the uniqueness of Latino students in a forum by and for students. This forum seeks to cultivate the exchange of ideas, values, and beliefs in order to promote scholarship, leadership, cultural awareness and community. By focusing on these goals, the Latino Enhancement Cooperative believes it will encourage further academic inquiry, student development and empowerment of Indiana's college and high schools Latinos.

The conference’s purpose is also to fulfill an increasing need for awareness of specific challenges Latinos face in obtaining education. The result is the forming of a community of leaders that support Latino students in achieving academic success. Although the conference concerns topics concerning the Latino community, the conference encourages the participation and involvement of individuals from all other cultural and racial backgrounds.

Conference History

The Indiana Latino Leadership Conference (ILLC) was established to provide a venue that recognized the educational experiences and challenges Latinos face in a forum by and for students. The goal of the forum was and continues to be to cultivate the exchange of ideas, values, and beliefs in order to promote scholarship, leadership, cultural awareness and community. Through encouraging further acadesmic inquiry and student development, ILLC’s mission is to empower Indiana’s college and high school Latino’s. While the conference focuses on Latino related topics, this conference is open to everyone – not just Latinos.

For the first eight years, the ILLC was held on the Indiana University, Bloomington campus. In 2008, the ILLC leadership expended through the collaboration between Indiana University and Purdue University to host the conference on the Purdue University, West Lafayette campus. The partnership to cultivate student leadership and academic success has since grown to include other hosting institutions. By expending the partnership and rotating the location of the conference, ILLC hopes to create a strong educational and support network to develop strategies that will result in resolving the challenges of Latina/o educational attainment.

Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) are proud to work together this year to host the 17th Annual Indiana Latino Leadership Conference (ILLC) on the IPFW campus. Through the support and collaboration of various communities across the state of Indiana, it is our hope to bring awareness to issues relevant and important to Latinos/as. We envision the conference as a way for Latinos/as from across the state to come together in an academic and professional setting to stimulate or enhance their leadership abilities within their communities. This conference hopes to provide this through insightful workshops, speakers and resources on culture, education, identity, leadership, and mentorship.

This year our theme is Surpassing Expectations: Educational Excellence for Latina/os. Too often, our population is examined from a deficit perspective even though Latina/os have accomplished tremendous feats, and have added to American society in vital ways. This year we are hoping to change the conversation about Latinos from a deficit, or problem, to one that honors our rich cultures, histories, and accomplishments. Our focus is on Latino successes in the educational system and society that can spark conversations on how to further close the educational attainment gaps in our community. Our efforts aim to increase the participation of the Latino community in higher education by empowering individuals to believe in their abilities to succeed despite the untrue and harsh stereotypes that many Latinos are still facing. We believe that this conference can be catalyst to building a strong community of Indiana Latinos who uplift and inspire one another to achieve their goals through the networking and mentoring opportunities present at conferences like ours. It is our sincerest hope that Latinos everywhere can surpass the expectations society has for them and gain the ability to achieve the educational excellence they deserve.

The hope is to accomplish this by creating a networking, educational, and support setting that would result in cooperation and strategies that will result in resolving the challenge of educating Latinos.