A message from the CECLC Board:

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference,

We hope this message finds you well. We regret to inform you that the Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Conference for 2024 has been canceled. 

We know that you all understand the challenges posed by the current post-COVID environment and the impact it has had on large gatherings and educational events. Over the past two academic years, we have organized smaller versions of the conference, specifically tailored to different grade levels. While these adaptations were successful, they did not have the same level of impact as the traditional conference. Therefore, we have decided to take a step back in 2024 to explore new partnerships, restructure our approach, and reimagine the best way to move forward.

Preserving the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez has always been our top priority throughout the 30+ years of the conference’s existence. We want to express our sincere gratitude to all the participating students, school staff, and administration for your ongoing support throughout these years. We would also like to extend our appreciation to Western Oregon University for their continuous support of our efforts.

Although we won’t be hosting the conference in 2024, we remain committed to empowering and inspiring young leaders. We encourage you to stay connected with us through our various platforms and keep an eye out for any future updates and opportunities.

We value your support and look forward to continuing our mission together in the future.

¡Sí Se Puede!


Welcome to the César E. Chávez Leadership Conference (CECLC). 

CECLC began in 1990 as a gathering of Hispanic high school students from Portland Public Schools. The first event took place in early February at Montgomery Park. The day before the conference, a snow storm hit the Portland  metropolitan area which resulted in the closing of the schools and the cancellation of bus transportation. By midmorning, on the day of the event, a determined group of PPS students found their way to the conference site. They were not to be deterred.

Through the efforts of Sonny Montes and Jose Romero  and a partnership with Hispanics in Unity for Oregon  (HIUFO), the conference was established. 

Since 1990 the César E. Chávez Leadership Conference has been a volunteer driven event that has been organized by what is now a nonprofit group called CECLC Inc. CECLC Inc. is governed by an executive board and planning committee. The committee members include volunteer representatives from school districts, community organizations, local businesses, colleges and universities. They are responsible for organizing, planning and implementing the conference each year.

In 2007, the César E. Chávez Leadership Conference moved from the Portland area to being hosted on the Western Oregon University campus. That same year the ECMC Foundation, whose mission is to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes —especially among underserved populations, became a key sponsor. In 2017, CECLC, Inc. decided to strengthen their partnership with Western Oregon University and make WOU their permanent conference site. Western Oregon University has not only hosted this event for several years, but they have dedicated staff time, campus resources and student volunteers to help ensure that CECLC Inc. and the César E. Chávez Leadership Conference is able to continue their mission; to instill in our Latino/a youth, the value of education; which nurtures mind, body and spirit in order to develop a social consciousness that empowers them as leaders for social justice and civic responsibility in the greater community. 

You can contact the Board of Directors to provide comments, to report concerns, or to ask a question, at the following email address: ceclc@wou.edu.