The César E. Chávez Leadership Conference (CECLC) is registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. CECLC began in 1990 as a gathering of Hispanic high school students from the Portland Public Schools. The first event took place in early February. On 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 mid-morning of the day of the event, 125 determined students found their way to the conference site. They were not to be deterred.

During the early years, CECLC was part of a larger Latinx advocacy group known as Hispanics in Unity for Oregon (HIUFO). Today, the CECLC is the largest high school student event for Latinx high school students in Oregon. Each year, nearly 2200 students and staff attend leadership workshops, visit college/career exhibitor fair and listen to distinguished keynote speakers. Students from participating schools are eligible to compete in an art, essay, poetry, video, Outstanding Leader, and college scholarship competition.

Over the years, the CECLC has expanded to include high schools from Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill counties. Altogether 70 high schools from Northwest Oregon are represented at the annual César E. Chávez Student Leadership conference. CECLC is committed to working with school district to provide an impactful and beneficial conference experience and to continue the legacy of César E. Chávez.


“To instill in our Latinx and migrant 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.”


  • To develop leadership skills.
  • To motivate students to complete and continue their education.
  • To strengthen self-confidence and pride.
  • To create opportunities for Latinx students of the Willamette Valley and the Portland metro area to build relationships and networks.
  • To be respectful and inclusive of all people and races.

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