Bridge Conference

Connecting, learning, and growing with community

School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference is a multi-day convening focused on exploring, celebrating, and influencing our collective field(s) through the act of solidarity and unified learning.


For the past 18 years, we have invited expanded learning professionals, community organizers, school district representatives, funders, policymakers, and systems leaders to gather and engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives.

As the youth development field has evolved, so has our conference. Last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to pivot from our traditional format and reenvision Bridge in a digital landscape. For the first time ever, the conference was presented as a virtual event. SOWA’s team thoughtfully curated a 4-day schedule that allowed for ample breaks and a variety of professional development and learning opportunities. And—most importantly—we created space for the personal connections that form the foundation of Bridge. 

While we look forward to a time when we can comfortably gather in the same physical space, 2020 showed us we can deliver a meaningful, multifaceted event in person and online.

Bridge Conference 2021

Check back for information about Bridge 2021 which will take place online in the fall.

Feedback from attendees:

  • “Very well organized. Today’s participation gave me a feeling of being renewed and healed! This work is exhausting and this was a great opportunity to refuel.”
  • “Inclusiveness, friendly staff, knowledgeable keynote speakers.”
  • “I appreciate the focus on serving and highlighting different cultures. It was really rewarding.”
  • “Getting to meet so many amazing youth workers from our state. To know that the work we’re doing is not alone.”
  • “The vastness and richness of the voices and experiences shared. High quality facilitation and speakers. Easy navigation and just in time schedule delivered to my inbox.”
  • “The themes of the conference wove so clearly through the keynotes, the workshops, and the storytelling/cultivating connections sessions. I feel really grounded and energized.”
  • “That there was a heavy theme about antiracism and equity. It’s an important topic that doesn’t get talked about enough.”