The Met high school hosts leadership conference for Chicanx youth

The Met high school’s MeChA program hosted a Chicanx Leadership Conference for students and community members to take part in workshops and community-building activities on May 11. (Photo by Kamari Staley)

The MEChA program at The Met high school in Sacramento held a Chicanx Youth Leadership Conference on Saturday, May 11, sponsored by Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, NorCal Resist and Sol Collective. 

At the conference, students and community from the Sacramento area took part in activities and unique workshops, including tin art making, Chicanx history, community organizing, a know-your-rights training and a financial wisdom workshop, among others. 

Chicanx is a gender-neutral term that some people choose to use to self-identify if they were born in the United States and whose family came from Mexico. “The term Chicanx encompasses more than ethnicity or geographical location; it represents a vibrant culture of  artistic soul, struggle, determination and perseverance,” says writing professor and author Josh Fernandez, who participated in the local conference.

One of the event hosts was artist and educator Xico Gonzalez, who had this to say: “We offered 13 workshops dealing with Raza [Hispanic-heritage] themes from writing to activism, and from Chicano art to Chicano history and music. This conference was inspirational and empowering to Raza youth in the greater Sacramento area as they connected with their roots and culture through the workshops that they attended. It was a great conference, and it will get better next year.”

Clarity Cooper, a high school senior and MEChA de la Met co-chair, was the main organizer of the event.

“Organizing and mobilizing this conference, with the support from my mentors and MEChA de la Met was beyond empowering in itself,” Cooper said. “To further connect with the community and hear the stories and experiences of others was invaluable. But most importantly, I understand the impact that learning about one’s culture and history has on a person’s life. It can be life changing. And that’s why I organized this, and that’s the result I observed in youth at the event.”

The Chicanx Leadership Conference was hosted in part by Sacramento-based  artist and educator Xico Gonzalez (center-left in black hat) and offered writing workshops led by writing professor and author Josh Fernandez (bottom left). (Photo by Kamari Staley)

The following is a portion of the student work created during the writing workshops led by Fernandez. 

He Called Me a W——

by Amayah Spratling

He said it was just a word and that it shouldn’t matter because he was Mexican — and God did that make my blood boil. Sure, to him it was just a word, but to me — a kid who knows the horrible things said and done to my ancestors — it hurt. I thought he knew better than to say it to me, let alone at all. When he told me his side of the story, I understood where he was coming from, somewhat, but it still hurt like hell that he thought it was OK, that he thought it was just a word and that it had no real meaning. In the end, I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t get over the fact that he thought it was OK. So, I lost a friend instead. 

The Grudge

by Sabrina Ramirez Adams

My insides curled with hate, and I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs. I wanted to tell them how I felt. I wanted to tell them how I felt about them and how much I hated them for all the ways they made me and my family feel, why they wanted to make us feel that way. I wanted to tell them to never speak to us again. I still hold that grudge. We forgave each other, but we’ll never forget. 

Always Late
by Emily Del Cid

Last week, I got out of school at 3:30.

I waited for my mom. 

I told her time after time, “Why can’t you be on time?”
I checked her location. 20 minutes away. Then 15. 10. 18. 

Never a consistent time. 

I was so fed up. 

Tired of standing. 

Tired of the pity stares from teachers. 

Annoyed at my friends. Angry

with my mom. 

When she finally picked me up, I didn’t say anything, 

but she did. She talked 

about her day, silly things that happened, 

and soon I forgave her. 

The next day, she did the same thing. 

One by one, my friends got picked up. 

I was the last one. 


by Milton Solis

My team was losing and my friend scored a goal to tie the game, but the referee said it was offsides, but it wasn’t. I was the one that assisted my friend and the referee was really bad at his job. It was one of the most important games of the season. Oh well. 

Broken Tension

by Mariely Gutierrez

My friend asked me out. I saw him only as a close friend and I rejected him in a nice way, but he started talking bad. He stole my Airpods and I pressed him in front of everyone. They made fun of him and I felt bad. He wanted to fight me, but he never did. He lost all his friends. I forgave him. He changed. I learned to never hold grudges. 

The Justice System
by Annalisa Viana

As soon as I heard the jury’s conviction of “Not Guilty,” my world stopped. My mind, my heart, and my soul left. It was like I was made into a different person. Screaming, yelling, starting to fight, police separating me and my cousin away from the man who took part of my life. His grin only made me angrier. He knew that with all my fighting, all my strength, I still couldn’t get to him, that he had won, and I will be forever lost. 

Long live Rich.

by Eli Romero

A kite 

flying in the wind. 


Bringing joy 

for family and friends, watching

over them, keeping 

everyone safe.  


by Jesenia Rodriguez

I’ve been angry 

about losing my grandfather. 

Shattered, I’ll never understand why he left so soon. 

My heart pounded, like it was going to come out of my chest. 

I’ve been angry

my whole life. 

Baseball Bat

by Kellen Dunlap

My bat hit his glove during the swing and I started to walk to first base. The umpire called me back and an argument ensued. I got angry. Why was this man in this position of authority? Why was he denying me what was rightfully mine? Anger built up inside. This idiot didn’t know his own rules. Getting back into the box, the pressure built to a climax. This time, I swung the bat as hard as I could, not even attempting to hit the ball. Letting go of the bat with my right hand, I created a massive backswing. I felt the bat connect with his glove. I felt his bones break, the sound of each crack in unison. Then came his cry of pain. The pressure was gone, and I walked back to the dugout, ejected, but victorious. 


by JP Romero

My father was an alcoholic with a temper. There was nothing worse than being on the receiving end of his rage. If you did something wrong, his face would turn red as can be. You could see a heartbeat on his temples while he clenched his teeth in anger. You could smell the heavy alcohol on his breath while he hit you. 

For years, as a youngster and into adulthood, I would react in such ways when I felt disrespected (but never an alcoholic). Once I started having children, I could never react the way he did when it came to disciplining my kids — experiencing what I went through with my dad shaped how I would be as a father. 

My other Dimension

by Carolina Flores

I wake up with a vision of myself: an alien body that upon death, I return to the place I am supposed to be — where I had been placed before. I return to this heavenly feeling.

I am gold colored with see-through, extended arms and legs that wrap around the exterior of earth, but still keeping a distance from actually touching this planet. I am an alien with a large gold head, small eyes, ethereal, how the long arms and legs go around this world.  

Can I oversee other planets, travel to different universes?

I feel warm and comfortable.  There’s a closeness to this planet as I oversee the functions operating on this globe, through continents and over waters.

It is my job to guide these different entities and keep them in a salvageable and peaceful existence. I guide the networking energies and manipulate through those streams that are obstructive.

My eyes are slit, slanted, like my indigenous Mayans, two holes for a nose, but no sign of any lips except a small curvature in the mouth. My back is straight, and I lean over this planet, investigating and watching everything happen.  

This is so peaceful, so rewarding in the richness that I feel, returning to one of my beings in this dimension. Yes. This is where I go.  This is the ultimate dimension where I go when I die, freeing and liberating.

El es Dios!

This story is part of the Solving Sacramento journalism collaborative. Solving Sacramento is supported by funding from the James Irvine Foundation and James B. McClatchy Foundation. Our partners include California Groundbreakers, Capital Public Radio, Outword, Russian America Media, Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento News & Review, Sacramento Observer and Univision 19.

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.

Be the first to comment on "The Met high school hosts leadership conference for Chicanx youth"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.