Guest Speakers

ASUWT thanks the leaders from our community as well as faculty and staff that have stepped forward to speak about the ongoing liberation for equity in our world, nation, and communities.

Continuous media coverage of controversial racial injustices as well as the oppositions and the forward movement for equity impacts not only the way education is interpreted, but also how we perceive the world we live in. As young emerging leaders we are impacted on personal and emotional levels whether feeling alienated, criticized, or hopeful for change.

Through our efforts and collaboration with students, community, and UW Tacoma staff and faculty we come together to share the parallels between hope and ongoing outreach for equity, experiences, and education. Joining us for A Day of Hope, the following offer their expertise and shared hopes to not only support but also to inspire us that hope can become a reality.

Paul Prociv, M.S.
Civic Engagement Specialist
Center for Service and Leadership, University of Washington Tacoma

Paul Prociv, is UW Tacoma’s Civic Engagement Specialist. He is responsible for Student Engagement’s new initiative to grow a Center for Service and Leadership here on campus. He currently oversees extra curricular leadership programs and volunteer promotions and activities. Paul received his BA in Public Affairs and a BA in Political Science from the Seattle University. Paul also holds an MS in Education Leadership and Policy from Portland State University where he studied and conducted research on the pedagogy of service-learning. He has a passion for empowering student citizenship and direct action for positive social change.

Brendan Nelson
President Hilltop Action Coalition

Brendan Nelson is an energetic, dynamic young man. He has a passion for service, and this is demonstrated in his personal and professional life. He is dedicated to working with individuals in the education and nonprofit sectors to identify avenues for unimaginable success and serves as an outstanding role model. Brendan currently serves as President of the Hilltop Action Coalition and Director of Youth and Family Ministry at Peace Lutheran Church.

 He has influenced the community with over 15 years of solid experience involving youth mentorship, counseling, planning service projects and conducting workshops in collaboration with city and civic leaders, faith based organizations, private and public ventures throughout the state of Washington.
Brendan has been awarded the Unsung Hero Award from Sisters of Hope Cancer Support Group and the National Community Service and Volunteer Award by President Barack Obama in 2012. He is truly a leader that believes in creating other leaders by discovering, developing, and deploying these individuals back out into our community, ready and eager to stimulate change.


Ricardo E. Ortega, Ph.D

Diversity Resource Center Initiatives Director
UW Tacoma| Office for Equity & Diversity

Ricardo was born and raised in the small Bordertown of Calexico, Ca. After attending Cal Poly Pomona and receiving his degree in Gender, Ethnicity, and Multicultural Studies, he attended UCSB and attained a Doctorate in Chicano/a Studies studying the lived experiences of Undocumented Latino/a students in Higher Education. He then worked for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a Multicultural Center Coordinator for Latino/a and Undocumented Students, implementing the first peer counseling program for Undocumented Students in the California State University System. Ricardo is now the Diversity Resource Center Initiatives Director at the University of Washington, Tacoma. A position in where he is now able to serve all Underrepresented Students, Faculty and Staff on campus through programming and services. Ricardo is also serves as chair of the Race & Equity Committee for the University of Washington, Tacoma.