2015 1st Gen Summit



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Thanks to the 200+ students and 1st Gen allies who came out for the summit! Looking forward to seeing you all in 2016.

Check out our Highlight Reel:

Check out more photos here.

Check out Elizabeth Warren’s message to this year’s summit attendees:

Participating Schools

Schedule of the Day

At this year’s summit we focused on the following areas:

  • Where to start: Students looking to start a student group on their campus
  • What’s working: Sharing stories of success
  • First Gen as an Identity: Intersections with other identities
  • Faculty and Staff: How can we help? What are the trends?
  • Campus Organizing and Activism: Moving from ideas to action

The cost of the summit is free for students. Staff, faculty and individuals from non-profits can attend for $45.

Planning Committee:

Eduardo Avalos, Williams College
Amanda Brian, Merrimack College
Gianna Buonpastore, Saint Michael’s College
Flora Chan, Amherst College
Angelina Clemons, Curry College
Alexandra Katz, University of Rhode Island
Don Leach, Wellesley College
Lynda Lopez, U of Chicago
Robert Mack, Tufts University
Susana Martinez, Salem State University
Amatullah Mervin, Curry College
Jim Meehan, Curry College
Chrishanae Neal, Class Action & Wellesley College
Anne Phillips, Class Action
Rosanna Reyes, Williams College
Valentina Rojas, St. Michael’s College
Tia Roy, Merrimack College
Moise St. Louis, St. Michael’s College
Karen Shih, Wellesley
Megan Wigton, Salem State
Patrick Williams, Tufts University

If you are interested in volunteer or co-hosting opportunities, please send us an email.


Since 2004, Class Action has worked with first generation students to ease their transition to college. Through consultations and workshops on and within many campuses throughout the northeastern region of the U.S., Class Action has offered first gen students access to the materials, tools and networking opportunities necessary to thrive in a college environment. Class Action also works with campus administrations to identify obstacles to first gen and low-income students.

In 2012 , a graduate student at Brown University, took on organizing Class Action’s inaugural First Generation College Student Summit.The First Gen Student Summit serves as a site for the ‘meeting of the minds.’ First gen students and their allies come together to identify problems, discuss grassroots solutions and share what’s working on other campuses. First and foremost, we want to find solutions identified by students who can work with their staff, administrator and faculty allies. Class Action offers spaces where students can both identify these problems and build grassroots solutions to them.

Nearly 40 people from seven colleges were represented at the inaugural First Generation College Student Summit. In 2014, the summit attracted 125 people from 23 institutions. We look forward to expanding the schools represented by region and size this year. We hope you will join us for our 3rd! If you are interested in planning or being involved in the 2015 summit, please email Anne Phillips, anne@classism.org. Here’s a write-up from last year’s summit. For more pictures of the summit, please click here! Do you have an idea for a breakout session? Let us know here!

For more pictures of previous summits please click here and here.