#RealCollege Annual Convening

Important Update on #RealCollege2020

Dear #RealCollege Family,


Five years ago we met for the first time as a community at the inaugural convening in Milwaukee. It was an extraordinary moment that helped many of us understand that we are not alone in our efforts to secure students’ basic needs. Each year since that time, we have come together for inspiration, education, and motivation—and most of all for the hugs, laughter, and collective wisdom and wellness that occurs when we are all together.


Our team at the Hope Center was eagerly anticipating and planning for the conference’s 5th anniversary scheduled for October at the Rutgers University-Camden, with the support of a national advisory committee and the generosity of the initial donors like ECMC Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the Lumina Foundation. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that will make it impossible for us to convene this fall. 


Thus, instead of writing to announce the opening of fall registration, I’m announcing that the 5th annual #RealCollege conference will be held September 24-26th, 2021. Northern Virginia Community College will host us at the Alexandria campus, and on Monday September 27 we hope you will stay to advocate for #RealCollege issues in Washington DC. Then, in fall 2022 we will return as a community to Rutgers-Camden as planned.


I’ll be honest—we are grieving this necessary but difficult decision. We therefore thank Soledad O’Brien (SOB) Productions for offering a bit of consolation. We’re thrilled to announce that the #RealCollege community is invited to join the Hope Center for a special screening and social media conversations about Hungry to Learn, SOB’s new documentary. Our #RealCollege movement and conference are prominently featured.

Take a few minutes to see what the #RealCollege convening looks like and why it matters

Future Conferences

#RealCollege 2021 will be held September 24-26th, 2021. Northern Virginia Community College will host us at the Alexandria campus, and on Monday September 27 we hope you will stay to advocate for #RealCollege issues in Washington DC.

In fall 2022 we will return as a community to Rutgers-Camden. #RealCollege 2022 will be Friday, Sept 16-Sunday Sept 18, 2022

Every year, we gather together passionate people to discuss the landscape of higher education in the context of #RealCollege students and their experiences. The goal of our conference is to help improve connections and collaborations, support a national membership organization of campus food pantries, and develop products, policy agendas, and practice guides to help serve students and institutions better. Check out the 2019 conference report.

#RealCollege 2019

Experience the 2019 #RealCollege Annual Convening in our selection of live videos, including the full livestream from our main stage! You can watch them here.

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