It’s not every day you hear about teenagers working to make their schools safe for everyone.
Read below for answers to basic questions about Youth Celebrate Diversity and its programs.
What happens at a diversity conference?
Students and faculty advisors hear from a keynote speaker, participate in discussion groups, attend two workshops and plan with their schools on how to incorporate what they’ve learned into their communities. We emphasize the need for every individual to make a personal commitment on how to improve their local school or community, and follow up several months after our events to track progress.
Our programs and services highlight a wide range of topics that young people encounter and deal with, including race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, political belief, socioeconomic background, religion, age, physical and mental ability or disability, level of education, and family composition.
Ultimately, our vision is that one day, every teen in America will feel safe to achieve in school, no matter who they are.
How did this organization get started?
In 1993, Janet Sammons, a history and social studies teacher at Cherry Creek High School, noticed teens across the state were dealing with the same issues and problems, but many times did not have the resources or knowledge to address their diversity concerns. After creating the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference, word spread across the state, and 24 years later we had 90 schools participate.
In 2014, Caleb Munro and Janet Sammons formed Youth Celebrate Diversity as a non-profit organization to continue the work of the Cherry Creek event while seeking opportunities to replicate its highly successful model. The organization launched its first teacher-focused event, the Diversity Leadership Institute for Teachers, in 2016 and followed with its first regional conference, the Mountain West Diversity Conference, in 2017.
Are YCD’s programs only for high school students?
At this time, all of YCD’s programs are limited to attendance by high school students and teachers. We are actively working on launching a new college-level program in the coming years. We encourage anyone at the college level interested in working with YCD to contact us.
Does YCD operate outside of Colorado?
We firmly believe teens around the United States can benefit from participating in diversity conferences, workshops and events. While all of YCD’s programs are currently in Colorado, we are actively working to expand our footprint outside the state. We are especially interested to make new connections in Arizona, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico. If you are from outside Colorado and want to get involved with our organization, we’d love to hear from you!
Do you offer discounts to schools on registration fees?
We have a small scholarship fund, which we can tap for schools who are struggling to come up with the money for registration fees. If you have an interest in learning more about a discount on registration fees, please contact us. Please note, we require proof from schools that they have attempted to fundraise money for their registration fees before we provide any discount.
Where does YCD get its funding?
Youth Celebrate Diversity derives the majority of its income from registration fees of participating schools and donations from supportive community members. Additional funding is provided through numerous donations by private foundations, companies and individuals.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. Youth Celebrate Diversity is approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to Youth Celebrate Diversity are tax-deductible. You can view our IRS Form 1023 application or view our 501(c)(3) determination letter!
Can I donate online with a credit card?
Yes, though we note credit card companies will charge between 5-10% of your donation for processing fees. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, we’d love a check in the mail to ensure your entire donation goes to support youth making a difference in their schools and communities, and not large financial corporations.
If you would still like to donate online, you can donate via PayPal here.
To whom should checks be made payable?
Youth Celebrate Diversity
Where do I send donations?
Youth Celebrate Diversity
PO Box 5350
Greenwood Village, CO 80155