We believe in the power of young people to peacefully and effectively resolve social conflicts and engage in civil dialogue.

Conflicts arise daily in teens’ lives, whether among family members, peers, with teachers or school administrators, neighbors and others.  How we approach that conflict — the actions we take to escalate or de-escalate the situation — is our choice.  Often with a little training and self-awareness, teens can resolve conflicts so they can excel in school.  YCD works to empower teens for exactly this situation.

Conflict resolution trainings often focus on negotiation and mediation where a third-party helps the two in conflict engage in positive dialogue and come to a mutual understanding. This includes training to become a “facilitator,” meaning you are not a direct party to the conflict or dialogue but rather are there to ensure that every party understands each other, with the ultimate goal that those conflict will collectively reach a mutually agreed solution.

Note that facilitators may not be charged with resolving conflict per se, but may also serve to simply ensure a group of individuals engages in discussion without coming to full resolution.  This model, similar to the one YCD employs through its programs, values having a group of people from different backgrounds talk with one another to break down stereotypes and misunderstandings, without requiring a specific outcome of the discussion.

Organizations Training Youth on Conflict Resolution

National Organizations

PeaceJam creates young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody.  In general, PeaceJam has a global focus compared to some of the more local organizations listed above.


Culture of Peace Alliance operates as a nonprofit umbrella for groups working to build peace, empower youth, and create a cultural shift towards compassion, nonviolence, civility, and sustainability in Tucson and beyond. The group sponsors the annual Youth and Peace Conference.


Building Bridges creates a safe space for young people to meet face-to-face with those they have been taught to fear. Together, they develop personal connections based on empathy and respect and the confidence to transform divisive attitudes in their communities.  The organization offers summer intensive programs as well as opportunities for trainings and events during the school year.

The Conflict Center's programs give young people opportunities and a platform for their voices to be heard and the skills to turn conflict into opportunity. They believe in equipping all with the skills to navigate conflict productively whether in classrooms or interpersonally, using the principles of restorative practices. Through their Social Norming program, young people drive the effort of creating campaigns around healthy relationship norms and via Hot Spot Mapping take part in presenting data to school staff around "hot" and "cool" safety areas in and around their schools.

The Conflict Resolution Institute at the University of Denver is the university's hub for the study of theory, research, and practice of conflict resolution. The Academic Program offers an Masters degree, while the Center for Conflict Engagement coordinates conferences, visiting scholars, joint projects, and community partnerships.

Luv Mrk (love mark) empowers individuals to live by their heart and leave their imprint with Luv. They provide transformative workshops and kindness campaigns that heighten awareness on what we can intentionally do to treat ourselves and others with respect, kindness, peace and Luv.

New Mexico

Kindness Club International empowers student transformation by giving them new tools and training so they can build a kinder school culture where everyone can thrive.

YCD Workshops on Conflict Resolution

Below is a sampling of workshops YCD has offered at prior conferences and events around the issues of conflict resolution.  Click on any workshop title to read more about the session, the presenter, and reviews from our participants.

A World of Difference

A student gives a thumbs up.

Participants will explore their personal biases and how they affect the world around them. We will use interactive lessons from the Anti-Defamation League’s World of Difference curriculum to promote discussion as well as positive interaction among students.

Are You as Open-Minded as You Think?

A student listens and smiles.

Join local youth advisers in an exploration of biases, acknowledging both positive and negative aspects of our bias. Small groups will unfold everyday examples of conscious and unconscious bias and stereotypes, and strategies to address them. Participants will engage in activities to learn how to support equity, inclusion and open-mindedness.

Breaking the Chains: Engaging Young Men of Color in School

One student speaks while another looks at him intently.

In this student-led workshop, the Student Board of Education/5280 Challenge team from the Denver Center for International Studies will help participants reflect upon the status of young men of color in schools, as well as share and develop strategies to engage them. Young men of color, particularly African American and Raza male students, are often absent from leadership roles in school, find themselves alienated in classes, and are targeted for harsh disciplinary practices. Each group of participants will develop ways to address this problem in schools. All of us means ALL of us.

Building a Strong Diversity Club at Your School

Are you interested in creating a diversity club at your own school? Do you already have a diversity club and are looking for ways to recruit students and host events? This workshop will allow you to engage in an open dialogue, provide you with tools, tricks, and ideas to grow and nurture your own diversity club, and create space for future collaboration with educators and students from many schools.

Challenging Linguistic Prejudice

Three teen girls talk in a small group.

What assumptions do you have about language diversity? Participants will be asked to reflect on how linguistic prejudice is still largely accepted in society (demonstrated with several current media examples) whereas other types of discrimination are not. The workshop will end with discussing real world consequences of linguistic prejudice, and how this form of prejudice impacts our lives today.

Changing the Narrative: Unpacking Bias

Students walk down a hallway.

This interactive workshop engages community members in a discussion about personal biases and how they impact perceptions and behaviors between law enforcement and community. The workshop allows participants to reflect on how biases show up in both their professional and personal lives. The workshop is intended to promote self-reflection, self-accountability and personal growth through dialogue and creation of action steps.

Character Counts: Not Judging People

Let’s have a discussion about students who may be “different” than their peers. Using a hands-on demonstration, we will also talk about not labeling ourselves or one another. Not judging people is harder than it may seem; do you have what it takes?

Conflict Resolution Do’s and Don’ts

Students in discussion.

How do you deal with difficult people? In this interactive workshop you will learn effective and practical techniques for conflict resolution that you can apply at school, work, and home. Learn how to approach conflict through role plays and real life scenarios.

Deconstructing Identity

Marissa Molina speaks to the audience.

What are the components of your identity?  How does this compare to others, and what can we learn by understanding the different components of our identities?  Join this workshop to explore these questions and more in an interactive format.

Disability, Advocacy, and Building Power

A student in a wheelchair watches as two other students write on a paper in the hallway.

Join two advocates from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition in exploring how to become an advocate for disability rights or an ally for students with disabilities. We’ll explore the intersection of disability and white privilege. We will give you concrete ideas on how to disrupt disability oppression.

Finding Your Voice and Skills for Family Conflict Resolution

Everyone experiences conflict with family members—over who we are, what we believe, and so many other things. Sometimes that conflict grows until it harms or even ends those relationships. It doesn’t have to be that way. We will discuss conflicts that you are experiencing and effective ways to deal with them. We will use small-group discussion and practical tools to help each other address conflict in positive ways.

From Slacktivism to Activism

Students listen as another person talks.

Student leaders will engage with each other about leadership, social media activism and traditional activism, how they work together and what has been the most impactful. Students attendees will share their experiences, gain ideas from others and identify ways they can engage in activism to challenge issues and promote social justice in their communities.

Gun Violence Prevention and Student Action

Student smile and make peace signs for the camera.

This workshop, led by a few select students from Team Enough and Students Demand Action, will inform students about the history and complexities of gun violence in America, the student activism movement focused around gun violence prevention, counter arguments, and solutions being advocated for federally and in Colorado. Students who have made a name for themselves in this movement will provide personal experiences, expertise, opportunities and ways for other students to get involved nationally, statewide, and in their own communities. This workshop will give students access to gun violence prevention tools and groups, and will inspire students to stand up for what they believe in.

Honest and Compassionate Dialogue with Self and Others

A group of students stand in a circle.

We rely on our dynamic personal history to inform our perception of the world, others, and ourselves. Experiences such as suffering, joy, gender, culture, religion, and so much more distinguish how we learned to be versus how we would rather be in our day-to-day lives and through our interactions with others.  This workshop will provide strategies to help you become a more informed reader of physical signs in others and to become more aware of your own physical and psychological tendencies in order to interact authentically with others.

How to Interrupt Bias and Bullying

One student looks at another.

Have you ever heard someone say something prejudiced but weren’t sure how to respond? Or tried to intervene in bullying but aren’t sure you were effective? Or gotten angry at a family member who said biased things, but froze up when you tried to respond? This workshop will focus on identifying practical skills and strategies to help prepare you to interrupt name-calling and challenge biased and bullying behaviors.

Inclusion, Identity and Belonging

A diverse group of students smile for the camera.

Starting with a spirited and interactive conversation—joining participant ideas and definitions regarding difference and inclusivity with common, current best practices—this workshop moves into a fun and dynamic small group activity surrounding identity, membership, and belonging, including associated challenges. Together, we will then define our vision for a perfectly inclusive world and work toward ideas and commitments to bring this vision to light. Wrapping up, we will reveal a specific commitment from each participant that is conceived in a very special format, bringing the workshop to a very comprehensive pin point of knowledge, ideas, and realistic future action steps.

Know Your Rights: Students’ Rights

All people in the United States enjoy the same constitutional protections, regardless of nationality, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, disability and gender. The best way to protect your rights is to know your rights. In this workshop, the ACLU of Colorado will share information on students’ rights related to free speech, dress codes, privacy, LGBTQ rights, and immigrants’ rights.  We’ll also cover what to do if your school violates these protections.

Left versus Right: Politics and Diversity

Corey Jones smiles and points his finger in front of a screen about left versus right.

Have you have ever had a debate, conversation or argument with someone with different political views? Maybe you feel uncomfortable sharing your views with others, for fear of being judged or criticized. If so, then you’ll want to attend this fun and interactive workshop to learn how to respectfully engage others in meaningful conversations about the issues that affect our world.

Lessons Learned from Home: You Must Be Carefully Taught to Love or Hate

Alice Wirth leads a discussion of how family impacts our ability to love and hate.

How have the lessons from home, spoken or unspoken, shaped who you are? How has your family affected how you interact with people who are similar and different from you?

This interactive workshop will feature activities, panel discussions, and audience participation. Panelists/audience will share how lessons learned from home affect their everyday life choices and experiences. Basic tools required to become accepting of yourself and others will be provided.

Making Sense of Challenging Decisions

A student listens to a speaker talk about becoming homeless and how to survive.

We are often faced with choosing between seeming opposites, some not as clear as others. Using whole and small group activities, we will explore what the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, says about moving towards equanimity and mindfulness. Hopefully, this text will give participants concrete take-aways when faced with having to make challenging decisions.

Mindfulness for Teens

A group of students stand in a line thinking and listening.

We can’t change our biases until we know what they are, and mindfulness can serve as a tool to interact differently with other people, especially across social differences.

We will start out talking about what mindfulness is, its roots in Eastern/Buddhist philosophy, and how it can be used not only for self-care, but to minimize implicit bias and create cultural inclusion. We will interactively discuss each of these topics, ask participants to bring their whole selves into the room (not just their intellects) to mindfully check in to their own bodies as they consider their own biases and embodied reactions to stereotypes, and offer solutions and strategies for culturally inclusive behavior.

My Ethics versus Your Values

Effley Brooks addresses a room.

This interactive workshop will challenge students to explore their ethics and values that have been formed throughout their lives. They will face ethical dilemmas and practice communication techniques when faced with different thinking. There will be laughter!

Navigating Difficult Decisions

We are often faced with choosing between seeming opposites, some not as clear as others. Using whole and small group activities, we will explore strategies you can use to make decisions in a healthy and balanced way that builds self-confidence.

Navigating Diversity Backlash

Student smile and make peace signs for the camera.

Efforts to dismantle inequities can sometimes be misinterpreted for exclusion. This workshop is an interactive conversation about why there is resistance to equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and how to work through the backlash. Learners will engage in dialogue and activities (role-play is one) to come away with strategies on how to address diversity backlash when they are faced with resistance to their work in social and racial justice.

Navigating Healthy Relationships: It’s Complicated

A student smiles as the group around him navigates a human knot.

Teen dating is hard. Texting, social media, and navigating the school environment make romantic relationships really hard. What are healthy and unhealthy qualities in a relationship? How do I kindly and respectfully break up with someone? This workshop will discuss what to look for in a healthy relationship and how to communicate better with your partner.

Privilege: Who Has It and Why?

Four high school students having a discussion.

When we talk about privilege we usually are talking about the power and advantage that only specific groups of people have, usually because of their wealth or even their race and/or gender, but the conversation doesn’t stop there. In this workshop we will expand on privilege, dig down to its core and explore how we can use it for the greater good.

Put Down the Backpack

A student listens.

Every one of us walks around with a weight put there by the lives we lead. You can’t see my backpack and I can’t see yours. That doesn’t mean it’s not heavy, and full of what makes me – ME! In this workshop, we will examine how life experience, labels and privilege weigh us down, and impact our lives.

Reclaiming Our Stories

As LGBTQ+, people of color, and/or individuals with disabilities our stories are often crafted and told by others. During this workshop youth will learn about the untold stories of diverse people throughout history who advocated for their communities. Participants will engage in the process to explore their own experiences to create personal stories. They will be given and brainstorm ways to use these narratives for activism.

Resolving Conflict: What I Wish I Knew in High School

A student speaks while others listen.

Have you experienced conflict in school, at work, or with family and friends? Of course, everyone has! Everyone can also learn how to deal with that conflict more constructively. We will discuss conflicts that you are experiencing and effective ways to deal with them. We will use small-group discussion and role playing to explore tools to help you address conflict in positive ways.

Restorative Justice 101

Students sit in a circle talking.

We will practice a community building circle, and discuss the unique and dynamic ways circles are used in schools to change climate and culture. You will then do a brief activity that demonstrates the influence of perspective. You will learn how restorative practices eliminate the power differential between people, which creates equity in conflict and discipline situations. The training is interactive, relevant, and fun.

Restorative Practices in Schools: Closing the Equity Gap

Students sit in a circle talking.

We will practice a community building circle, and discuss the unique and dynamic ways circles are used in schools to change climate and culture. You will then do a brief activity that demonstrates the influence of perspective. You will learn how restorative practices eliminate the power differential between people, which creates equity in conflict and discipline situations. The training is interactive, relevant, and fun.

Rock the Boat: Identity, Conflict, and Change

A group of students sit in a circle.

What happens when we stop trying to just be nice and not rock the boat? If we get real about our own thoughts and feelings about the “other,” can we dig deeper and challenge assumptions? Building Bridges’ youth leaders will facilitate this interactive workshop where you’ll have space to explore identity, difference, and conflict based on your own experiences and practice communication skills for change.

Sharing Stories of Love, Struggle and Finding Ourselves

A student speaks.

We will use creative brainstorming activities and writing exercises in order to share our stories of love, struggle, and finding ourselves. Through peer support we can grow as writers while growing as a community. All writing levels are welcome and all genres are welcome.

Shifting Your Perception

This transformative workshop consists of brain teaser exercises, illusions, videos and activities to explore how we see and what choices we make because of those beliefs. During this interactive experience we uncover origins that shaped our perceptions of race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ability and appearance. We depict how the factors shaping our beliefs from our experiences and environment to the media influences choices with detrimental or beneficial results. In this heightening self-awareness session you will receive empowerment strategies to heal from harmful experiences and rid yourself of destructive conditioning in order to break unhealthy habits, attain self-love and build empathy and sincere relationships. Leave feeling stronger and uplifted with a newly evolved approach toward the treatment of self and others.

Social Groups and Stereotypes

Paula Brown speaks

This colorful interactive session is designed to create awareness of how subtle beliefs and behaviors can affect social interactions in everyday life.  This workshop will evoke thought and reflection about social group membership and how stereotypes and attitudes can influence behavior.

Social Justice? Intersectionality? Say What?

Students sit in a circle and discuss.

This workshop is an introduction to what social justice means and how to use intersectionality as a framework for understanding and dismantling forms of oppression. We’ll discuss how to accurately use terms; learn exactly what racism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, etc. mean; and how -isms are not a two-way street. There will also be dialogue around the concept of ally-ship and what each of you can do to make a difference. There will be a lot of pictures, some videos, fun activities, and plenty of time to share.

Sports for Everyone

Stereotypes, socioeconomics, and gender equality are all factors that affect our social lives—including sports and athletics. What does acceptance look like in today’s world? We’ll have an engaging discussion on how we all play a role in making athletics and sports inclusive for everyone.

Stress 101: Stay Calm and Carry On

A group of Latinx students sits on the stairs and smiles.

Stress—it’s something teens deal with every day, and it doesn’t go away when we become adults. From the pressure of getting good grades in school to dealing with difficult times in our families, it helps to have tools that help us stay calm in the midst of chaos. Participants in this workshop will generate discussion about this topic and gain insight from shared experience. We will also learn hands-on strategies to take better care of ourselves on a daily basis so that when life gets tough, we can get through it and carry on.

Student Leadership in a Culturally Diverse World

Teenagers live in a culturally diverse world where learned prejudices result in relationship barriers and often lead to conflict in schools, at work, and in the community. This session provides an overview of the 3-day Intercultural Leadership Skills for Teens workshop that teaches students skills that promote positive intercultural interactions and strategies for reducing the negative impact of prejudice, oppression, and bullying. Students will learn the nine characteristics of an interculturally skillful leader and develop a personal commitment pledge to take action to make their schools welcoming and more inclusive for all people.

Subtle Forms of Exclusion

A student speaks.

With the best of intentions, we are sometimes unaware of how our language and behavior can exclude people. What are the underlying messages we might be sending unintentionally? Through personal reflection and discussion, this interactive workshop will provide ideas and strategies for creating an environment in which everyone feels like they belong.

Telling Your Story

Students smile at the camera.

Join the City of Denver’s Chief Storyteller for a session on how to craft and tell stories in a captivating way.  We’ll explore how we can all use storytelling to find our voice, express our identity and share our passion for positive social change.

The Art of Conflict Resolution

Conflict is normal, natural, and part of engaging with others. Join this interactive session to learn tips and strategies for engaging in healthy conflict with friends, family, and other members of your community.

The Good, the Bad, and the Bias

Join local youth advisers in an exploration of biases, acknowledging both positive and negative aspects of our bias. Small groups will unfold everyday examples of conscious and unconscious bias and stereotypes, and strategies to address them. Participants will engage in activities to learn how to support equity, inclusion and open-mindedness.

The Many Faces of Privilege

A group of teachers put post-it notes on the wall.

During this session participants will generate a common understanding of privilege, and the many ways it impacts our lives. We will discuss multiple ways in which we all have some privilege, and which privileges have the most impact in our lives. Finally, we will consider what it might mean to give up some privilege we have.

The Many Hats of Diversity

A speaker addresses the group.

Are we as open as we think? We claim there are those who are not open to the differences of people in our world. How do we react when we come face-to-face with them? In this interactive workshop, we encourage you to examine what you really believe and the Agreements that you may have made along the way. Come test what you think and then leave with actual tools you can use in your school community and life.

The Psychology of Hate and What You Can Do

Students listen to a speaker.

This interactive workshop will explore the complexity around the different kind of ISMS that are out there in society today (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia.) We will also discuss strategies on what you can do to help reduce intolerance within your school and community.

Theatre Games: Diversity of Perspectives

Ryan Foo works with students.

Diversity isn’t just about our upbringing, culture, and affluence—it’s also about our state of mind. Explore with Ryan Foo from the Black Actors Guild as you journey through improv games that are designed to push the very limits of your perspective and understanding. The workshop will help participants develop an understanding of perspective, relationship, and growth.

Transforming Conflict into Peace

A student smiles in the middle of a conversation.

How do we resolve conflict—in ourselves, with others, and in the systems and structures we have to engage with every day? Attendees will turn their lens inward to feel what might be happening in their bodies and mind, as well as outward to check-in with where the big conflicts are in their personal and collective landscapes.  Then, we’ll collectively build a foundational approach to transforming conflict into peace.

Understanding Culture through Communication

A teen male and female sit on the floor talking.

How do we bridge cultural divides and what communication strategies help us connect and relate to those who are different from us?  In this interactive workshop, participants will explore the link between culture and communication.

Understanding Internal, External and Social Diversity

A group of students.

Diversity is more complicated than it seems.  In this workshop we will explore internal diversity (those things we can’t change, such as age, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation), external diversity (those things that may change over time such as income, spiritual beliefs and education) and social diversity (those things that may change due to the social groups we associate with at various times in our lives.) After participating in activities to recognize these various aspects of diversity, we will examine the impact they may  have on our diversity of thought and how we can use this knowledge to solve problems.

Using Kindness to Create Community

Two students smile.

How do you bring your community together? How do you create opportunities to talk to one another? Learn how you can inspire relationships through Kindness Clubs challenges and activities. Experience the 1,000 Thank Yous CHALLENGE, the Community Gratitude Tree, the We All Have a Voice! DREAM Wall. Participants will personally experience each activity. They will learn the step-by-step process to use each to connect and celebrate the diverse voices in their own community.

Using Personal Narrative to Decolonize Our Hearts and Minds

Students listen as another person talks.

Participants will share and breakdown the personal narratives that we all hold, starting with our names (where it comes from, what it means) and moving outward to how we talk about ourselves. Finally, we look at how institutions like media, schools, politics, etc. create narratives about young people. This workshop is an exercise in how to identify, deconstruct, and rebuild narratives for truth, power, and decolonization.

We Can Talk about That?!

A student speaks while another listens.

Feeling like this is the most politically divided time in our country? Not sure how to talk through hot-button issues with people? Want to be able to chat with relatives of differing opinions at the holiday table? Come check out this workshop on how to talk through complicated political issues. We will discuss how using principles of dialogue, deliberation, and listening can help us communicate with one another!