We support young people leading the way in abolishing gender roles and advancing gender equity.
We’ll be updating this page soon with more resources and information on gender, feminism and masculinity.
Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity — to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: “See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper,” Baldoni says. “Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?”
When writer Roxane Gay dubbed herself a “bad feminist,” she was making a joke, acknowledging that she couldn’t possibly live up to the demands for perfection of the feminist movement. But she’s realized that the joke rang hollow. In a thoughtful and provocative talk, she asks us to embrace all flavors of feminism — and make the small choices that, en masse, might lead to actual change.
If you’re a man, at one point or another you’ve probably thought to yourself, “I will never understand women!” And if you’re a woman, “what’s wrong with men?!” But your gender is all you’ve ever known, so how could you understand? As a transgender woman, Paula Stone Williams has lived on both sides, “and the differences are massive!” In this funny and insightful talk, Paula shares her wisdom for all. Reverend Dr. Paula Stone Williams is the president of RLT Pathways, Inc., a non-profit providing counseling and coaching services. She works with the Center for Progressive Renewal, serves on the board of the Gay Christian Network, and is an active member at Highlands Church in Denver. She has been featured in the New York Times, The Denver Post, and Colorado Public Radio, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is an avid runner and mountain biker with three children and five granddaughters.
Girls Inc. serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites in 400 cities across the United States and Canada. Their research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.
Girls' Rites, based in Fort Collins, helps girls and women build connection and find power through celebrations of voice, community, and adventure. Their 9-month intensive program cultivates mentorship, leadership, space for exploration and service.
Street Fraternity provides a place of brotherhood and personal growth for urban young men, with the goal of developing positive young men who understand how to balance aggression with respect, integrity and ethics.
Women's Empowerment Workshop, based in Eagle County, empowers women and girls through nature-based retreats, coaching and workshops that nourish mind, body and spirit by connecting to the natural world in a profoundly enriching, compelling and transformational way.
NewMexicoWomen.Org is the only program and fund of its kind in New Mexico that works to advance opportunities for women and girls statewide so they can lead self-sufficient, healthy, and empowered lives. NMW.O and their partners advance gender justice in New Mexico through our grantmaking, capacity building programs, research projects, and advocacy and education work.
Together for Brothers (T4B) believes young men of color (YMOC) are, can and should be leaders at all levels in their community. T4B's model makes spaces for YMOC to practice that leadership in their schools and communities. YMOC with T4B are redefining what it means to be brotherly.
Young Women United, with offices in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, works with young women of color to advance an intersectional vision of reproductive justice around five campaign issue areas: (1) de-stigmatizing mental health alongside LGBTQ youth of color, (2) leading criminal justice reform with a gender lens perspective while de-criminalizing substance use and pregnancy, (3) maintaining and growing access to reproductive health care, (4) increasing access women of color have to a full range of birthing options centering midwifery models of care, (5) and building educational equity and support for expectant and parenting young people. YWU also runs Circle of Strength, a leadership development program for self-identified young women of color ages 13-19.
Below is a sampling of workshops YCD has offered at prior conferences and events around the issues of gender, feminism and masculinity. Click on any workshop title to read more about the session, the presenter, and reviews from our participants.
What are the foundations to create and sustain healthy relationships within your community? This workshop engages directly with youth to have a critical conversation on our connections with our land-base, as well as relations with our peers, culture, and everyday interactions. We will highlight the good and bad energies that come as a result of those interactions, followed by an in-depth discussion on healthy relationships, consent, and types of abuse, with the ultimate goal of community mapping and mobilizing.
Participants will learn the basics of identity and intersectionality through fun interactive activities and connecting with others through dialogue. Participants will then be able to connect their own experiences with identity to larger concepts such as privilege, stereotyping, and oppression. This workshop is perfect for those who need an introduction into intersectionality or want to deepen their understanding of social justice concepts.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is ideal for women. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created specifically to allow the smaller person to overcome the bigger, stronger, more aggressive opponent through the proper use of timing, positioning, leverage, and technique. When women are attacked, they are often taken to the ground by a larger, more aggressive assailant and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, known for its devastatingly effective ground fighting techniques, directly addresses this situation. Because of this, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often recognized as the single most effective self-defense system in the world, especially for women. Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!
This session will explore the power youth have to create spaces where sexually inappropriate or violent behaviors are recognized, and intervention occurs to support survivors. We will use small group activities and discussion to expand recognition of a range of sexually violent behaviors and the impacts of these behaviors, the systems in place to address these behaviors, and identify how youth have opportunities to intervene at all points as positive bystanders. Youth will practice bystander intervention using real life scenarios commonly described by high school students. Youth presenters will encourage participants to think creatively and develop a broad variety of intervention techniques, honoring personalities, identity, and safety. Presenters will create a safe space to facilitate honest, non-judgmental conversations throughout the session.
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.
It’s no secret that the quality of life for many men and boys has declined in the past several decades—from addictions to absent fathers, and failure to launch, to suicide across the lifespan. Dr. Steve Rissman, who has developed a Men’s Health program at MSU Denver, will discuss the roadblocks to healthy manhood, based our society’s “man rules”. He will show how those rules impede physical, social, emotional and psychological health. Finally, as a group we will create solutions for improving health for men/boys. By exploring this important relationship between masculinity norms and health, we can begin to improve the lives of men, boys, and ultimately everyone.
Women between the ages of 14 and 25 are at the highest risk of experiencing sexual assault in America. Fortunately, while the world continues to educate men about consent, there are proactive steps young women can take to reduce their risks and protect themselves. Join former WWE Diva Eve Torres Gracie as you learn the 5 most important self-defense techniques. Using verbal assertiveness, boundary setting, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense techniques, you will change your beliefs on self-defense and what is possible for all women, and you will have a great time!
A panel of LGBTQ+ athletes will participate in a panel/Q&A for attendees, discussing their experiences as closeted/out athletes in high school and college. We’ll discuss how we can support friends, siblings and ourselves in creating an inclusive and affirming experience for everyone in the sports world.
In October 2018, during the conformation process of a Supreme Court Justice, President Trump commented about the process and stated that it’s a “very scary time for young men in America.” During this workshop, we will interactively dissect this statement by exploring masculinity, privilege, statistics on sexual assault, and intersections of identities. Everyone is welcome to attend this workshop, but we put an emphasis on that we believe all men should attend this workshop. Our hope is by the end of our session you will be able to answer the question on if it is a scary time to be a man in America.
Together, we will explore the ways that Instagram affects high school aged girls (14-19 years old) and their developing body image. During this workshop, two current students will provide insight on the effect Instagram has on them. Additionally, The Instagram Effect will provide tools and techniques to utilize social media in positive ways to resist harmful messages, foster healthy self-esteem, and encourage body positivity in young girls.
This workshop will help young men understand how society has skewed the male perception of masculinity and how that has taken away from the value men can bring to society. Students will discuss their role as a man in society and what masculinity looks like when it comes to gender, sexuality acceptance, supporting women and embracing emotions.
So you’re passionate about gender equality. Now what? What can you contribute in the fight for equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities? What is the #MeToo movement and how can you be a part of it?
In this workshop, you’ll learn some challenges that women and girls face worldwide. You’ll also learn some of the strengths and limitations of social media in the fight for gender equality, especially in the #MeToo era. You’ll get a chance to analyze the voices and stories we hear in the media and have some space to reflect on what they say and who they include. You’ll walk away with some concrete strategies for advocating for gender equality to make a difference in your school, with your group of friends, even in your own home. Young people carry a tremendous amount of power for equality. Learn how to use it!
We will provide an overview of the differences among biological sex or sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as well as some common gender-related terminology. Opportunities to engage and consider your own gender development and gender non-conforming experiences will be encouraged. Then, we will focus more specifically on the concept of ‘gender fluid.’ This will include a description of gender fluid, video clip examples of gender-fluid experiences, discussing common areas of difficulty/discrimination, brainstorming ways to make spaces safer for gender-fluid individuals, and practicing the use of gender affirming language.
We will have a realistic and informative discussion around body image and body positivity for teens and adults. Participants will explore the impact body image has on self-esteem, examine how external factors such as media trends shape how we see ourselves and build awareness to how these trends shape unrealistic expectations. Give yourself permission to drop societal expectations and learn to relate to your body with kindness, improve your self-image, and develop sustainable, positive self-care behaviors with practical wellness tools that promote confidence and self-love.
What does it mean to “be a man” or to “man up”? How did these expectations get created, and are they healthy for us and our relationships? What happens when we don’t meet these expectations? This workshop will explore how young men can work together toward healthy masculinity in their families, schools and communities. Everyone is welcome to attend this workshop, but we encourage men and boys to attend in particular for a dynamic, interactive discussion.
What is “locker room talk”? How can we create a positive culture in the locker room and athletics more broadly for everyone?
Topics will include the importance of language, casual homophobia, bullying, privacy, etc. Students will be provided a toolkit to become ambassadors for a healthy environment in this susceptible school space.
This workshop will challenge your perceptions and understandings of gender through a cisgendered lens. Ideally, you will walk away with new language, how to better implement strategies for inclusion within your spaces and additionally understand how privilege, power and oppression takes place among trans* folxs.