We help students engage with immigrant and refugee peers, break down stereotypes, and create welcoming spaces for everyone in our schools and communities.

We’ll be updating this page soon with more resources and information on organizations that serve the immigrant and refugee community, as well as bring knowledge and information to all of us on these topics.

Immigration and Refugee Service Organizations in Colorado

The African Community Center of Denver helps over 1,700 refugees and asylees from all over the globe with educational and social service programs that help newcomers rebuild their lives, navigate US systems, recover from past trauma and gain economic self-sufficiency.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes peace and justice for all.  The organization has a Denver office that organizes the Coloradans for Immigrant Rights (CFIR) Program to create public discourse and policy that supports immigrants’ human rights, and also organizes teachers and educators around issues of immigration.

The Immigrant and Refugee Center of Northern Colorado, based in Evans, provides English language courses and community navigation services to immigrants in Weld County and neighboring areas, as well as a “Refugee 101” course for Coloradans interested in learning about the immigrant and refugee experience.

Meet the Middle East offers educational and immersion programs for high school students and adults, as well as cultural consulting services on navigating regional customs and norms.

YCD Workshops on Immigration and Refugees

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

The American Dream: How do You Fit In?

A group of students play a game to understand the challenges facing low-income families.

In this workshop we will explore privilege, and the many levels of privilege that we may have, by playing, “The American Dream” game. After playing the game, students will have a discussion around privilege, how you use it to help yourself and how can you use it to help others.

A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student

A group of students speaking.

What is it like to be an undocumented student living today in a divided America? A panel of college students will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help conference participants understand the dilemma many undocumented students face today. They will also provide suggestions and resources on what we can do to provide a safe space for undocumented immigrants so that they can feel protected and empowered to continue their education or chosen work paths.

An Evening with the Newcomers

A panel of refugee students addresses the audience to share their experiences.

YCD was thrilled to welcome over 900 people to hear from author Helen Thorpe for a discussion of her new book, The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom.

Helen joined a class of refugee students at Denver South High School for a year to learn about their backgrounds, why they came to the United States and how they adjust to life in Colorado. We also heard from a panel of refugee students on their experiences before they came to Colorado, and how they adjusted to life here now.

Fight for Your Rights: Examples of Youth-Led Change

How do we create change to help our communities? How can young people come together to fight for their rights?  In this workshop, we’ll look at examples of youth-led change by AJUA (Asociación de Jovenes Unidos en Acción), a youth-led immigrant rights and social justice advocacy organization in the Roaring Fork Valley.

In 2012, youth from AJUA led the effort to overturn a school district policy that allowed driver’s license checkpoints on school grounds.  These checkpoints were created with collaboration from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in an effort to find and deport undocumented students. After months of campaigns, AJUA obtained victory and was able to change the policy for the whole school district. AJUA’s hard work and dedication led to the group receiving the Youth Activist Award from the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union. Since then, AJUA has campaigned for the Colorado Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) bill, personal immigration campaigns, DACA rallies and other projects.

Hate Crimes? Youth Decide the Verdict

In this workshop lawyers will lead an interactive session on Colorado’s Hate Crimes Statute.  The lawyers will present a case involving criminal hate crimes. At the conclusion of the trial, small discussion groups of students will become “juries” to discuss the issues presented and, with the assistance of an adult facilitator, reach a verdict. The group will also discuss diversity in their community and the value of preventing the spread of racial slurs and hateful actions.

How to Pay for College Without Going Broke

Students listen intently.

Is paying for college scaring you from applying? Does the financial aid process freak you out? In this session, we will break down it down into simple steps. We will talk about in-state tuition, grants, scholarships and loans, and share some creative ways to save money and pay for college. Learn about common mistakes and hurdles and how to avoid them. Bring your cell phone or laptop or a notepad because you’ll get some websites with resources. This session will cover financial aid options for DACA, Dreamer and undocumented students too.

Islam and Islamophobia

Reema Wahdan addresses a classroom.

Islamophobia is the discrimination and oppression of Muslims. This workshop will serve as an open forum for students and adults to ask questions freely as they learn some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the Islamic faith and Muslim people. This session will also help participants understand how xenophobia against any race, religion or ethnicity should not be tolerated.

Join the Fight for Human Rights

Four high school students having a discussion.

This interactive workshop, presented by the Center on Human Rights Education, will raise social justice awareness of international human rights violations.  Participants will be able to identify common human rights abuses in their own communities and the world at large.  Possible solutions will be discussed to ensure that all humans are able to fight for their rights.

Race: A Social Construct

A student listens and smiles.

Many think of race as a biological reality, a core characteristic that has implications for things such as athletic ability, intelligence, and temperament. In reality, race is a social construct, a tool for oppression. Race also has a definitive origin story, and one that every anti-racist or social justice activist should know. Join this training to learn a brief history of racial classification in the U.S., and how it influences our mistaken perception of race today.

Real African Music

African drummers

Come join Real African Music and involve yourself in true African root culture. We will show you how to play African drums, dance with African style, and sing authentic African songs. The spirit of Africa transpires through the participation of its people in their rich musical culture. Come join us!

The Story of Your Name

A student speaks.

From their inception, names are embedded with meaning and coded with identity, and over time, they become layered with nuance and memory. Name stories can provide us with a set of communication and interpersonal tools that address racial and ethnic disparities. Join this workshop to explore the power behind the story of your name.

Understanding Immigration and Immigrants

Marissa Molina speaks to the audience.

We hear a lot of talk about immigration and immigrants from politicians and in the media. But how many immigrants have you met directly? Join us for this workshop where a panel of guest speakers will share their immigration stories and help us challenge our stereotypes on this politically hot topic.

Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants in Colorado

It’s no secret that refugees and immigrants have become a topic of the news. But who are they, how did they get here, and why are they here? This workshop will give you an overview about who refugees and immigrants are with personal testimonials from refugees themselves about their journey from their country to the US, and how you can welcome them in Colorado.