We teach young people to engage in responsible political discourse and appreciate diversity of thought.

We’ll be updating this page soon with more resources and information on organizations that provide information relating to responsible political discourse and diversity of thought.

Recommended Videos

Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values—typically a source of division—can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics.

 

We get stronger, not weaker, by engaging with ideas and people we disagree with, says Zachary R. Wood. In an important talk about finding common ground, Wood makes the case that we can build empathy and gain understanding by engaging tactfully and thoughtfully with controversial ideas and unfamiliar perspectives. “Tuning out opposing viewpoints doesn’t make them go away,” Wood says. "To achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity."

 

YCD Workshops on Politics and Diversity of Thought

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

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.

A Holocaust Survivor Speaks

A Holocaust survivor speaks to a group of students.

A survivor of the Holocaust will share stories about living through a period of time where diversity and respect for others was at its lowest point in human history. Most importantly, participants will understand why we must never forget what happened in the Holocaust.

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 Spot Fake News

A group of teenagers huddle around a person looking something up on their phone.

Are you puzzled about telling real news from fake news? Join savvy researchers to learn the tricks and tools reference librarians use to evaluate the credibility of news stories.​ Then use your new skills to rate media sources on a journalistic reliability scale.

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.

Know Your 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 how to handle a police interaction to keep students safe and help de-escalate a tense encounter while not giving away their rights.

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!

Our Minds, Their Messages: Understanding the Media’s Impact

Students stand in a circle.

Did you know the average American spends three years of their life watching television commercials? Then add in on-line ads, billboards, magazine ads and messages from family and friends…What impact does this have on us? This interactive workshop will engage participants in a number of activities to discover which people and which bodies are valued by the media.  Attendees will leave with tools they can use for educating others in their schools, families and communities.

Teaching Controversial Topics in the Classroom

Lori Mable leads a workshop on teaching controversial issues.

In an increasingly polarized society, teachers may be hesitant to address or bring controversial topics into their lesson plans for fear of retaliation by parents, school administrators or others.  Discussion of controversial topics in the classroom is necessary for students to explore and address the social issues in their worlds, as well as their schools, and to bring youth-generated solutions to these problems. This workshop provides strategies you can use to bring controversial subjects in your classroom while ensuring they are presented in an even-handed manner that will resonate with students, parents and administrators regardless of their political beliefs.

The Struggle at Standing Rock

A group of students standing in a circle.

Water is life. Few people can disagree that we need water resources to live. So why is there such an uproar in North Dakota about Native American land and water rights? What is the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline really about and why are there so many opinions about what is taking place in this protest? We will explore this topic and the many differing sides of this issue, to include how the First Nations have come to see their place in the scheme of things as the Protectors of the Land.

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.

There is No Racism Problem in America

For the last 23 years Joe has consistently received excellent ratings from those who attended this workshop.  Here are some reactions:  “Freaking awesome!”  “What an eye-opening experience”  “Turned my life around”  You will hear a brutally honest presentation about racism, stereotypes, bullying, leadership, political correctness, family, education, beliefs and more.  Recommended for those who truly celebrate diversity.

What Young Adults Can Do to Prevent Terrorism

Students will have the opportunity to consider and engage in conversation about extremist groups. Radicalization and violent extremism threats are growing across Colorado. Our hope is to help students have the tools to recognize groups who radicalize, how they can identify the threat, and learn about ways to support peers to open social concerns.

Yes, You Can Fight City Hall—Let Us Teach You How

We will teach young people that do not like to accept the answer “because that is the rule” to learn how to change rules that do not make sense or that are unfair. Often rules are set up by people that do not have to live within the rules.

Instead of this cycle, we work to teach people how to change the rules that are causing the problem. When we organize and get a bunch of people together we CAN change City Hall.  Join us to learn how the disability community has been changing city halls all over the country for decades, and tools you can use to advance your cause.

Youth Power + Civic Change

Our democracy is broken, and young people are our future. If we want to achieve equity in our lifetime, we must know how to change the systems that operate in the world. In this workshop we’ll be exploring our identities, learning about power dynamics, and hatching a plan to build youth power to create real change.