Youth Celebrate Diversity is dedicated to educating and empowering youth in order to advance inclusion and equity for all.

We do this by fostering conferences, workshops, conversations and experiences around human diversity for high school youth.  See below for our calendar of upcoming programs and events.

Cherry Creek Diversity Conference

A volunteer welcomes attendees to the 25th annual Cherry Creek Diversity Conference on Saturday, February 3, 2018.

The premier event of YCD, the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference is the largest diversity event for high school students in Colorado.  Held annually in January or early February, high school students and supportive faculty advisors attend each year to learn about and celebrate diversity, but more importantly to be inspired to make a difference in their local school or community.

At the conference participants hear from a keynote speaker, participate in discussion groups, attend two workshops of their choice and plan with their schools on how to incorporate what they’ve learned into their communities.

While most people associate the word ‘diversity’ with ethnicity or race, the conference deals a wide range of topics including cliques, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental challenges, multicultural art and music, socioeconomic concerns, and teenage social problems.

The conference started in 1994 under the leadership of Janet Sammons, now Chair of the Board of Directors for Youth Celebrate Diversity, when 18 schools gathered for what has grown into the largest diversity event for teenagers in Colorado.  In 2019 the conference celebrated its 26th anniversary with 105 schools and over 1,100 students and teachers in attendance.

Diversity Leadership Institute for Teachers

A group of educators engage in discussion on how to create a diversity-focused school administration.

YCD offers a semi-annual professional development series for educators, the Diversity Leadership Institute for Teachers.

This all-day event:

  • provides in-depth training and workshops focused on how teachers can translate their desire to celebrate diversity into actionable plans in the classroom, around the school and throughout the community
  • features leading voices in education from around Colorado
  • qualifies for a 1/2 CDE credit
  • speaks to the new CDE requirements for culturally and linguistically diverse education credits
  • includes a continental breakfast, catered lunch and afternoon snack

Visit the program home page for more information on the specific focus of the next Institute, as the topics and speakers shift with each iteration.

If you are an educator and are interested in hosting an upcoming Diversity Leadership Institute training for your school and community, please contact us.

Mountain West Diversity Conference

The Mountain West Diversity Conference brings together high school students and teachers from across Colorado’s Western Slope for a unique and powerful experience.

Conference participants will hear from a keynote speaker, participate in discussion groups, attend two workshops of their choice and plan with their schools on how to make their schools or communities a better place for everyone.

While most people associate the word ‘diversity’ with ethnicity or race, the conference deals a wide range of topics including cliques, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental challenges, multicultural art and music, socioeconomic concerns, and teenage social problems.

New Mexico Diversity Conference for Youth

Modeled upon the highly successful statewide event in Colorado, the New Mexico Diversity Conference for Youth is organized by teens and teachers in Albuquerque for the benefit of youth across the state.

This program is unique in that it:

  • is planned by teens for teens
  • brings together youth from public and private, urban and rural, large and small schools across the state
  • features discussion groups led by trained youth facilitators
  • asks participants to brainstorm an empowerment or action project coming out of the experience, to make their school or community more inclusive

This conference celebrated its first installment in 2019 and we are excited to begin the planning process for the second annual event to be held in 2020, with the goal of having 400+ teens and teachers in attendance.

Northern Colorado Diversity Conference

Four teens talk and laugh.

YCD is collaborating with Colorado State University to enhance and improve the previously titled CSU High School Diversity Conference, now to be known as the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference.

This program welcomes teens and teachers from northern Colorado and southern Wyoming to CSU’s campus for a day-long experience that sparks dialogue, insight, empathy and action on diversity and inclusion issues.

Planned entirely by an Executive Committee of teens around the Fort Collins and surrounding areas, this is now an entirely youth-driven program for the benefit of teens across the region.

Rocky Mountain Diversity Fair

Modeled upon a typical college fair, the Rocky Mountain Diversity Fair includes not only colleges and universities, but also non-profit organizations, private corporations, the military and others. Our goal is to offer Colorado teenagers a multitude of options and ideas for their next steps upon graduation from high school.

Unlike a typical college fair, our event asks the exhibitors to specifically share what their schools and organizations are doing to support diversity and inclusion. We invite each college or university to bring not only admission representatives, but also their diversity officer or team to speak directly with high school students about the culture on their campus and in their student body.

Bring YCD to Your State

As a grassroots organization, we want to hear from teens and teachers across the US interested in creating powerful programs around diversity and inclusion for their communities.

Are you excited about the work YCD is doing but live somewhere outside our current programming area? We’re actively working to replicate our youth-driven model in states across the country and want to hear from you!

Please fill out this form to let us know of your interest and we’ll get in touch shortly.