Our view of diversity is all-inclusive.

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

Best of all, the workshops offered at our event each year are chosen by students on the Executive Committee, so that the topics are constantly reflecting the needs, interests and challenges of today’s youth.

Propose a Workshop

Do you have an idea for a good workshop at this event?  We are currently accepting proposals and would love to hear your idea!  Past presenters have included high school students, non-profit organizations, teachers, parents, and interested members of the community.  Share your idea with us today!

Past Workshops

Below is the list of workshops that were available at the 2017 Cherry Creek Diversity Conference.  We will update this page once the workshops for the 2018 conference have been selected.  Use the links to the right to filter workshops based on category or topic.

Youth Homelessness: Why are You not at Home?

Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization that provides full services for youth ages 15-24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. After an overview of homelessness in Colorado, a panel of young people currently experiencing homelessness will share their personal stories about the barriers, struggles, and victories they encounter on a daily basis.  They will also provide suggestions on what you can do to assist teens who may find themselves in similar situations.

A World of Difference

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.

Women Empowered Self-Defense

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!

What is the Big Deal About Indian Mascots?

Why is there still so much debate about using Indigenous people as sports mascots and logos? This workshop will examine a range of different American Indian mascots, symbols, and icons. We will discuss why the use of human beings to represent teams, communities, or brands is so controversial. After covering a brief history of the images used as mascots and logos there will be discussion about existing native mascots and logos. Commentary on native mascots and logos by American Indians and a discussion of recent legal cases will also be included.

Understanding Internal, External and Social Diversity

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.

Subtle Forms of Exclusion

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.

The Struggle at Standing Rock

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.

Social Groups and Stereotypes

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.

Search for the Truth: Exploring Religion

Panel members will discuss why religious communities have more in common than they do differences.  Religious leaders representing major faith communities will participate in this presentation.

Real African Music

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!

Put Down the Backpack

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.

The Psychology of Hate and What You Can Do

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.

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

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.

My Ethics versus Your Values

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!

The Many Hats of Diversity

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.

LGBTQ Facts and Fictions

A student panel from Inside/Out’s Youth Leadership Team will address some of the realities and misconceptions around LGBTQ community. After a quick overview of terminology, we will discuss topics such as gender and sexual diversity, legal concerns, bullying and suicide prevention, and current events in news and media. Students are encouraged to participate in the discussion so that all who attend may help guide the conversation.

Join the Fight for Human Rights

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.

It’s Not Okay to Misrepresent My Culture

Is it wrong to wear a Pocahontas costume for Halloween or wear blackface to mimic a well-known black performer at a school talent show? Is it appropriate for celebrities to wear bindis as a fashion statment? This workshop, led by members of Building Bridges, will engage participants in a series of activities in order to help them understand the cultural perspectives of others while sharing their own ideas and experiences.

Islam and Islamophobia in the US

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.

Hurting vs. Flirting: Do You Know the Difference?

Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of bullying in schools. Being aware of what sexual harassment is and what it is not helps us all to have a better understanding of how to handle this sometimes subtle behavior and how to help others when they are in an uncomfortable situation.

How to Interrupt Bias and Bullying

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.

Honest and Compassionate Dialogue with Self and Others

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.

Embracing Failure as a Way to Grow

This interactive workshop will give insight into real failures and hardship while evaluating the participants’ relationship to failure. Attendees will learn how to embrace failure and use it to gain knowledge. We will discuss strategies on how to take away the negative connotations that surround failure and, instead,  show how failure can be as much of a friend as success can be.

Does Skin Color Really Matter?

This interactive workshop features activities, video clips, and frank and open discussion about the impact skin color has on society. Participants will have an opportunity to examine their views/biases with respect to exclusive and inclusive behavior in dealing with diversity and skin color. It will also provide the basic tools required to discuss this issue and more in a diverse and society.

Deconstructing Masculinity

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.

A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student

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.

Can You Make Yourself Happier?

Students will participate in a discussion on depression, anxiety and stress but with a positive spin. Local psychologists will provide you with some useful strategies on how to boost your happiness quotient!

The Game of Life

This workshop is a simulation where students take on the roles of actual families living at or below the poverty line in the Denver Metro area. Participants will go through a month of what it is like to live on a fixed income and learn about issues related to affordable housing, access to education, generational poverty, and hunger. This game helps to grow empathy and understanding while challenging perspectives of what poverty looks like.

How To: Fight for Gender Equality

So you’re passionate about gender equality. Now what? What can you do to be part of the fight for equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for women and girls in your own community and around the world? It’s easy to feel helpless. Learn the strengths and limitations of social media in the fight for gender equality, and see how you can make a difference in your school, with your group of friends, even in your own home. See how you can help organizations, from your own community, all the way to the United Nations! Individuals, especially young people, carry a tremendous amount of power for equality. Learn how to use it!

Diversity in Medicine

Interested in a career in medicine? Ever wonder about the social and ethical challenges faced by healthcare providers? Want to learn more about the importance of diversity in the healthcare field? In this workshop, a panel of medical students and faculty members from the University of Colorado School of Medicine will present cases that bring up questions of ethics and society in the context of barriers to access. You will have a chance to work alongside current and future healthcare professionals to explore solutions that best serve patients.

I Saw it on Twitter: Bias, Social Media, and Fake News

How can two people in the same school have completely different perceptions of an event that was on the news the night before? Why do people create and share information that turns out to be rumor or misinformation? Why are these rumors are so hard to stop? How can we become responsible consumers and producers of news and information in the digital age?  We will explore the impact of bias, social media, and fake news using parts of Facing History’s “Facing Ferguson” resources by examining traditional/social media coverage of the shooting, the protests that followed and other contemporary sources. We will see how stereotyping, bias, and individual experience influence how people interpret information and will provide participants with tools to tell a reliable source from a questionable or fake source.

The American Dream: How do You Fit In?

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.

Diversity of Perspectives

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.

Phoenix Rising: Empowering Your Creative Genius Through Poetry and Spoken Word

Engage in a dialogue with your subconscious through poetry! You are a creative genius and have the power to transform your life into personal power, hope, and health. Art from Ashes facilitates creative workshops, taking participants through guided writing prompts that will inspire and empower you to find and use your creative voice, and connect with yourself and other people in a new way. You’ll also get to witness an amazing live poetry performance by a professional poet/artist.

Finding Self through Yoga

This workshop will allow students to experience the ancient Indian practice of yoga as they discover ways yoga can benefit them in their daily lives. We will explore techniques for relaxation and stress relief to find peace with ourselves. It is through acceptance of our authentic selves that we can become prepared as vehicles for positive change in our communities and the greater world.

Lest We Forget . . .

We will use storytelling to take a journey through American history from the perspective of the African American woman. The journey begins with slavery and travels into present day America. Racism, hatred, and stereotyping are some of the many topics touched upon in this presentation. We will end with a group discussion on how society has changed–for better or worse–to present day, and the power of one.

Xpress Yourself! Hip Hop, Poetry, and Spoken Word

Step inside this workshop and learn how to express your thoughts and feelings through hip hop, poetry, and spoken word. Give voice to our stories of love, struggle, injustice, and celebration. With our words, we can represent our culture and traditions as we strengthen our minds and better our communities.