YCD is pleased to offer the hard-working teachers of Colorado a new professional development opportunity.

This all-day virtual 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.

The 2020 iteration of the Institute will be focusing on literacy development in the core domains of English/language arts, social studies, math and science, and strategies to nurture literacy within a culturally responsive classroom.

We welcome teachers from both the middle school and high school level to attend the event this year.  The event qualifies for a 1/2 semester credit from the Colorado Department of Education.


This year’s Institute will take place on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

We will start the day with a keynote speaker and a student experience panel before moving into domain-specific breakout sessions. You can explore the schedule for the day in more detail here.

The Institute is being crafted by master teachers who will lead sessions on culturally responsive teaching curriculum, strategies and techniques for:

  • English / Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

This unique format will give teachers in these domains specific ideas on how to take the concepts of culturally responsive pedagogy and apply it within their subject matter area. Read more about the workshop leaders for each of these domain break-out sessions here.

Keynote Speaker Announced

Julia Torres

At this year’s Institute, we’re so excited to hear from Julia Torres on the intersection of literacy development and culturally responsive teaching!

Julia has taught Language Arts for fifteen years. Currently, she is a teacher librarian for the Montbello Campus serving five schools within the Far Northeast region of Denver Public schools. Formerly, a teacher of AP English Language/Literature, Julia has served Colorado Language Arts teachers as the Vice-President and President of the regional NCTE affiliate–The Colorado Language Arts Society.

As a teacher/activist committed to education as a practice of freedom, her practice is grounded in the work of empowering students to use Language Arts to fuel resistance and positive social transformation. Currently, Julia is serving teachers as a 2018-20 Heinemann Fellow, focusing on libraries, digital literacy, and the formation of reading identities among secondary students in urban school districts. Julia is also the current NCTE Secondary-Representative At-Large. In co-operation with The Educator Collaborative, Julia facilitates workshops and professional conversations about anti-bias/anti-racist education, social justice, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in Language Arts, as well as digital literacy and librarianship. Julia serves on several local and national boards and committees promoting educational equity and progressivism.

Julia will also be serving as the session leader for the English/language arts breakout session during the afternoon of the Institute.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be offered virtually via Zoom videoconferencing technology. We hope this change in format will allow teachers from across Colorado and beyond a chance to join us for the experience while maintaining everyone’s safety and health.

Comments from Prior Participants

This conference is just what I needed. I wish all teachers could get the message we’ve heard today.  Today was emotional – but so powerful.  I am grateful beyond belief that I can take part in such a powerful program.  The speakers have empowered me.  I leave today with a full mind and an overflowing heart.  Thank you!  This program will be a great service for many schools.  Please offer more conferences like this one.

Wonderful! Thanks for a very eye-opening session. You provided me with lots of thoughts and strategies I look forward to implementing.

This day was GREAT! It got me thinking about so many things I could be doing and need to do to improve the school community. I wish that we could make something like this possible for all of my colleagues.

Cost and Donations

The YCD Board of Directors is working hard on fundraising to offset the majority of costs for the Institute.  While participation normally would require $200 per person, we are able to offer this unique event to practicing teachers for just $25 per person.  High schools or districts interested in sponsoring the event may also contact us to discuss a flat rate to allow larger groups of teachers to attend.


If you are ready to sign up for this event, head over the Register page to reserve your spot today.