Join us for a day of reflection, professional development and fun.

We’ve asked teachers like yourself what opportunities and information they are missing about diversity-related issues to become leaders in their schools, and crafted the Diversity Leadership Institute around what we heard back. We’ve also consulted with professors from the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education as well as the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s School of Education to ensure the content is rigorous while being actionable at the same time.

Below is an outline of the schedule for the day.

Arrival and Parking

7:30 – 8:00 am

The Institute will take place this year in the Plaza Building, Rooms M204/206 on the campus of Metropolitan State University of Denver. The closest parking area is the 7th Street Garage off of 7th Street and Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus downtown. The Plaza Building is a short 5 minute walk.  Parking for the day costs $10.

We urge everyone to arrive no later than 7:45 am to ensure you have time to park your car and find the event.  You can find directions on this website.

A registration table and nametags.

Welcome and Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 am

Registration will take a matter of seconds, where we will pass out materials for the day, including a notebook and pen to take notes and write reflections.  We will also provide a light breakfast, including bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit and muffins, as well as water and coffee for every participant.  After gathering breakfast items, we will welcome attendees and review the day’s schedule as a group.  We will start the day at 8:00 am sharp, so please arrive no later than 7:45 am.

Caleb Munro welcomes attendees from the podium.

Featured Speaker

8:30 – 10:30 am

This year’s featured speaker will be Dr. Maria Salazar, professor of education from the University of Denver, who will dive deeply into how to become a culturally responsive educator within the classroom as well as on a school-wide basis.  Dr. Salazar addressed our audience last year to rave reviews and attendees asking for more time with her, so we have extended the session to allow for dialogue, discussion and practical examples of how to make your classroom culturally responsive.

Maria Salazar addresses a group of teachers.

Workshop Sessions

10:45 – 11:45 am / 11:50 am – 1:00 pm / 1:05 – 2:05 pm

After hearing from the featured speaker, we will spend the remainder of the day split into smaller groups of 15-20 individuals, each attending a breakout session led by a trained facilitator on a unique topic. Every attendee will attend every workshop at some point during the day, and attendees will eat lunch in their second workshop session.

This year’s workshop topics will include:

Teaching Controversial Topics in the Classroom

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.  YCD strongly believes that 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. We’re devoting one of our workshop sessions specifically to 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.

Restorative Justice as a Disciplinary Model

YCD stands for using education to advance equity for all, yet too many students are prevented from proper learning environments due to school violence, classroom disruptions or other incidents. With a goal of ensuring a safe school environment for every student, we see a strong need to revolutionize how discipline is administered in schools—particularly schools serving at-risk populations. This workshop will present one model, Restorative Justice, as a potential solution to these issues that has worked well in numerous schools and stresses equity, dialogue and reconciliation.

Creating a Diversity-Focused School Administration

Not all teachers are fortunate to work with school administrators who understand the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity in their schools, yet administrators are a necessary partner to drive change in your school or district. This workshop will present tried and true methods of attracting the support of your school’s administration in broadening the reach and impact of diversity work in your community.


A group of teachers sit around a table listening to a presentation.

Discussion Groups

2:10 – 3:30 pm

After hearing from our featured speaker and attending three workshops, attendees will enter a discussion group of 15-20 fellow teachers, to absorb and discuss the content of the day.  These sessions will be led by trained discussion leaders, and give attendees the chance to share the challenges they face in their schools or communities, as well as their ideas on how to address these issues leveraging the strategies presented throughout the day.  The overall goal of this session is to give each teacher a chance to reflect and come up with next steps after the Institute has ended.

Two teachers in discussion.

Action Items, Evaluations and Closing Remarks

3:40 – 4:30 pm

We will end the day back in one large group discussing and creating personal action plans for every teacher based on the lessons of the Institute, sharing a few thank yous and reminders, and finally providing each participant with a certificate of attendance that can be used to apply for 1/2 Colorado Department of Education (CDE) semester credit.