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.

2019 Workshops

Below is the list of workshops that will be featured at the 2019 Mountain West Diversity Conference, as chosen by the event’s student Executive Committee.

You can also download a PDF version of the workshop options here.

Conflict Resolution Do’s and Don’ts

Students in discussion.

How do you deal with difficult people? In this interactive workshop you will learn effective and practical techniques for conflict resolution that you can apply at school, work, and home. Learn how to approach conflict through role plays and real life scenarios.

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? Students and allies will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help 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.

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.

Healthy Masculinity

Students in discussion.

What does it mean to “be a man” or to “man up”? How did these expectations get created, and are they healthy for us and our relationships? What happens when we don’t meet these expectations? This workshop will explore how young men can work together toward healthy masculinity in their families, schools and communities. Everyone is welcome to attend this workshop, but we encourage men and boys to attend in particular for a dynamic, interactive discussion.

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.

Including Students with Disabilities

We all can and should do better to include students with disabilities, both in the classroom and socially. But how?  This workshop will feature open dialogue to explore strategies for being more inclusive in every aspect of our lives. We will explore physical, developmental and invisible disabilities and how we can become allies for the disabled community.

Navigating Difficult Decisions

We are often faced with choosing between seeming opposites, some not as clear as others. Using whole and small group activities, we will explore strategies you can use to make decisions in a healthy and balanced way that builds self-confidence.

Owning Your Story: A Workshop for LGBTQ+ Students

Students stand around a table writing messages.

“When we deny the story it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave ending.”

In this workshop we will take time to celebrate our stories, who we are, where we come from and the shared experience/realities of identifying as LGBTQ+ people. Come to this workshop ready to listen, contribute and support one another. Your story matters!

Restorative Justice 101

Students sit in a circle talking.

We will practice a community building circle, and discuss the unique and dynamic ways circles are used in schools to change climate and culture. You will then do a brief activity that demonstrates the influence of perspective. You will learn how restorative practices eliminate the power differential between people, which creates equity in conflict and discipline situations. The training is interactive, relevant, and fun.

Self-Love + Body Positivity

We will have a realistic and informative discussion around body image and body positivity for teens and adults. Participants will explore the impact body image has on self-esteem, examine how external factors such as media trends shape how we see ourselves and build awareness to how these trends shape unrealistic expectations. Give yourself permission to drop societal expectations and learn to relate to your body with kindness, improve your self-image, and develop sustainable, positive self-care behaviors with practical wellness tools that promote confidence and self-love.

Slam Poetry for Teens

Attendees join Ara Cruz from Cafe Cultura for a spoken poetry workshop.

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.

Water, Health and Justice in the Western Slope

A student listens to a speaker talk about becoming homeless and how to survive.

Vulnerable communities across the Western Slope are living with inadequate access to clean water, in a country where we typically can rely on our utilities. Why is this an issue, who is affected and what can be done about it?  Join a local journalist from the Vail Valley who has worked to undercover the story behind water inequality in the region.

You Too? Questions and Discussion about #MeToo

A group of teens discuss.

Participants will explore common questions, misunderstandings, and the on-going conversation around the #MeToo movement. What is sexual harassment? How does it show up in your lives? How did our culture get here and where do we want to go now?

Youth Activism in the Western Slope

Students sit in a circle and discuss.

Over the summer, student interns with the West Slope Youth Vote (WSYV) program worked hard to develop a Western Youth Issues Report. This report focuses on connecting youth to Colorado bills that directly impact high school-aged students and their legislators that voted on them. But it also engages students by asking what issues matter most to them. Through this dynamic and interactive workshop, students will brainstorm issues and ways they could ask elected officials to take action to address these needs. The issues identified will be carried to the Capitol by WSYV interns to represent youth on the Western Slope.