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 from you! Past presenters have included high school students, non-profit organizations, teachers, parents, and interested members of the community. Propose your workshop idea here.


Below is the list of workshops that took place at the 2017 Mountain West Diversity Conference. We will post the updated list of workshops for the 2018 event as the workshops are identified and confirmed by the event’s Executive Committee.

Challenging Inequities as Educators

Hayley Breden leads a workshop on challenging inequities as educators.

In this workshop, we will have an open and honest discussion among educators (all adults who work with young people) as we work towards three main goals:

  • Develop our equity and diversity vocabularies so that we can effectively work for justice
  • Create and use time to reflect, learn, and grow in our own work to support all students
  • Learn about and share resources that will help us to challenge inequities and value all students

This workshop will be informative, reflective, and solutions-oriented.  Join your colleagues for an insightful session!

Character Counts: Not Judging People

Let’s have a discussion about students who may be “different” than their peers. Using a hands-on demonstration, we will also talk about not labeling ourselves or one another. Not judging people is harder than it may seem; do you have what it takes?

Come Roll in My Shoes: A Day in the Life of Someone with a Disability

It is impossible to truly know what anyone else is going through – including people with disabilities.  However, we can get a better perspective by exploring different challenges commonly found in high school.  Participants will engage in several activities that explore what it is like to have autism, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, and others.  This workshop is perfect for those wishing to learn more about how to support these students in their own school or those thinking of a career working with people who face physical/mental challenges.

Deconstructing Identity

What are the components of your identity?  How does this compare to others, and what can we learn by understanding the different components of our identities?  Join this workshop to explore these questions and more in an interactive format.

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.

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.

Men and Women: Breaking down the Stereotypes

Joyce Bignell addresses a room of students.

Despite confrontation, gender stereotypes still remain a heavy influence in culture today through politics, media, sports, and daily interactions. In this workshop students will learn how to confront the stereotypes that play an underlying role in male-female relations.

Self-Care Starts with You

Kimber Howe leads a group of students through a self-care workshop.

Self-care is a very active and powerful choice to engage or disengage in activities that are essential to maintain your optimal level of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

In this interactive self-care workshop you will experience relaxing yoga and meditation techniques and explore the benefits of the body, mind, and spirit connection. You will gain the ability to assess your habits in your current daily routine, create new habits and strengthen existing habits to maximize your happiness and your productivity, while minimizing anxiety and stress.

Bring your favorite yoga mat, a positive attitude and an open heart. Yoga mats are not required, but recommended.

There is No Racism Problem in America

For the last 23 years Joe has consistently received excellent ratings from those who attended this workshop.  Here are some reactions:  “Freaking awesome!”  “What an eye-opening experience”  “Turned my life around”  You will hear a brutally honest presentation about racism, stereotypes, bullying, leadership, political correctness, family, education, beliefs and more.  Recommended for those who truly celebrate diversity.

Transgender 101 and Beyond

How do we talk about gender? It isn’t simple when a transgender or gender non-conforming person expresses their real feelings. This workshop will discuss the gender spectrum through terminology, games, and personal stories. We’ll go from blue to pink and girl to boy and back.