You’re invited to join us for the 1st annual New Mexico Diversity Conference on Saturday, April 6, 2019!
YCD is excited to announce plans for the first annual New Mexico Diversity Conference, for students from rural and urban, large and small, public and private high schools throughout New Mexico to come together, discuss the social issues impacting them and make their communities safe for everyone. The event will be held at Manzano High School in Albuquerque.
While most people associate the word ‘diversity’ with ethnicity or race, the conference deals a wide range of topics including cliques, religion and interfaith dialogue, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and abilities, multicultural art and music, socioeconomic concerns, and teenage social problems. See our list of workshops to get an idea of the topics covered by this unique event.
The conference’s goals remain the same across all YCD events, though each conference itself changes dynamically each year under the guidance of our Executive Committee, a group of some twenty students from across the Albuquerque Metro area who volunteer their time, select workshop topics and speakers, and undergo a deeper exploration of diversity and social issues throughout the year. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, learn more here about this unique opportunity and sign up today!
Our goals are to:
- Promote diversity and understanding within and among students attending New Mexico’s public and private high schools;
- Focus on any issue that might impact a student’s ability to achieve academically or socially, both in and out of the school setting;
- Provide an opportunity for students from public and private, large and small, urban and rural schools to share ideas in a cooperative atmosphere;
- Establish a supportive network of students, faculty and administrators committed to carrying out these goals; and
- Empower participants to speak out or take action in their local schools and communities and increase tolerance and appreciation of diversity.
Keynote Speaker Announced
The student Executive Committee planning this conference are excited to announce Native poet Tanaya Winder will be their keynote speaker on April 6!
Tanaya Winder is a poet, vocalist, writer, educator, and motivational speaker from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She received a BA in English from Stanford University and after completing her MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico, she co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, a literary magazine publishing works by Indigenous women and women of color. In 2015, she co-founded the Sing Our Rivers Red traveling earring exhibit to raise awareness about murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Her advocacy also includes working with Native youth and reservation communities as the Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Upward Bound program, which serves approximately 103 Native youth from across the country. She is a 2016 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40” list of emerging American Indian leaders recipient and a 2017 First Peoples Fund Artists in Business Leadership fellows. Her debut poetry collection Words Like Love was published in 2015 and her chapbook Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless was released in 2017. She believes in creating the spaces that are needed in this world and so she founded an Indigenous artists management company and collective called Dream Warriors, where they can uplift and empower others. Learn more about her work at www.tanayawinder.com.
Who Should Attend
The New Mexico Diversity Conference is open to all high school students and supportive teachers/adults from across New Mexico. In particular, this event is a great opportunity for groups such as:
- Diversity or multicultural student clubs
- Student councils
- Peace/conflict resolution-focused organizations, including PeaceJam and Interact
- Religious student organizations interested in exploring interfaith dialogue and positive social change
- Clubs celebrating specific student ethnicities, including Black Student Alliances, Latinx or Hispanic student clubs, Native/Indigenous student clubs and others
- Gender/sexuality-focused student groups, including gay-straight alliances (GSAs)
- Female empowerment student clubs
- Peer counselors
- Deaf and blind students and their allies, including ASL signing clubs
- Creative writing and performance student groups, including poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, dance and other clubs
- Students from a local youth organization, even if they attend different schools
- ANY group of teens interested in improving their school’s culture or making a positive change in their community
Note each group is required to be chaperoned by at least one adult or teacher, who we call their “faculty advisor.” This adult is responsible for registering the school to attend, resolving payment and chaperoning the group on the day of the event. As the conference date nears, we will collect names and workshop choices from individual attendees.
As part of YCD’s commitment to empowering students to improve their local schools and communities, our program now asks all participating schools and youth organizations to brainstorm, conduct and report on a project after the conference.
We provide each school group with time at the end of the event to meet and discuss what they experienced throughout the day, but more importantly to brainstorm a project or activities inspired by the conference. These projects can take a variety of forms and should be determined by the students of each school.
Some examples and ideas include:
- Bringing in a guest speaker and inviting others throughout the school to an upcoming club meeting
- Conducting a community service project
- Watching a film that highlights issues relevant to students, followed by a discussion
- Passing new resolutions at a Student Council meeting
- Meeting with school or local government officials to advocate for changes needing support from administration
- Starting a diversity club
- Hosting a diversity conference for the school’s entire student body
- Creating a skit on a social issue and performing for local middle or elementary school students
- Or any other project you can think of!
We will ask each school attending the 2019 New Mexico Diversity Conference to report back on their plan within 6 weeks after the conference. YCD can assist schools with finding appropriate guest speakers, connecting you to local organizations, or even providing microgrants for costs involved with the project. Once the project is completed, we also ask for your group to conduct some form of evaluation to measure the impact or outcome of the initiative.
If you have any questions or concerns about this empowerment project requirement for attending the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are a student or teacher from a school that has signed up to come to the event, you can proceed to select your workshops for the conference here.