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.

Workshops

Below is the list of workshops featured at the 2019 New Mexico Diversity Conference, selected by the conference’s Executive Committee.

Are You as Open-Minded as You Think?

A student listens and smiles.

Join local youth advisers in an exploration of biases, acknowledging both positive and negative aspects of our bias. Small groups will unfold everyday examples of conscious and unconscious bias and stereotypes, and strategies to address them. Participants will engage in activities to learn how to support equity, inclusion and open-mindedness.

Challenging Linguistic Prejudice

Three teen girls talk in a small group.

What assumptions do you have about language diversity? Participants will be asked to reflect on how linguistic prejudice is still largely accepted in society (demonstrated with several current media examples) whereas other types of discrimination are not. The workshop will end with discussing real world consequences of linguistic prejudice, and how this form of prejudice impacts our lives today.

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? A panel of college students will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help conference 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.

Empowering You to Prevent Suicide

A group of students talks and smiles.

In this session, participants will gain insight and information into the risk factors students face when it comes to suicide. We’ll debunk some myths and face some hard truths.  The goal? To feel empowered to support ourselves and one another, working toward prevention of suicide in our community.

Finding Balance in Healthy Relationships and Safe Dating

What are the foundations to create and sustain healthy relationships within your community? This workshop engages directly with youth to have a critical conversation on our connections with our land-base, as well as relations with our peers, culture, and everyday interactions. We will highlight the good and bad energies that come as a result of those interactions, followed by an in-depth discussion on healthy relationships, consent, and types of abuse, with the ultimate goal of community mapping and mobilizing.

A Forum for LGBTQ+ Students

A speaker addresses a room of students.

This session will be an informal discussion which will support LGBTQ+ youth and address the challenges they face in New Mexico today. Allies are welcome to attend, to support, and learn with their LGBTQ peers.

Making Sense of Challenging Decisions

A panel of religious representatives speak.

We are often faced with choosing between seeming opposites, some not as clear as others. Using whole and small group activities, we will explore what the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, says about moving towards equanimity and mindfulness. Hopefully, this text will give participants concrete take-aways when faced with having to make challenging decisions.

Racism and The New Anti-Semitism

Students listen and learn.

We will use the visual metaphor of an iceberg to how people are usually only aware of the most visible manifestations of racism and anti-Semitism. These acts represent only the tip of the iceberg. By exploring the more subtle and common manifestations of anti-Semitism, participants will better understand the causes and how to address them.

Social Justice? Intersectionality? Say What?

Students sit in a circle and discuss.

This workshop is an introduction to what social justice means and how to use intersectionality as a framework for understanding and dismantling forms of oppression. We’ll discuss how to accurately use terms; learn exactly what racism, sexism, cissexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, etc. mean; and how -isms are not a two-way street. There will also be dialogue around the concept of ally-ship and what each of you can do to make a difference. There will be a lot of pictures, some videos, fun activities, and plenty of time to share.

Stress 101: Stay Calm and Carry On

A group of Latinx students sits on the stairs and smiles.

Stress—it’s something teens deal with every day, and it doesn’t go away when we become adults. From the pressure of getting good grades in school to dealing with difficult times in our families, it helps to have tools that help us stay calm in the midst of chaos. Participants in this workshop will generate discussion about this topic and gain insight from shared experience. We will also learn hands-on strategies to take better care of ourselves on a daily basis so that when life gets tough, we can get through it and carry on.

Transforming Conflict into Peace

A student smiles in the middle of a conversation.

How do we resolve conflict—in ourselves, with others, and in the systems and structures we have to engage with every day? Attendees will turn their lens inward to feel what might be happening in their bodies and mind, as well as outward to check-in with where the big conflicts are in their personal and collective landscapes.  Then, we’ll collectively build a foundational approach to transforming conflict into peace.

Using Kindness to Create Community

Two students smile.

How do you bring your community together? How do you create opportunities to talk to one another? Learn how you can inspire relationships through Kindness Clubs challenges and activities. Experience the 1,000 Thank Yous CHALLENGE, the Community Gratitude Tree, the We All Have a Voice! DREAM Wall. Participants will personally experience each activity. They will learn the step-by-step process to use each to connect and celebrate the diverse voices in their own community.

Using Personal Narrative to Decolonize Our Hearts and Minds

Students listen as another person talks.

Participants will share and breakdown the personal narratives that we all hold, starting with our names (where it comes from, what it means) and moving outward to how we talk about ourselves. Finally, we look at how institutions like media, schools, politics, etc. create narratives about young people. This workshop is an exercise in how to identify, deconstruct, and rebuild narratives for truth, power, and decolonization.

Youth Activism 101

Youth are not only our future, they are actively shaping our world today. Young people have a long history of being on the vanguard of social change movements. Our democracy is broken, and young people are leading the fight to transform it. If we want to achieve equity in our lifetime, youth must know how to change the corrupt and unjust systems that we already operate in. In this workshop we’ll be providing the proper tools and language to learn what it takes to create long lasting change in systems and organizations that are built on prejudice.

Youth Homelessness in New Mexico

Two students engaged in a discussion.

After an overview of homelessness in New Mexico, we’ll discuss different factors that commonly lead to teens and young people living on the streets.  We then will use role playing and real-life scenarios to consider how we can make a difference in the lives of homeless people we encounter.  Most of all, we’ll talk about shifting everyone’s perspectives to see homeless people as people first.  Inclusion means all of us, including the homeless.