Cherry Creek Diversity Conference

Join hundreds of teens and teachers from across Colorado on Saturday, January 30, 2021, for a unique and powerful day planned entirely by and for students.

Student mariachi band performs

At its inception, eighteen schools gathered for what has now grown into the largest diversity and inclusion conference in the state of Colorado. In 2020 we were pleased to have 101 schools and organizations participating, with a total attendance over 1,100. This day-long conference is the only statewide conference dealing with issues of diversity and inclusion entirely planned by and for students.

COVID-19 Update: Due to restrictions on in-person gatherings, we have made the decision to move forward with the 2021 Conference as a virtual experience. We will update this website as planning continues.

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Past Keynote Speakers

The keynote speaker for the Conference is selected each year by the Student Executive Committee. We’ll announce it here when finalized; in the meantime, here is a list of the incredible and inspiring people who have addressed attendees for the past 27 years.

Who Should Attend

The Conference is open to all high school students and supportive teachers/adults from across Colorado. 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 Alliance, Latinx or Hispanic student clubs, Native/Indigenous student clubs and others
  • Gender/sexuality-focused student groups, including gay-straight alliances
  • Female empowerment student clubs
  • Peer counselors
  • Deaf students and their allies, including ASL signing clubs
  • Disabled students from all backgrounds
  • 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

Schedule

We fill the conference day with numerous opportunities for students and teachers to discuss, engage and explore the topics that are most important to them. Click any portion of the day below for more information. You can also download a printable version of the day’s schedule.

Arrival and Parking / 7:30 – 8:30 am

We urge everyone to arrive as early as possible.  If your group is not traveling to the event together, agree on a specific time to arrive as a group in advance. Note attendees are required to enter the campus off Yosemite Street and Campus Drive; you can find directions to the event here.  Once parked, follow the balloons to enter the West Building near the clock tower.

Rocky Mountain Diversity Fair / 7:30 – 10:30 am

Each year we invite dozens of colleges, universities, post-graduate programs and the military to join us the morning of the conference for the Rocky Mountain Diversity Fair.  On their way to breakfast, attendees will walk past the tables with representatives who are available to speak with high school students about their commitment to diversity. Students and faculty advisors may take as much time at the Diversity Fair as interested. The Diversity Fair is also free and open to the public! Find more information here about this event, including a list of colleges and organizations attending.

Breakfast / 7:30 – 9:00 am

We provide a light breakfast, including bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit and muffins, as well as water.  Participants are then ushered as a school group to the main auditorium to register.

Registration and Morning Entertainment / 8:30 – 9:30 am

Faculty advisors register their schools as they enter the Fine Arts building; registration takes a matter of minutes. Each school receives a packet containing materials for the conference day, including nametags. An emcee and various student groups from around the state keep participants entertained as we get closer to starting the formal program. Past performers include the Chatfield Jump Rope Club, Northglenn Step Team, the Denver East Angels Drum Line and the Kalama Polynesian Dancers.

Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Speech / 9:30 – 10:20 am

Opening Ceremonies begin with welcome speeches by the conference student co-chairs and educational leaders. Each year the Student Executive Committee works hard to identify and invite a notable public speaker to address conference attendees. In 2020 we were addressed by Lt. Col. Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, the first Black female jet fighter pilot in U.S. history.

Discussion Groups and Lunch / 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

The first interactive session of the conference day involves informal group discussions of students from all over the state led by trained student facilitators. Students have an opportunity to speak their mind about the social issues they are facing in their schools and communities, and hear from other students from across the state who may be facing similar or different issues. Lunch is served at this time as well. While students are in their discussion groups, faculty advisors meet to have professional development workshops on teaching for equity and social justice.

Workshop A / 12:10 – 1:20 pm

Students and faculty advisors attend a workshop of their choice, chosen in advance.  See a list of workshops offered here.

Workshop B / 1:30 – 2:40 pm

Both students and faculty advisors attend a second workshop of their choice, chosen in advance. See a list of workshops offered here.

Action Planning Meetings / 2:50 – 3:20 pm

All attendees meet back with their schools or organizations for a brainstorming discussion on creating an action project for the second semester. Each school is free to identify whatever issue is most pressing to be addressed, and YCD provides support and guidance as students plan, enact, and evaluate their project.

Closing Ceremonies / 3:30 – 4:00 pm

We finish the day by giving out a community award, viewing a video montage, and hearing from an exceptional musical performer.

Workshops

The 40+ workshops offered at the Conference each year are chosen by the Student Executive Committee, so that the topics are constantly reflecting the needs, interests, and challenges facing Colorado teens.

Below is the partial list of workshops that took place at the 2020 Conference.  We will post the updated list of workshops for the 2021 event no later than January 2, 2021. Hover over any slide to pause the animation.

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.

Partners, Allies and Accomplices

YCD is proud to work with dozens of local, authentic non-profit organizations and community groups to provide workshops and education for our programs. Below is a representative list of the organizations that have presented at the Conference recently.

Creative Strategies for Change
Black Actors Guild
Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking
Art from Ashes
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Children's Hospital Colorado
Building Bridges
ADL
ACLU of Colorado

Student Executive Committee

As with all YCD conferences and events, the Conference is planned entirely by the Student Executive Committee, a team of some 20-30 students from a wide variety of high schools and identities. While the conference’s goals do not change year to year, every other detail is planned by this group of dedicated volunteers.

We also take the group through a variety of bonding exercises, to explore their own identity as well as learn about others in the group. Student Executive Committee members also have a chance to participate in several workshops on different diversity-related topics leading up to the conference.

The committee is open to all high school students willing to devote the time to make the Conference a success. This year’s Committee will meet mostly in virtual spaces, so students from across Colorado can participate. There will be a small number of in-person meetings in Denver, depending on the health situation at the time, as the event nears.

The deadline to apply for the Student Executive Committee has now passed. We will send notifications of decisions in the next few days, and will announce members of the Committee on this page soon!

Student Facilitators

YCD will provide free training to over 60 students to co-manage student discussion groups on the morning of the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference.  After attending mandatory training sessions, facilitators are paired and assigned discussion groups with approximately 25 students from around the state on the conference day.  Discussions can include any number of topics, including an exploration of stereotypes, bias, social problems, and sharing solutions and ideas to make schools across Colorado safe for all identities.

YCD Certificate

New this year, YCD will be providing student facilitator training virtually, so that students from across Colorado can gain these valuable skills. To become a facilitator for the Conference, attend five virtual training sessions before the Conference day to gain YCD’s Student Facilitation Certificate.

Note trained facilitators must attend the Conference in person on Saturday, January 30, 2021 in order to fulfill their duties.

If you’re a high school student and interested in taking this leadership role, click the button below to find upcoming virtual training sessions.

Tickets and Registration

Our process for registration has changed from years past, so please read this message even if you have attended before.

1

Organize your delegation.

  1. Pick a group leader. This could be an adult faculty advisor who sponsors your club, or it could be your club’s student president or chairperson. This person will receive all email updates about the event, and needs to be responsible for acting upon them.
  2. Determine how many people you want to bring to the event, including students and adults. You do not need to identify specific attendee names when you purchase tickets, just a number of spots you want at the event.
  3. Different clubs at the same school can register independently; don’t make the process more complicated by taking responsibility for more than just your group. You can always collaborate on transportation and other items separately.

Also, everyone needs a ticket to attend, including adults. One ticket = one student or adult attending the event.

2

Purchase your tickets online.

We work hard to make this experience low-cost for everyone to enjoy, but must charge for tickets to cover the costs of putting on a large-scale conference. Ticket fees cover breakfast, lunch, a snack, materials for the day, and the amazing knowledge and insight shared by the dozens of presenters and performers.

Payment is made online when you register using a credit card or a bank transfer. If your group would like to register but cannot pay using a credit card or bank transfer, contact us to work out other arrangements.

  • Standard tickets are $30 per person, but we have two discounts available, and yes, you can quality for both!
  • Clubs that have registered with YCD (it’s easy!) automatically get $5 off per ticket.
  • Early-bird tickets purchased before November 23 are also $5 off per ticket.

Scholarships are available. If your group doesn’t have the money for tickets to attend the event, please contact us to discuss options. We’ll do everything we can to have everyone join us regardless of ability to pay.

Sales are final, and unfortunately refunds cannot be offered. If weather prevents your group from attending the Conference, or if YCD cancels the event for any reason, we’ll credit your account so you can apply the ticket fees to a future YCD event.

3

Have each participant select their workshops for the event.

Throughout Fall 2020 the Student Executive Committee will be reviewing and approving workshop proposals from members of the community.  

No later than January 2, 2021, we will post the official list of workshops for the event on this website. At that same time, we will email each group leader with a registration code to provide to each attendee.

Every attendee will need to visit this website and pick their workshops for the event, as well as notify us of any dietary or mobility restrictions.

Get Your Tickets Today

If you’re ready to proceed, click the button below to register your club or group for the 2021 Cherry Creek Diversity Conference.

Donations and Sponsorship

The Student Executive Committee is working hard to plan the 2021 Conference, but could use your support. We need to raise a total of $25,000 from the community to make this program a success. Please consider a donation or sponsorship to support these teens’ efforts.

Donations

Individuals may donate online using the form below. Donations will be directed specifically to support this program.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships are available for businesses and organizations at a wide variety of levels and come with significant benefits to show attendees your support of their cause:

Gold Sponsor: $1,000+

  • Full-page advertisement in the Conference program distributed to all participants
  • Tour during Conference day by student co-chairs
  • Info table for participants to browse during arrival
  • Prominent display of logo on Conference website
  • Mention in post-event email blast to all participants
  • Mention of sponsorship over YCD social media channels

Silver Sponsor: $500+

  • Half-page advertisement in the Conference program distributed to all participants
  • Info table for participants to browse during arrival
  • Invitation to attend Opening Ceremonies
  • Display of logo on Conference website
  • Mention of sponsorship over YCD social media channels

Bronze Sponsor: $250+

  • Quarter-page advertisement in the Conference program distributed to all participants
  • Invitation to attend Opening Ceremonies
  • Mention on Conference website

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, or to make your pledge, please contact us.

Contact Info

For more information about the Student Executive Committee, contact either organizer for the program:

Savanna Depew

Savanna Depew

Organizer – Colorado
Denver, Colorado
(214) 738-6228
sdepew@ycdiversity.org

Dr. Kinette Richards

Kinette Richards

Organizer – Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
(720) 747-3112
krichards@ycdiversity.org

For questions about registration, payment, or anything else, contact YCD’s Executive Director:

Caleb Munro

Caleb Munro

Executive Director
Denver, Colorado
(720) 507-0746
cmunro@ycdiversity.org