Colorado Youth Diversity Conference

Join hundreds of teens and teachers from across Colorado on the weekend of January 30-31, 2021, for a unique and powerful experience planned entirely by and for students.

Student mariachi band performs

At its inception, eighteen schools gathered for the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference — now named the Colorado Youth Diversity Conference — which 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 program 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.

Proudly presented by

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


The Conference will take place over the weekend of January 30-31, 2021. The Student Executive Committee felt this was the best choice as we adapt to a virtual experience, and to avoid exhausting attendees with virtual sessions over a single day. Activities will start at 11am and end at 2pm each day.

Click on any activity to expand that section and learn more.

Opening Ceremonies and Saturday Keynote: Saturday, January 30 / 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rochelle Kimbrell

Opening Ceremonies begin with several student performances, as well as welcome speeches by the conference student co-chairs. 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.

Performances and Lunch at Home: Saturday, January 30 / 12:00 – 12:30 pm
The Reminders

While attendees prepare and eat their own lunch at home, the Conference will feature energizing musical and cultural performances to watch casually. Previous performances have included hip hop duo The Reminders and experimental rap band The Flobots.

Discussion Groups: Saturday, January 30 / 12:30 – 2:00 pm

The first interactive session of the Conference 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. While students are in their discussion groups, faculty advisors meet to have professional development workshops on teaching for equity and social justice.

Workshop A: Sunday, January 31 / 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Effley Brooks leading a workshop on ethics and values.

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

Performances and Lunch at Home: Sunday, January 31 / 12:05 – 12:35 pm
The Flobots

While attendees prepare and eat their own lunch at home, the Conference will feature energizing musical and cultural performances to watch casually. Previous performances have included hip hop duo The Reminders and experimental rap band The Flobots.

Workshop B: Sunday, January 31 / 12:35 – 1:35 pm
Students stand in a circle listening to a workshop presenter.

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

Closing Ceremonies and Sunday Keynote: Sunday, January 31 / 1:40 – 2:00 pm
Dolores Huerta standing beside students.

New this year in a virtual environment, we will feature a second keynote speech by a high-profile speaker to wrap up the Conference on Sunday and to motivate attendees to take the experience with them as they make positive change.


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
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.

Members of the 2020-21 Student Executive Committee for this program are listed below.

D’Evelyn HS

Kent Denver School

Eagle Valley HS

Cherry Creek HS

Berthoud HS


Crested Butte HS


Dawson School

Frederick HS

Denver Center for International Studies

Mountain Vista HS


Ponderosa HS


Cherry Creek HS

Eaglecrest HS

Smoky Hill HS

Cherry Creek HS

St. Mary’s Academy

Fort Collins HS

Jeffco Open School

Cherry Creek HS

Overland HS

SkyView Academy


Brighton HS


Cherry Creek HS


Colorado Academy


D’Evelyn HS


Eaglecrest HS

Student Facilitators

YCD will provide free training to over 60 students to co-manage student discussion groups on the first day of the Conference.  After attending mandatory training sessions, facilitators are paired and assigned discussion groups with approximately 25 students from around the state.  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 virtually 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.


Organize your delegation and reserve tickets.

  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 reserve 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.

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


Process payment.

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 and to provide honorariums for the many speakers who share their wisdom and knowledge with attendees.

  • Early-bird tickets purchased before December 1 are $15 per person
  • Standard tickets purchased on or after December 1 are $20 per person

These ticket prices are a 35% reduction in our ticket costs from last year. We made these changes in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, as well as a change in our costs by going virtual. We hope this reduction will enable students and educators from all backgrounds to join the Conference this year.

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 YCD cancels the event for any reason, we’ll credit your account so you can apply the ticket fees to a future YCD event.


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.

Reserve Your Tickets Today

If you’re ready to proceed, click the button below to reserve tickets for the 2021 Colorado Youth 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 $30,000 from the community to make this program a success. Please consider a donation or sponsorship to support these teens’ efforts.


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


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
  • Meet and greet with student co-chairs
  • 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
  • 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

Dr. Kinette Richards

Kinette Richards

Organizer – Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
(720) 747-3112

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

Caleb Munro

Caleb Munro

Executive Director
Denver, Colorado
(720) 507-0746