Join hundreds of teens and teachers from across Colorado on Saturday, January 28, 2023, for a unique and powerful day planned entirely by and for students.
At its inception, eighteen schools gathered for what has now grown into the largest diversity and inclusion conference in the state of Colorado. In 2022 we were pleased to have 89 schools and organizations participating, with a total attendance over 800. 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: At this time we are optimistic about holding an in-person conference at the end of January 2023. As the date nears, and as the situation changes, we will update this website.
Proudly underwritten by
The YCD Colorado Student Board thrilled to announce Lachi as the keynote speaker for the 30th annual Colorado Youth Diversity Conference!
Lachi is an award winning creative artist and prolific EDM singer-songwriter whose works have debuted on national dance charts and editorial lists, amassing millions of streams, and finding placements on TV, radio and feature film. Being legally blind, Lachi advocates for disability inclusion, equity and accessibility in the music and entertainment industries.
The host of new digital series from PBS’ American Masters “Renegade,” Lachi explores the contributions of people with disabilities and how they transformed America. As well, Lachi hosts a YouTube series “OffBeat” which documents her journey as she loses her vision–speaking with disabled celebrities and checking off bucket-list items. Lachi sits on the Recording Academy’s advocacy committee, the Leadership Council of the NORA project, which advocates for Disability Education in K-12, and is Founder of RAMP’D, a coalition of accredited Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities.
Named a “Blind Influencer” by Influencive and a “Badass” by longtime civil rights advocate Judy Heumann, Lachi has also been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, American Songwriter and Music Tech Magazine among others for her work bringing disability inclusion in music and entertainment into mainstream discussion, and for her brand of unapologetic disability pride.
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
Venue and Directions
The Colorado Youth Diversity Conference will be hosted by Cherry Creek High School; you can find directions to the event on Google Maps here. Make sure you enter the campus at the intersection of Yosemite Street and Campus Drive. You can also download a PDF copy of directions here. The Cherry Creek High School campus is very large and has multiple entrances, not all of which will lead you to the right place. Please follow these directions to ensure you enter campus and park in the right spot.
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 / 8:00 – 8:45 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.
Diversity Fair / 8:00 – 9:30 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.
Breakfast / 8:00 – 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
Workshop B / 1:30 – 2:40 pm
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.
The 40+ workshops offered at the Conference each year are chosen by the YCD Colorado Student Board, so that the topics are constantly reflecting the needs, interests, and challenges facing Colorado teens.
Travel and Lodging
In general, school groups within a 3-hour drive of the Denver Metro area can attend the event without requiring overnight stays.
For groups coming from further away, YCD has negotiated a hotel room block with the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center, located just a few blocks from the venue. The room block covers check-in on Friday, January 27, 2023 and check-out the next day on Saturday, January 28 (the day of the conference). Rooms available include:
- 1 standard king bed (sleeps 2, includes free parking): $109/room
- 2 double beds (sleeps 4, includes free parking): $109/room
To reserve a room at the above rates, visit this link on the Hilton Garden Inn website.
To join us at the Colorado Youth Diversity Conference, sign up your school or youth organization for YCD! Click the link below to get started.
For more information about the YCD Colorado Student Board, contact either organizer for the program:
Organizer – YCD Colorado
Organizer – YCD Colorado
For questions about registration, payment, or anything else, contact YCD’s Executive Director: