Join hundreds of teens and teachers from across New Mexico on April 29, 2023 for a unique and powerful day planned entirely by and for students.
Teens from large and small, urban and rural, public and private schools across New Mexico are invited to join the 5th annual New Mexico Diversity Conference for Youth, to be held in Albuquerque on Saturday, April 29, 2023. This is a unique opportunity for students fighting for inclusion and social justice to come together, learn from experts on a variety of issues, and brainstorm projects to improve their schools and communities.
If you are a student or educator ready to join us, select your workshops for the conference here!
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The YCD New Mexico Student Board is thrilled to announce Lily Joy Winder will serve as the keynote speaker at the conference!
Lily Joy Winder never wants another child to experience the racism she faced while growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In a predominately white and upper middle class high school, Winder said she experienced blatant prejudice from her classmates. Winder began posting on TikTok in the summer of 2019. Within months, her humorous high-school related videos began to go viral, and she decided to shift the focus of her content to something that she knew she cared deeply about. Since then, Winder’s TikTok has provided an Indigenous perspective on current events such as environmentalism and sexual violence, which disproportionately impacts the Native American community.
Through TikTok, Winder also became connected to Sofia Ongele, another young activist with whom she collaborated on her campaign “People Not Mascots,” which aims to remove Native mascots from American high schools. Despite a 2005 American Psychological Association study establishing that they detrimentally impacted Native children, 1 in 19 secondary schools in the U.S. still has a Native mascot today.
Since Winder took to TikTok for the campaign, the #PeopleNotMascots hashtag has received 2.9 million views and around 40,000 people have interacted with its website. Several high schools around the country have agreed to change their mascots following signed petitions.
Who Should Attend
The 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 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 Conference will be hosted by Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The address for the school is 4700 Coal Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. Click here for directions on Google Maps, or you can click on the image to download specific directions.
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 / 9:00 – 9:30 am
If your group is not traveling to the event together, agree on a specific time to arrive as a group in advance. Once parked, follow the balloons to registration.
Breakfast / 9:00 – 10:00 am
We provide a light breakfast, including bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, fruit and muffins, as well as water and coffee. Participants are then ushered as a school group to the courtyard to register.
Registration and Morning Entertainment / 9:30 – 10:00 am
Group leaders register their clubs or groups; 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.
Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Speech / 10:00 – 10:50 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 2022 we were addressed by slam poet Mercedez Holtry.
Discussion Groups and Lunch / 10:55 am – 12:25 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 / 12:35 – 1:45 pm
Students and faculty advisors attend a workshop of their choice, chosen in advance. See a list of workshops offered here.
Workshop B / 1:50 – 3:00 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 / 3:05 – 3:40 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 / 3:45 – 4:15 pm
We finish the day by giving out a community award, viewing a video montage, and hearing from an exceptional musical performer.
The 20+ workshops offered at the Conference each year are chosen by the YCD New Mexico Board, so that the topics are constantly reflecting the needs, interests, and challenges facing NM teens.
Travel and Lodging
In general, school groups within a 3-hour drive of the Albuquerque Metro area can attend the event without requiring overnight stays.
For groups coming from further away, YCD will negotiate a hotel room block. Check back here for more information, or contact us.
If your school or youth organization has signed up for YCD, then proceed to select your workshops using the button below!
If your group has not yet signed up for YCD, have an adult/educator do so now using the button below!
For more information about the YCD New Mexico Student Board, contact the organizer for the program:
Organizer – New Mexico
Organizer – New Mexico
For questions about registration, payment, or anything else, contact YCD’s Executive Director: