The Office of the Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University is excited to share that beginning this 2018-2019 school year, we will be partnering with the non-profit Youth Celebrate Diversity (YCD) to bring a new, student-led model to the (previously CSU) High School Diversity Conference, now to be known as the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference.

YCD is building a grassroots movement of students and educators addressing social problems, celebrating diversity and making schools safe for everyone. This organization created the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference, the longest-running and largest diversity conference in the state for high school students, and offers similar programs in other areas of Colorado and New Mexico.

We’re excited to enhance the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference through youth leadership.  Please read below for some exciting developments.

Introducing the Executive Committee

One of the most exciting developments coming out of this partnership is the creation of the conference Executive Committee, a group of 20-30 high school students from various schools who plan the event in its entirety.  Leveraging a process that YCD has refined over the past 25 years, this group of students from Fort Collins, Greeley and surrounding areas will determine all topics, workshops, speakers, performers and other details at the conference, making it 100% youth-led.

The Committee is open to any high school student willing to devote the time to this effort.  Meetings will be held on Wednesdays starting in January 2019 at Fort Collins High School.  Anyone interested can find more information or signup on YCD’s website here.

Student Discussion Groups and Facilitation Training

We will be adding a new type of session to the schedule at the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference this year, where students from each school will meet in mixed, informal groups led by trained student facilitators.

In these discussion groups, students have a chance to speak their mind about diversity issues they are facing in their schools and communities, and the discussion in each room can vary significantly based on the topics of most interest to the students in the room. It is also the best opportunity during the day for students to meet one-on-one with other conference participants.

YCD will be conducting a facilitation training for students interested in leading these discussion groups in the Spring 2019.  The training will be open to any student willing to attend the training.  This is a second, powerful leadership opportunity for students who may not be able to join the Executive Committee on a weekly basis due to other conflicts.  The date and sign-up for facilitation training will be announced in the coming months.

Conference Date Moved to Saturday

Over the past several years we have increasingly been challenged to host this conference on a school day due to transportation and other issues.  The 2018 conference, in particular, had an abbreviated schedule due to these issues, limiting the impact of this important program.  Given these dynamics, we are moving the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference to a Saturday, so there is no longer a conflict with a regular school day.

We’re excited to announce the date for the upcoming conference will be Saturday, April 20, 2019.

As you can see, the partnership between CSU and YCD heralds some substantial and exciting changes to the program.  We believe that this new partnership will empower students, create collaborations, and bring a powerful new iteration to the event.

For more information on the Northern Colorado Diversity Conference, including registration, please visit https://www.ycdiversity.org/programs/northern-colorado-diversity-conference/.