DENVER (January 24, 2018) – More than 1,000 teenagers from 103 Colorado high schools and youth organizations will gather on Saturday, February 3, 2018 to celebrate diversity and strategize on how to create a safe and welcoming learning environment across the state’s high schools and communities.
This year marks the 25th year that students and teachers are participating in the annual Cherry Creek Diversity Conference, which takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Cherry Creek High School, 9300 East Union Avenue in Greenwood Village.
The event is hosted by the Cherry Creek School District; organized by Youth Celebrate Diversity, a Denver-based non-profit organization; and underwritten this year with a generous donation by RBC Wealth Management.
“This unique event provides students with an open forum to discuss the social issues affecting them in their daily lives—from religion and politics, to sexual orientation and race,” says Caleb Munro, Executive Director of Youth Celebrate Diversity. “The event fills a gap left by standardized high school education that often avoids controversial topics, leaving teens to figure these issues out on their own. We believe that through communication, collaboration and positive support, school environments can improve so that everyone is able to achieve academically.”
The keynote speech will be delivered by Dolores Huerta, labor rights activist and civil rights leader who worked alongside Cesar Chavez to help farmworkers in California and across the country organize in the 1960s and ‘70s. She also is the originator of the phrase, “Si se puede,” which became a hallmark in Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign as “Yes we can.”
“As a company, we’re committed to enriching the communities where our employees and clients work and live and that is clearly what the young people who are involved in YCD have in their hearts as well,” said RBC Wealth Management Divisional Director Darryl Traweek. “Successful businesses are built on flourishing communities where people understand, appreciate and celebrate diversity. We could not be more proud of the commitment and growth of these young leaders as they participate in this very special 25th anniversary of the Cherry Creek Diversity Conference and prepare to lead our communities in the coming decades.”
Throughout the day, student and adult participants will break into discussion groups and workshops to address respect and diversity issues in their schools, including topics such as cliques, physical and mental challenges, religion, sexual orientation, conflict resolution, gender, socio-economic concerns, and teen social problems.
Among the 40 workshops offered:
•“A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student,” where a panel of college students will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help conference participants understand the dilemma many undocumented students face today.
•“Islam and Islamophobia,” an open forum for students and adults to ask questions freely as they learn some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the Islamic faith and Muslim people.
•“Locker Room Talk,” held in partnership with the non-profit organization You Can Play, to explore how young people can create a positive culture in athletics for everyone.
•“How to Spot Fake News,” led by the Denver Public Library, helping teenagers explore the idea of ‘fake news’ and social media, and understand how to discern factual reporting from sensational online rumors.
•“A Holocaust Survivor Speaks,” in which a survivor of the Holocaust will share stories about living through a period of time where diversity and respect for others was at its lowest point in human history.
The day’s closing ceremonies will feature a performance by The Reminders, a Colorado Springs-based husband and wife musical duo who blend hip hop and soul with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics.
The 25th annual Cherry Creek Diversity Conference is co-chaired by Aaron Abai, a senior at Chatfield High School, and Lauren Banko, a senior at J.K. Mullen High School. The Executive Planning Committee is comprised of 30 student and adult volunteers from multiple schools around the Denver metro area.
About RBC Wealth Management – U.S.
In the United States, RBC Wealth Management operates as a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Founded in 1909, RBC Capital Markets, LLC. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and other major securities exchanges. RBC Wealth Management has $323 billion in total client assets with approximately 1,800 financial advisors operating in 200 locations in 40 states.
About Youth Celebrate Diversity
Youth Celebrate Diversity creates eye-opening experiences for high school and college-aged youth to explore and address pressing social issues in their school, on their campus and throughout their community. Our vision is that one day, every teen in America will feel safe to achieve in school, no matter who they are. Learn more at www.ycdiversity.org.
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