Co-LEADS Student Social Justice Summit

The 9th Annual Co-LEADS Student Summit:
Resist, Persist, and Sustain: When to Light the Torch, and When to Pass It Along

Friday, October 20, 2017 – 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Co-LEADS conference was established in 2009 by a group of individuals on the Auraria and DU campuses as a way to bridge discussions of leadership and social justice in a meaningful way. The Summit invites college students from across Colorado to join in discussions of social justice, activism, advocacy, and social change. Throughout the day students participate in a number of workshops that challenge, grow, and inspire them to make change in their own lives and their communities.

This year, we’ll be exploring the theme: Resist, Persist, and Sustain: When to Light the Torch, and When to Pass It Along. Our keynote and workshops will explore long-term activism, sustaining activism while avoiding burn-out, and recognizing when to pass the torch to fellow activists. Our keynote and breakout sessions will engage self-awareness, social systems, personal skills and collaborative action through this lens. Our goal is to spark participants into action in their communities.

Our keynote this year is Mandy Carter:
Mandy Carter describes herself as an “out, southern, black, lesbian, social justice activist.” She has been advocating for human rights for more than 45 years.
Born in Albany, New York, Carter was raised in orphanages and the foster care system. After high school, she attended Hudson Valley Community College before dropping out and moving to New York City. She met a group of people at the League for Spiritual Discovery and traveled with them to San Francisco. In 1969, she joined the War Resisters League.
In 1992, Carter became a public policy advocate for the Human Rights Campaign. The following year, she helped establish Southerners on New Ground, an organization that integrates people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities and working class members of the LGBT community in the South. She cofounded the National Black Justice Coalition, the only national organization focused on African-American LGBT civil rights.
In the 2000 election, she participated in the statewide voter empowerment campaign, which produced one of Florida’s largest turnouts of black voters. In 2008, Carter was a National Co-Chair for Obama Pride.
Carter won a Spirit of Justice Award from GLAD for advancing LGBT rights. The National Organization for Women called her “one of the nation’s leading African-American lesbian activists.”
She is the National Coordinator for the Bayard Rustin Commemoration Project of the National Black Justice Coalition. Carter lives in Durham, North Carolina.

New this year! To encourage greater student participation in the event, we will NOT be charging a registration fee as we have done in the past. Although we are not charging, we do need everyone to register for the conference, so we have accurate numbers for facilities and catering. The deadline for online registration is October 17.

• To register for the conference:

• For more information about the conference, please visit:

Call for Proposals

We are seeking workshop proposals that address the social justice and diversity goals and learning outcomes of the Summit:

This year’s goals are for participants to:

• Explore long-term activism
• Connect with students from their own and other Colorado campuses, creating a larger network for collaboration and change making
• Engage a wide range of opportunities available to make positive change in our society

The Learning Objectives for this year are for participants to:
• Deepen their understanding of their own and others’ identities, and of the intersections of these experiences
• Consider ways in which they can participate and share in long-term, sustainable activism
• Leave each session, and the day overall, with action commitments for positive change on their campus and in their community
The deadline for proposals to be submitted is Friday, September 22nd. Workshop proposals will be reviewed the following week, and the presenters will be notified about acceptance that week.

Please submit your proposal by the deadline here:

We hope that you’ll be able to join us!