First Ever Taos Youth Leadership Conference

be-an-earth-guardianThe Taos Reading to End Racism Program (Taos RER) is hosting the first Taos Youth Leadership Conference on Thursday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 24th, 2016. The Taos Youth Leadership Conference is lead by the efforts of Daniel Escalante, with lots of community support. If you’ve never heard of Taos RER, it “is designed to promote literacy and provide opportunities for school communities to talk about racism in classroom settings.” Taos RER volunteers read books to students like It’s Ok to Be Different at local schools.

The keynote address, delivered by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, will be held at Taos Charter School on Thursday, September 22, 2016, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. This event is free and open to everyone, but a $5.00 donation to help pay for the conference lunches will be gladly accepted. Please donate to help make the conference a success: click here.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

You my have read about Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, the 16-year-old indigenous, environmental activist, eco hip-hop artist, and the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, in publications like Rolling Stone.

Xiuhtezcatl has spoken at the United Nations and Paris Climate Talks, and has organized rallies, actions, demonstrations and events in over 25 countries. Xiuhtezcatl and other youth are suing the U.S. Federal Government on behalf of their and future generations. Xiuhtezcatl’s generation is rising up to defend their future; he recently released this video concerning the protests at Standing Rock which many local pueblos and activists are supporting.

On Saturday, September 24th, the Conference Workshops will take place at the Taos High School. The goals of the 2016 Taos Youth Leadership Conference are to help unite local and global efforts, raise awareness about rising youth leadership, and learn how to take action on what matters to you.


Examples of workshops for youth and adult allies include:  “How To Organize A Non-Violent Action,” “How To Promote Police/Community Relations,” “How To Form A Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) At Your School,” “Spirituality and Leadership,” “How To Talk With Your Child About Suicide,” “How To Use Art As A Tool For Social Change,” “How To Be A Reader For Taos Reading To End Racism,” and many more.

 The workshops are designed to develop leadership skills and build community.  The conference will have a youth track and an adult ally track.

Workshop facilitators include local and national youth and adult leaders such as Linda Yardley, Rivera Sun, Lyla June Johnston, Alex Win, Justis Daniels, Kalee Salazar, Luckie Daniels, David Perez, Lionel Cruit, Anita Rodgriguez, Victoria Flores, Katia Torrelli, Pat McCabe, Pascual Maestas, Yavonne Jaramillo, and students from local high schools.

Space for the Opening Ceremony and Conference is limited.  For more information or to pre-register, contact Daniel Escalante today at [email protected] or 720-987-8148.


All photos courtesy of