platforum 2018 "IT'S OUR STORY, IT'S ON US."


Plat-FORUM plays on the word “platform,” a place or opportunity for public discussion, combined with the word “forum,” which etymologically derives from the place of assembly in ancient times considered to be the center of all judicial and business affairs. At CA, it is designed to be a time and place to share voices, experiences, and ideas around issues of social justice and inclusivity that will move us from dialogue into action. PlatFORUM is a a full-day conference celebrating the many backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences at Colorado Academy.

WHEN: Thursday, March 29 (A Day) from 8:10a - 3:30pm


The single story, as acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells us, creates stereotypes. She says that the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete; they make one story become the only story. During this year's conference we want to explore contemporary issues that America is facing by pulling in various voices and perspectives in hopes to humanize, empathize, and understand where all of us are coming from. With movements and causes reforming and taking new shape, we believe that it's on us to learn, listen, engage, and take action as our history is being written.

conference goals
*subject to change.


Community Building Norms

Be Fully Present + Speak from the "I" perspective: Speak your own truth. Nobody else's. Speak from your experiences and what you know. Be in the moment. Focus. Pay attention. Not being on your phone. Be engaged. You don't have to speak but actively listen to others.

Suspend Judgment of Self and Others: Suspending judgment of yourself and others is pivotal to the success of difficult conversations. Often, when people are reluctant to have difficult conversations it is due to a fear for being judged, or making a mistake. Suspending judgement gives each individual the permission to make mistakes, and actually engage in meaningful conversations.

Lean into discomfort: Be open to different opinions. Acknowledge when you feel tension but rather than shy away, notice that feeling, and talk through it. If someone has a different opinion than you, rather than shut down, respectfully voice your opinion and/or ask clarifying questions. Be comfortable with silence.

Honor Confidentiality: What is said during the conference (forums, debriefs, lunch, open mic, silent movement) stays in those spaces without naming who said what. It is okay to address what was talked about but not by who. Sometimes it can be easy to be vulnerable when it comes to these kind of conversations. We don't want to create a culture where we pass judgment or make fun of people for a difference of opinion. By honoring confidentiality we build trust. Know that if what you share has the potential to harm yourself or others it must be disclosed to an adult.

Jamba Juice will be available in the Upper School atrium after Forum 2!

Josie Valadez Fraire


Josie Valadez Fraire is a 23 year old Xicana/Indígena womxn, born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Zacatecas, México/Boulder. She graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Ethnic Studies with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. She is a writer/researcher, educator, and community worker that is passionate about serving marginalized communities, particularly working with youth and womxn in the Black, Brown, and/or Indigenous community. Josie is currently a Community Educator in Denver, teaching 9th - 12th Grade College Prep working to create decolonial, culturally-affirming, and liberating educational spaces for youth in Denver and beyond.

CA VOICES: This portion of the conference is an opportunity to hear from a selection of students and faculty who will share a story about themselves that no one would know just by looking at them. These 3-minute talks will ignite the audience to think about themselves and the community in more empathetic and inclusive ways.

OPEN MIC: Open Mic, at the PlatFORUM conference is a space where participants can reflect on the day, share personal insights of what is on their heart and mind.

Guiding Principles of Open Mic: 1) make sure you are okay with the entire upper school knowing about what you share 2) don't disclose what you aren't comfortable or ready to disclose 3) know that what depending on what you share, someone may follow up with you 4) tell your story / speak your truth, not someone else's

FORUM REGISTRATION PROCESS: The week of March 12th, students will be directed to an online form. Students should review all forum titles and descriptions prior to signing up. Once the form is submitted there is no going back or re-submitting. We are using Google Forms so you will need to sign up by being logged into your CA email account (if you are logged into your personal account, log out and log into CA account).

Each forum has a max capacity of space. Once a forum fills up, that forum will no longer show up on the registration site during a session it was being offered. Keep in mind that some forums are not running all three times. Some forums will only be offered during Forum 1 or Forum 2. If the forum you wanted to be in is at capacity know that we will do our best to get you into another top choice. After sign ups conclude, Ms. Kies will send each student an e-mail with their forum schedule.


Created with images by TeroVesalainen - "success goal target dart board darts achievement"

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