Youth United University (Y.U.U.) is a virtual summer learning cohort for youth grades 6 – 8, our mission is to cultivate a spirit of anti-racism, systemic change and activism.

Participation requirements:

Rising 6th - 8th grade students

Inquisitive and eager to learn about race in our society

$55 registration fee (scholarships are available)

Program Date:

June 29, 2021
Parent Orientation
3pm – 5pm MST
Tuesday, July 6th
3:30pm - 5pm MST
Tuesday, July 13th
3:30pm - 5pm MST
Tuesday, July 20th
3:30pm - 5pm MST
Tuesday, July 27th
3:30pm - 5pm MST
Tuesday, August 3rd
3:30pm - 5pm MST

What To Expect

Y.U.U. provides students with an age-based curriculum that provides education about race-based topics, creating space for students to build a sense of self awareness, practice what they’ve learned, and provide a toolkit for students to take action.

Graduates of Y.U.U. will complete the program with a stronger foundation to advocate for a more intersectional and inclusive world. Students will have learned to:

  • Become an anti-racist
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Self & community advocacy
  • Eliminate barriers to creating equity
  • Address and remove the fear of being different
  • Accept intersectionality
  • Answering the kids questions about ethnicity, race, and what's happening in the world right now

Meet The Facilitators

Lana Hailemariam

Lana Hailemariam

Lana is a Gallup Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and Certified Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner who helps teams play to their strengths and become the best version of themselves. Dr. Donald Clifton once said, "There is no more effective way to empower people than to see each person in terms of his or her strengths.” Lana’s deepest passion is helping others to discover and connect with their own value, while thriving in it daily. Lana believes that our value is wrapped within our identities and when we champion others in every identity reflecting who they are, they remain engaged contributors wherever they are.

The path Lana has traveled to organizations who want to operate from a place of strength, hardly resembles a straight line. After graduating with a B.S. in International Business from University of Maryland, her adventures have included nine years in sales, four years of event management, six years in the multi-million dollar cheerleading industry, a couple of years in insurance, five years in ministry, four years in education and more than ten years in entrepreneurship. Lana’s facilitation, planning and training experience includes revenue generating corporations and nonprofits alike such as: Comcast, Denver Public Schools, ME Engineers, Make a Wish Colorado and Strive Prep Charter Schools, to name a few. As an entrepreneur, Lana owned a Gold’s Gym Franchise, an Indoor Football Team (Maryland Maniacs) as well as a personal training company, Star Fitness, Inc.

Lana’s clients quickly learn that the power thriving her dynamic approach to coaching is exactly that diversity of background and experience. Lana uses that wisdom gained through life’s experiences to lay the foundation to authentic, meaningful conversations that positively impact people, teams and organizations. In her “spare time”, Lana Co-Chairs the History, Culture, Social Contributions, and Civil Government in Education Commission whose sole purpose is to increase inclusion within the State Educational System. She also leads a Collective dedicated to the financial advancement of people of color and is a Public Speaker for change.

Lana brought her East Coast flair to the mountains when she moved to Denver from The DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia). When Lana is not coaching, she is likely curled up with a good book, binge watching Netflix or enjoying nature outdoors somewhere beautiful. Preferably two out of three at one time!

Michael Acuna

Michael Acuna

Michael Acuna is an artist that utilizes creativity to engage restorative justice, social equality and mental health through poetry, music, and creative workshop. He has partnered with The Office of the independent monitor, Youth On record and local organizations facilitating conversations around Implicit bias, ingenious, and immigrant rights as well as identity. Michael is one of three Co-founders of Tribal Zyphers a program that teaches youth the culture of hip-hop as a rite of passage.

The artist ILL Se7en aka Acuna Black is an accomplished artist that has traveled and toured internationally. Michael has received several accolades for his passion to reform a broken system. In 2018 Michael received a Master Mind Award from the Denver Westword and redline art gallery. He’s also received an MBK 25 award from the My brother keeper initiative founded by President Obama in 2014. In early 2019 ILL was invited to be a Ted-X Speaker on Implicit bias and adolescent development. ILL Se7en is currently consulting and speaking on the importance to push forward the narrative of Implicit bias, utilizing art as a platform of change.

Shalelia Dillard

Shalelia Dillard

Shalelia Dillard is a Denver native and has been an educator for over 11 years. A Daniels Fund Scholar and survivor of situational homelessness, Shalelia has used her life circumstances to give back in the area that saved her life, education. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Hampton University, she moved to Austin, Texas to become a teacher. During her 12 year teaching career, she taught math, science and private school education in underserved populations in Austin and Denver. Shalelia has a deep passion for community, cultural education and creating pathways for students to reach their educational potential despite any circumstances. Shalelia is the Founder and Executive Director of St. Clair Drake (SCD) Enrichment Program, which recruits and supports gifted students of color in advanced coursework. She is an alumnus of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, a member of the Colorado Gifted Education State Advisory Committee (GE-SAC), the vice president of Denver's Hampton Alumni Association, and is currently completing her Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado.

Sponsored By

Fly Ladies logo
Colorado Health Foundation