Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 SEL Forum. We all had a great time and left with a renewed excitement for practicing & promoting SEL.

If you didn't get a chance to attend this year, you can still watch the presentations. Thanks to Denver TV for helping us record the event.

About the 2017 SEL Forum

This years SEL Forum will take place on Thursday June 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at the McNichols Building (downtown area).

The purpose of the Colorado SEL Forum is to advance the understanding of social emotional learning among Colorado practitioners and initiate forward movement on developing a collaborative of partners throughout the Front Range community to promote best practices in SEL that result in “whole child” positive outcomes for students.

Event schedule, presenters lineup & other details are below.

Add this event to your calendar by clicking on the appropriate link below:

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Certificate honey


You will receive a certificate for 8 hours of professional development for attending the SEL Forum.

There is no charge for the contact hours.



We're planning a fun kindness-themed scavenger hunt with prizes for the winners. To get ready, download the GooseChase app for your device. We'll give you further instructions on how to participate at the forum.

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Goosechase icon   Apple app store    Google play store

Event Schedule

Thursday June 8, 2017

Times & speakers are subject to change. Breaks are scheduled throughout the day.

7:30 - 8:20 am

Breakfast and SEL Showcase
A continental breakfast will be served including:

  • coffee, decaf, a selection of hot teas & juices
  • an assortment of pastries
  • fresh fruit
  • yogurt
  • granola
Beverages will be available throughout the day including iced tea, lemonade, coffee, decaf and water.

8:30 am

Forum Begins
Welcome and Forum Overview
Sona Dimidjian, Forum Chair

8:30 - 8:45 am

Gary Dixon

8:45 - 9:00 am

Opening Remarks
Governor John Hickenlooper

9:00 - 9:45 am

Keynote Speaker
Tim Shriver PhD

10:00 - 11:00 am

Youth Panel
Moderator, Kori Sanchez-Smith

11:00 - 11:45 am

Social Emotional Academic Development Commission Panel
Panel will include: Tim Shriver PhD, Antwan Wilson, Roger P. Weissberg, PhD, Jorge Benitez, Leticia Guzman Ingram, and Rob Hansen.

11:45 - 1:00 pm


Our Recommendation: The 12th annual Civic Center EATS, a gathering of Denver's gourmet food trucks & carts, will be nearby for lunch. This has always been a really fun way to grab a delicious lunch. There are hundreds of tasty options to choose from & the event is within walking distance of the McNichols Building.

We also have some excellent restaurants that are within walking distance. We especially enjoy the following spots:

The Yard House
Green Fine Salad
Zoup! and
Noodles & Company

If you prefer to stay at the McNichols Building, you may choose from one of the following box lunches that we'll serve there:

  • Turkey with cranberry cream cheese, green apples & candied bacon on a kaiser roll.
  • Chicken salad with sugar grapes & butter lettuce on sourdough bread.
  • Grilled vegetables with sesame hummus on focaccia bread. (vegetarian)
  • Ceasar salad spring rolls with Thai basil (gluten free)
All box lunches are served with chips, fruit & a cookie. Please indicate your choice above when registering.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Keynote Speaker
Antwan Wilson
Introduction by Tom Boasberg

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Participants can choose one of the following sessions to attend.


How to Create Change at the Local Level—Leveraging Tools that Work
A presentation & discussion about the practical application of various SEL tools to help improve communities.
Moderated by Tim Shriver PhD and Jorge Benitez

SEL in Colorado: What's Happening and How to Get Involved
Participants in this workshop will learn about the Colorado Network for Social Emotional Learning and Development and have the opportunity to experience several connecting and capacity building activities that model what SEL looks like in action. We will share our current work and plans for the future and how you can get more involved in strengthening SEL in the state and your local community.
Moderated by Rona Wilensky and Beverly Kingston

Science of SEL: SEL Science and Research
A discussion of the many scientifically proven benefits of SEL.
Moderated by Jacqueline M. Jodl, PhD, Roger P. Weissberg, PhD

Mindfulness, Well-Being, and Parenting
A presentation and experiential session with tools for inviting mindfulness and kindness into parenting and family life to promote your own and your kids’ mental health and well-being.
Moderated by Sona Dimidjian PhD and Matt Vogl MPH

Tools of Equity
A presentation and discussion about various tools that can be utilized to achieve greater equity and opportunities for all.
Moderated by Ben Kirshner, Michelle Shedro


Practical Application of SEL through the lens of “Kindness in the Classroom”
A presentation & discussion about the practical application of SEL via 'Kindness in the Classroom' lesson plans designed by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
Moderated by Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl, Paula Horwitz & Natacha Wilson

3:00 - 3:30 pm

Closing Remarks


We'd like to thank our panel of SEL experts, industry leaders, youth panel members & others who will present this year.

S dimidjian updated

Sona Dimidjian PhD
University of Colorado Boulder view bio

J hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper
Governor of Colorado view bio

T boasberg

Tom Boasberg
Superintendent of Denver Public Schools view bio

A wilson

Antwan Wilson
Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools view bio

T shriver

Tim Shriver PhD
Chairman of Special Olympics view bio

L ingram updated

Leticia Guzman Ingram
Colorado Teacher of the Year view bio

R hansen

Rob Hansen
SEL Commission, Parent Advisor view bio

J benitez

Jorge Benitez
Former CEO of Accenture view bio

R wilensky updated

Rona Wilensky
PassageWorks Institute view bio

G dixon

Gary Dixon
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation view bio

B kingston

Beverly Kingston
University of Colorado Boulder view bio

J jodl

Jacqueline M. Jodl, PhD
The Aspen Institute view bio

R weissberg

Roger P. Weissberg, PhD
CASEL, University of Illinois at Chicago view bio

K smith

Kori Sanchez Smith
SEL Coordinator, Atlanta Public Schools view bio

M vogl

Matt Vogl
University of Colorado Boulder view bio

B kirshner

Ben Kirshner
University of Colorado Boulder view bio

M shedro

Michelle Shedro
University of Colorado Boulder view bio

K schonert reichl

Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl
University of British Columbia view bio

P horwitz updated

Paula Horwitz
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation view bio

N wilson updated

Natacha Wilson
Researcher and Director, Cambridge Insights view bio

K allred

Kevin Allred
Youth Panel Member view bio

S greichen

Sarah Greichen
CEO of Score A Friend, Inc. view bio

T anderson

Tay Anderson
Student Body President of Manual High School view bio

V anderson

Viviana Anderson
Youth Panel Member view bio

V randolph

Veronica Charity Randolph
Youth Panel Member view bio

Speakers / presenters are subject to change.

Getting There

The McNichols Building is located in downtown Denver, Colorado.

If you are flying, there is a light rail that runs from the airport to Union Station (downtown Denver). From Union Station, you can board a free bus that will drop you off within walking distance of the McNichols Building. Both Uber & Lyft rides are also available from the airport.

For those of you who are driving your own vehicles or carpooling, ample parking is available nearby at The Sheraton Denver Downtown (1550 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202) Hotel and The Denver Post building (101 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80202).

McNichols Civic Center Building
144 W Colfax Avenue, Denver CO 80202
Phone (720) 865-4200

Hours, Directions & Parking Info: mcnicholsbuilding.com/directions

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