Día de los Muertos artwork made of beans

Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of Nov. 5, 2019

Hello, friends!

For those who are new to these updates, welcome! DiverseFortCollins.com connects people with resources and each other through guest blog posts written by community members, book discussions and other events. Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Fall is proving to be busy with lots of events related to FoCo Book Fest, Native American Heritage Month, Día de los Muertos, Fort Collins Reads and more.

Take a look at recent news and upcoming events, below, including information on the next Diverse Fort Collins Book Group meetings in 2020!

News

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Luis Alberto Urrea entertained the Fort Collins Reads audience on Nov. 3 with stories of family members who inspired characters in his novel The House of Broken Angels. Stay tuned for a full report in the next update!

Diverse Fort Collins Book Group met on Oct. 27 to discuss The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea.
From left to right: Ricardo, Karen, Mara, Teresa, Katherine, Claudia, Milton

Seven community members of various backgrounds braved frigid temperatures to attend the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group on Oct. 27 at Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House! We discussed our favorite characters from the novel The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea and how some reminded us of our own families, the themes of family and identity, and questions that sparked a lively discussion. (See information on the next book group discussion below in Upcoming Events.)

Kimberlé Crenshaw, the leading civil rights authority and law professor who coined the terms intersectionality and critical race theory, delivered a dynamic and powerful keynote speech at the CSU Diversity Symposium on Oct. 14 about baseline narratives (“If you believe slavery is legitimate, running away is a crime…”) and counter narratives, and how they affect racial equity and social justice.

She also highlighted the work of activist and friend Vicky McAdory-Coles who died of a stroke in 2017. Crenshaw believes it was caused by the stress of dealing with bias, discrimination and racism on a daily basis. (O Magazine published an article on this topic.)

The annual CSU Diversity Symposium featured more than 50 free sessions Oct. 14 to 18 including “Toward a More Gender Inclusive Community: Ways to Support and Advocate for Trans and Non-Binary People”; “When Doing the Work Means Dealing with My Own Whiteness …and I’m Not Even White”; “Checking the ‘Other’ Box: A Multiracial, Mixed Race and Multiethnic Community Space”; “Racial Violence: Don’t Be A Bystander”; and “Preventing Anti-Semitism on the CSU Campus: Introduction to the Proposed Action Plan.”

CSU Diversity Symposium hosted an Oct. 16 Fireside Chat featuring, from left to right, Vice President for Diversity Mary Ontiveros,
President Joyce McConnell and Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes. Photo by Katherine Valdez.

Colorado State University President Joyce McConnell recently announced the Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative, and mentioned during the symposium Fireside Chat that she had contacted the City of Fort Collins mayor and city manager to begin collaborating on advancing equity and inclusion in the community.

Boulder Contemporary Dance Festival on Oct. 19 featured thirteen works by local dance companies including Fort Collins-based IMPACT Dance Company. Choreographer and dancer Keith Haynes performed “IN-danger(ed) species”; Haynes and Vivian Kim co-choreographed and performed “feelings of resistance.” Both works were politically charged dances addressing police killings of unarmed black men and women. A YouTube news clip of a black man being restrained by police saying “I can’t breathe” was looped so that the audience hears this line over and over as Haynes danced, proving for a powerful and emotional experience.

One Community Summit: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presented by Jefferson County on Oct. 23 featured sessions geared toward government and non-profit employees such as “Talking Trauma: How to Talk to & About People Who’ve Been Through Stuff”; “The Black Challenge”; Women in History: A Model for a More Inclusive Workplace”; and “Allyship in Action: Are You An Ally Or Just Nice?”

By the way, if you haven’t seen this Tedx Talk by Native artist Gregg Deal (who now lives in Colorado), “Indigenous In Plain Sight,” take a look.

Upcoming Events

See a list of Native American Heritage Month events at CSU **today** and Nov. 7, 12 and 19!

Did you know we have Native American families here in Fort Collins who need your help this holiday season? Read details about the Christmas Gift and Food Drive on the website of Northern Colorado Intertribal Powwow Association (NCIPA).

Mark your calendars for the next NCIPA Powwow May 2-3, 2020 at Northside Aztlan Community Center, 112 Willow St., Fort Collins.

White Fragility Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

The Diverse Fort Collins Book Group will host three meetings in early 2020 to provide a safe space for discussing White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Mention this book group for 20% off the paperback at Old Firehouse Books.

Jan. 26 (Chapters 1-4) click here for event info
Feb. 23 (Chapters 5-8) click here for event info
March 22 (Chapters 8-12) click here for event info

Here’s a synopsis of the award-winning novel There, There by Native author Tommy Orange. Margaret Atwood called it “an astonishing literary debut.” Would you like to read this for the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group in spring 2020? Voice your opinion by responding to this blog post with a comment. (Thanks to Amanda for this book recommendation!)

Thanks for reading, friends! These updates are published 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. Next update: Nov. 19.

As always, please email us at DiverseFoCo@gmail.com to share news and learn more about how you can get involved in co-creating an inclusive community. We seek volunteers for help with event planning and facilitation; sponsorships; technology; interpretation and translation, etc. We’d love to hear from you!

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