2023 Spring Equinox

Hello, Diverse Fort Collins friends!

Rebirth, renewal, awakening…whatever you think of spring and however you choose to celebrate it (or not), March 20, 2023 marks the start of something new.

What did you lose during the winter months? What did you gain? How have you changed?

Many people are grieving the loss of loved ones. Others are celebrating the birth of new family members. Whatever you and your loved ones are going through, be gentle with yourselves and each other.

A friend and I spoke recently about her nine-month-old nephew (the first grandchild) and my niece’s baby (nearly six months old and the first great-grandchild). Their smiles, their curiosity, their strong emotions…we’re obsessed, in a good way. This new generation symbolizes hope.

On the flip side, coworkers and friends are struggling with colds, Influenza A, and COVID. A cousin is adjusting to caring for his father, who was diagnosed with dementia. Two friends unexpectedly lost their sons, one to a medical event and the other to suicide.

Did you see these interesting clouds over Fort Collins on February 17? Photo by Katherine Valdez

Growing is a process. Healing is a process. What do you need to support you through this time? How do you take care of yourself?

For me, a balance of solitude and my favorite activities provide a sense of peace and well-being.

Some of the things I’m doing (or plan to do): keeping in touch with my family in California, hiking, singing, writing, reading, dancing, connecting with friends over coffee, a walk, or Zoom; watching the Oscar-nominated live action shorts and other movies (Cocaine Bear sold out shows at The Lyric; should I add this to my must-see list?), and laughing

…Not to mention watching favorite TV shows (Shadow & Bone, The Last of Us, Sort Of, Feel Good, The Mandalorian, Andor, Young Royals, Heartstopper, and others), reviewing friends’ screenplays, soaking in the tub with lavender Epsom salts, visiting art exhibits here and in Denver, and creating playlists of music to match my moods (Feeling footloose? Check out the costumed Valentine’s Day ball scene in Young Royals season 2, episode 4).

Something new for me is investing in my well-being, such as seeking a counselor better suited to my identity and lived experience, and attending online classes, events and in-person retreats with people of color who possess many identities.

Also: supporting people who gift the world with their creative endeavors (Tanaya Winder, Cori Wong, Siobhan O’Loughlin, and the creators of Abuelita Guille’s Hotsauce, to name a few).

Something wonderful happens when you share space with people of similar lived experiences.

Diverse Fort Collins continues to be a source of information and resources to connect with each other. We post news and events on Facebook and have fielded requests from individuals searching for consultants and classes, or who want to volunteer their time to good causes (see updated Local Resources on the website).

We’ve also heard from families who have moved or plan to move soon to our community, who want to know what kind of support exists here for people of color.

Keep up with local and national racial equity news:

City of Fort Collins Equity & Inclusion Office
– Equity Grant Fund applications deadline: March 27

City of Fort Collins Boards & Commissions
– Apply to serve on a board or commission

Local History Projects (Native, Asian American, Black, Latino, LGBTQIA+ and others)

Race Forward

As always, we welcome your stories (see Community Voices) and suggestions for Local Resources and BIPOC-Owned Businesses.

Thank you for following Diverse FoCo. Wishing you a productive and joyous spring!

Founder, Diverse Fort Collins

Magenta orchids in a  terra cotta pot next to green plants on a kitchen counter
This orchid blooms annually in January or February. What are you cultivating? Photo by Katherine Valdez

Upcoming Events in Fort Collins!

Re-posted from City of Fort Collins Equity & Inclusion Office:


Dear Fort Collins Community,

There is too much grief across the nation to stay silent on these matters. Communities and families are deeply suffering and collectively we are all scarred from the recent horrific acts of violence, particularly those directed toward communities of color.

These incidents are a stark reminder of the issues we need to address as a nation – racism, mental health, and gun violence. None have a one-size-fits-all answer. They are complex, emotional political matters. However, what we all know is that the safety and well-being of our community is of the utmost importance.

The City of Fort Collins works diligently with community members and organizations to find solutions that best meet the needs of the community. We have work to do, and we each have a role to play.

The Office of Equity & Inclusion connects and partners with Black, Indigenous, Latino/ Hispanic, Asian-American, LGBTQIA+, faith-based groups, people living with disabilities and other identities to bring visibility and recognition.

We stand firmly in support of equity, belonging, dignity, and justice for all and celebrate the diversity in our community.

Celebrate, learn and support our diverse communities at the following events:

• Day of Racial Healing and Pride Month Proclamations (June 7): https://www.fcgov.com/cityclerk/agendas.php

• LGBTQIA+ history in Fort Collins: https://www.fcgov.com/historicpreservation/pride

• Asian American history in early Fort Collins: https://www.fcgov.com/historicpreservation/aapi

• Fort Collins Juneteenth Events (June 17-19): https://www.focojuneteenth.com/

• Native American Re-Emergence Encampment (June 12-19) – former Hughes Stadium site: https://www.tiyospayewinyanmaka.com/events

• Equity Indicators Community Conversation Series (coming in July): www.fcgov.com/equity

• Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff at Northside Aztlan Center (September 18): www.fcgov.com/equity

In solidarity,

Claudia Menéndez
Equity & Inclusion Officer
City of Fort Collins


From City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, an event sponsor:

Join Diversify Whitewater for the third annual Community River Float on the Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins, Colorado. Participants will ride in rafts with experienced river guides down an exciting stretch of whitewater. All equipment and instruction will be provided for you at no cost! 

The link to register is below. Spots are limited, so sign up today! The recommended minimum age for rafting is 7 years old. We are also looking for event volunteers to guide rafts, set safety, and help with on-shore tasks. Volunteers can sign up at the same link.

Who: The BIPOC & ally communities of Northern Colorado (ages 7+)

What: The 3rd Annual Diversify Whitewater Community River Float

When: Saturday, June 25, from 8:00am-1:00pm

Where: Picnic Rock, Bellvue, CO (click here for a pin)

Registration: Click Here 

— Español —

Únase a Diversify Whitewater para el tercer Descenso de Río Anual Comunitario en el Río Cache la Poudre cerca de Fort Collins, Colorado. Los participantes navegarán un emocionante tramo de aguas bravas en balsas con guías de río expertos. ¡Todo el equipo y la instrucción se proveerán sin costo alguno!

El enlace para registrarse está abajo. ¡Espacio limitado, inscríbase hoy! La edad mínima recomendada es de 7 años. Este evento es 100% GRATIS para todos los participantes. Esperamos verle en el río.

Quién: BIPOC y aliadas del norte de Colorado (7 años y mayores)

Qué: 3er Descenso de Río Anual Comunitario de Diversify Whitewater – Norte de Colorado

Cuándo: Sábado, 25 de junio, de 8:00 a. m. a 2:00 p. m.

Dónde: Picnic Rock, Bellvue, CO (haga clic aquí)

Registro: Haga clic aquí


Follow Diverse Fort Collins on social media to stay updated on resources, and events posted by community members:

Facebook page

Facebook group

Instagram @diversefortcollins @diversefoco

Twitter @diversefoco

Announcement: Share Your Story

Heroism doesn’t always happen in a burst of glory.
Sometimes small triumphs and large hearts change the course of history.
Mary Roach

Diverse Fort Collins elevates the voices of people who live, work, and play in our community.

In partnership with Diverse Fort Collins, Northern Colorado Writers will continue our work in sharing diverse voices.

Want to share your story? We’d love to hear from you! We focus on those who are from historically underrepresented communities and identities.

Read Community Voices by your friends and neighbors, and consider submitting your own story. Review guidelines.

Read guest commentaries by:

Diane Jones “Transitioned”

Karen Wong-Brown “The Evolution of An Immigrant’s Dream”

Bridgett Neff-Hickman “The Colors of Our Rainbow”

Judge Juan G. Villaseñor “Larimer County’s First Latino District Court Judge”

Teresa R. Funke “Reclaiming My Heritage”

Thank you to DFC Advisory Committee Co-Chair Teresa Funke and NCW Director Amy Rivers for facilitating this collaboration!

Spanish Conversation Groups

Join free Spanish Conversation Groups coordinated by community members at 5:30 p.m. on 1st Wednesdays via Zoom and 3rd Wednesdays in person.

To learn more, email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com with “Spanish Group” in the subject line.

Contribute to Our Resource Lists for BIPOC-owned Businesses and Nonprofits

Know of a local BIPOC-owned business, nonprofit, or resource? Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com to offer suggestions for the following pages:

Local Resources

BIPOC-Owned Businesses

Fort Collins History

What People Say About Diverse Fort Collins

Every community needs a Diverse Fort Collins so we can learn, educate, and empower one another with open hearts, and be compassionate to everything around us.

– Karen Wong-Brown

Diverse Fort Collins History

Read about how it all began:

Founder’s Welcome Message

About Fort Collins

Follow Us On Social Media

Facebook: Diverse Fort Collins and Diverse FoCo



Continue the conversation with the tags #DiverseFortCollins and #DiverseFoCo

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project. We connect people with resources and each other.

Podcasts: A User’s Guide

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Podcasts: A User’s Guide
by Linae Warden

Diverse Fort Collins encourages you to listen to podcasts related to racial justice and social justice.

I was inspired to write this guide by a Diverse Fort Collins friend who is interested in listening to podcasts but doesn’t know where to start. 

We hear a lot in the news about how we need a “national conversation” about race and racism. What does that mean? And how can we as individuals participate in a meaningful way?

A “national conversation” involves a few things:

  • Knowledge: About what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racism and discrimination. How does it manifest in our society? What does “systemic racism and/or discrimination” look like?
  • Public Action: What is society and government doing to address institutional, structural and system racism on a community, state and national level?
  • Private Action: What can and should we be doing on a local, personal level to contribute to making a positive change, as a white person, as a person of color, as a member of a non-Christian religion, as a person of different gender and LGBTQ+ identities, or as a person with a physical or intellectual disability? 

We may learn all of these by reading books and magazines, watching some television programs, films, and documentaries, and listening to podcasts. Podcasts are relatively new in our society, available on computers and smartphones. Like books and audiobooks, podcasts are portable and can be consumed while exercising, driving, on an airplane, waiting in line, or doing gardening and housework. Not everyone, however, knows how to access podcasts that may fit their interests.

Here is a guide to start.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

Podcasts have rapidly become very popular. They are portable, exist on many commonly-used devices and platforms, and address just about any interest the listener may have, from health to politics, true crime to science, comedy to social research, news and wide-ranging interviews to targeted social issues.

Many radio and TV shows also post their episodes as podcasts, either sound-only or video, and on YouTube.

Among the most popular are the Pulitzer Prize-winning The 1619 Project and National Public Radio’s Code Switch.

Here’s how to access podcasts:

DEVICES: most of these use apps.

  • Smartphones and tablets frequently come with a podcast app that will meet most needs without requiring additional payment, unless you have data costs. Check with your internet service provider. 
  • Tip: Have your phone or tablet auto-connect to your home wifi. It’s often better quality and more reliable and cheaper than if you have a limited data plan. Your provider should be able to walk you through it.
  • iPhones (iOS) and Android phones (Google)
  • iPads, Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon FireStick, Google Android tablets, all brands. 
  • Digital Assistants/Smart Speakers such Siri, Alexa, etc.

Note:  Digital assistants and smart speakers may not be as straightforward in accessing podcasts as hand-held devices.

If interested, you can read more there:  


Virtually all podcasts also have websites that archive their previous shows, which are usually updated within 24 hours of broadcast. You can usually easily search for topics of interest, authors, etc.

You may want to consider getting plug-in external speakers or Bluetooth (wireless) speakers if you want to listen while, say, preparing lunch. Many laptops do not have loud speakers.


Some podcasts also have video versions on a YouTube channel. They will tell you during an episode if this is so.

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash


Most podcasts (and podcast apps) have two versions: Free and Premium, which is an option that includes longer interviews, some expanded content, and no commercials. Free podcasts have short commercials before and during their shows to pay for production costs; they often promote other podcasts. Apps are usually free. The ones listed here are free or have a free version.

PODCAST APPS: hand-held devices

There are many podcast apps from which to choose. Below are the most common and how to access.

Apple Podcasts, formerly known as iTunes, which still works for both music and podcasts, if you have it installed:


If you don’t see the icon shown in the link above, 

> Go to the Apple App Store (looks like an “A” formed of popsicle sticks)

> Search for “Apple Podcasts”

> Download Apple Podcasts

> You can also download and install the Google Podcast App and any of the other apps below on an iPhone, iPod or iPad.

Google Podcast may or may not be installed on a new phone. 

If not:  

> Go to the Google Play Store, listed in alphabetical order on your device – near Photos

> Search on Podcasts for Android Free. 

You can choose the Google Podcasts or one of the offerings below: https://podcasts.google.com/


Podcasts only. Has both free and paid. Paying provides ad-free listening:  https://www.stitcher.com

Comment: Stitcher seems to have an emphasis on entertainment podcasts. 

Searching for Native American podcasts, for instance, brings up a lot of shows, none of which have anything to do with Native Americans. One in particular shows up on every list, though not part of the search criteria. A search for “Latino podcasts,” for example, brings up very few options.


Has both free and paid, for both music and podcasts: https://www.spotify.com/us/

Search results are not as plentiful as Google Podcasts.


If you have an Audible account (for book club titles, for instance), you can also access a number of podcasts through their search engine. 


Once your podcast app of choice is loaded, open it and do a simple search (use the magnifying glass icon) on topic areas of interest.

For example, relating to diverse communities:

LGBTQ    GAY            QUEER        BLACK        BIPOC





Comment: I found these areas of interest didn’t bring up many podcasts in Spotify or Stitcher, which seem more focused on entertainment than on information.


A large number of podcasts are associated with news outlets and journalism, research organizations, universities, news and current events, etc. Many are interview shows and are rich in current information and news regarding the topics above.

NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, MSNBC all have podcasts of broadcast news and news-style programs.

My personal recommendations for interview shows:


FRESH AIR        THE 1A            THINK        HIDDEN BRAIN


CODE SWITCH    ON BEING (spiritual)        (Intell-Sqd: on YouTube, also a UK version)


Comment: You can check out topics of interest by visiting their websites. Just search for the program name in your web browser. Then you can load them on your mobile devices if you choose.


  The 1A    → CHOOSE: the 1A:npr —> https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510316/1a

  This will allow you to find and listen to recently-broadcast and past episodes.

Now that you have a basic knowledge of podcasts and how to access them, I wish you happy listening!

Linae Warden spent her career in customer service. Now retired, she volunteers for the City of Fort Collins, Diverse Fort Collins and public issue groups and political activities.

Linae’s service work honors her parents. Her mother served in the Navy during World War II and her father retired after 30 years as a career Air Force officer.

This post is located at DiverseFortCollins.com/resources and DiverseFortCollins.com/blog

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project connecting people with resources and each other. Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Read information on free Spanish Conversation groups at DiverseFortCollins.com/events

Community Voices: Diane Jones

Demonstrating at Denver’s first Trans Pride March on Aug. 9, 2020. Photo Courtesy of Diane Jones.

by Diane Jones

There is a pounding at the front door. My spouse opens the door just a crack, and asks, “May I help you?”

The stranger at the door replies in a stern voice, “Is this the home of (insert dead name here)?” My spouse replies, “I don’t know you, and it’s none of your business.” The stranger then continues, “Well, we know what’s going on here, and you need to get the hell out of the neighborhood!” The stranger storms off and speeds away in his car.

At the next table in a restaurant, two young men are dining. As I go to pick up our order, one says to the other, “That makes me sick. Look at that, who does he think he’s fooling? We should kick the s**t out of him when he leaves!”

This is what it is like to be a transgender woman in Fort Collins, Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, I love our town, and have lived here most of my life. But I never realized just how many prejudices there are in our town, until I became part of an underrepresented group myself.

Now I know a lot of you may jump on me about this and say, “But you are white, aren’t you? How can you possibly understand prejudice in our town?” Yes, that is true, I cannot know what it is like to be a person of color. However I do understand what it is like to suddenly stand out in a crowd, and be ostracized for who I am. 

You see, when you are trans, there is nowhere to hide. Not that I want to hide, I am out and proud, but a large part of the status quo does not agree with it or understand it. I get pointed at, stared at, laughed at, whispered about, or just plain ignored. I hear comments like, “You see her over there? That’s a dude!” or simply a head shaking “Damn!”

Misgendering hurts me the most, although it seldom happens anymore. I try to not let these things bother me, and after a while I wear it like a badge of honor. Bigotry is not my fault, it is the fault of the person who possesses it. They are the ones with the problem, and I can hold my head high, be the better person, and be proud that I have the courage to be my true self.

It isn’t all bad, though. Our town is more than the discrimination and bigotry I mentioned before; it is also a town full of love and acceptance. I was able to come out on the job to an amazing majority of acceptance. I have met new and wonderful friends that have accepted me with open arms. There hasn’t been any violence towards me, and I generally feel safe anywhere I go. This town has a great LGBTQ+ community and is very supportive of one another. The Pride marches are filled with mostly acceptance and support, and I see people openly expressing their identities wherever I go. 

We must all aspire to let go of our prejudices and try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. I do have the unique insight of going from a privileged white male to a discriminated-against transgender woman, which has opened my eyes to the hatred some people possess. If only everyone could experience life from both sides like I have, perhaps they would love and accept one another more. I know I sure do.

I guess you could say I have transitioned.

Diane Jones

Diane Jones (she/her/hers) is a middle-aged transgender woman who has lived in Fort Collins for nearly 40 years. She transitioned in 2019 and has been living happily as her true self ever since.

Read other Community Voices and write your own: See guidelines at DiverseFortCollins.com/community-voices

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other.

Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Be among the first to read news and event announcements. Type your email in the Follow box at DiverseFortCollins.com

Tell Your Story. Help Track Hate.

Diverse Fort Collins condemns all anti-Asian American violence and harassment.

Article: “Biden, Harris extend support to Asian Americans in wake of Atlanta shootings”

  • “Silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit,” [President Biden] said. “We have to speak out. We have to act.”

Want to help? Visit DFC’s Resources page for links to organizations providing information and training, including the following:

Join us at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 28 via Zoom to discuss SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

We offer a welcoming and compassionate space to focus on Chapters 12-17 and Discussion Questions 5-7 on page 255 in Zoom breakout rooms.

This is our third and final discussion on Ijeoma Oluo’s book. Details and registration: DivereseFortCollins.com/events

Description from Old Firehouse Books website:

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy — from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans — has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair — and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

Watch for an announcement coming soon on our Discussion Series podcast, novel, and film selections.

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other.

Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Be among the first to read news and event announcements. Type your email in the Follow box at DiverseFortCollins.com

Community Voices: Karen Wong-Brown

Karen Wong-Brown at two years old, and her mother, Ling Ling Zee, just before they left Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Karen Wong-Brown.

The Evolution of An Immigrant’s Dream” by Karen Wong-Brown

Almost three decades ago, a naïve 19-year-old came to Colorado State University in Fort Collins as a first-generation college student. Being “first-generation” means neither parent went to college. My mother, Ling Ling Zee, brought me to America for a better education. This was my first time away from home and I carried my mother’s dream of her daughter earning a degree.

Before coming to college, I had always been an average student. Moving all over the United States made keeping up with school more of a challenge. Then my first year of college, I was diagnosed with a learning disability which became one of my greatest obstacles. Due to my pride and ignorance, I dismissed this obstacle because I did not want to give myself that label among others. With assistance from a scholarship and my mentors, I managed to graduate with passing grades.

My cultural identity has always been problematic because I separate my identity into two: Chinese and American. I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Japan when I was two years old. By the age of six, I learned to assimilate and acculturate to America while keeping my Chinese values especially in the home, Chinese community, and workforce. For example, in my household, I followed the Chinese values such as girls are seen and not heard. The Chinese community never accepted me because I spoke Cantonese better than the dominant dialect Mandarin. Finally, in the workforce, I was seen as an outsider by my appearance or my accent. In Fort Collins, I was fired a couple of times because of my accent. As for my appearance, several people accused me of getting the job to fit the quota system. I know that is discriminatory but it happens.

After graduation, I learned to advocate for others in the workplace and the community, and that is where my Americanness comes in. I knew that voice is a powerful tool. Through my personal journey, I learned to have a voice for myself because of my experiences being undervalued in many ways. It was a tiring effort for a while because I felt like I was the only one who was an immigrant, a person of color, Asian American and the list goes on. I also learned to be an advocate for others and I am proud to represent myself in many ways such as taking on leadership roles and being an entrepreneur of a small business. 

Through my efforts to grow, I also found out that my life has many layers and intersectionalities which make me unique. I am proud to say that I have blended both cultures.  Now I am no longer afraid to stand out because I want to make a difference in the Fort Collins community as well as the world. I am ready to embark on any challenges that come my way. My message to the community is that every individual is unique – embrace differences and learn from one another through stories and open hearts. Our life is too short, so be your authentic self.    

With the attainment of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I have fulfilled my mother’s wish and continue to exceed my own expectations like going for my doctorate soon. I learned that I can do anything through tenacity and perseverance. No matter where I live, either in Fort Collins or in a big city, I will be a leader with my voice and presence.

Karen Wong-Brown is a proud first-generation Chinese American woman. She is the founder of Unified Workforce, which helps individuals from all demographics find employment while assisting employers in increasing retention. She also serves in many capacities in Northern Colorado, being compassionate to diverse issues and learning from others.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash


Join Diverse FoCo at 2 p.m. TOMORROW (Sunday, February 28) to discuss Chapters 6-11 of So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Free and pay-what-you-can tickets are available.
Details and Registration: DiverseFortCollins.com/events


DFC seeks to elevate diverse voices. We welcome Community Voices essays from anyone who lives, works, and plays in Fort Collins. Tell your story in 600 words. See submission guidelines at DiverseFortCollins.com/about

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other.

Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Be among the first to read news and event announcements. Type your email in the Follow box at DiverseFortCollins.com

Join us this Sunday Feb 28 to discuss SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE (Chapters 6-11)

DFC book group facilitators look forward to seeing you this Sunday, February 28 at 2 p.m.

We can’t wait for you to join us via Zoom this Sunday at 2 p.m. for a discussion of So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, Chapters 6-11.

Come learn and make new friends in a welcoming, friendly, and compassionate space. We’ll divide into breakout rooms and focus on Discussion Questions 3 and 4 at the back of the book (on pages 254-255).

FREE and Pay-What-You-Can tickets available. Register here via EventBrite. Please note DFC is not a nonprofit organization and therefore cash gifts are not tax-deductible but greatly appreciated.

Buy the paperback from Old Firehouse Books. Receive a 20% discount when you mention Diverse Fort Collins book group. Mention the discount in the notes when ordering online.

Download the free Reading Guide and Discussion Questions. These are also included at the end of the book.

Question 3: The author states that she grew up in a major white, liberal area and was raised by a white mother. How might that upbringing have influenced the way she wrote this book? How might it have influenced the personal events she describes in the book? How might this book have been different if written by a black person with a different upbringing, or if written by a person of color of a different race?

Questions 4: Throughout the book, the author makes it clear that this book was written for both white people and people of color. But does the author expect white people and people of color to read and experience this book in the same way? What are some of the ways in which the author indicates how she expects white people and people of color to react to and interact with portions of the book? What are some of the ways in which the author discusses the different roles that white people and people of color will play in fighting systemic racism in our society?

News from the Diverse Fort Collins

Advisory Committee to Announce Upcoming Events
The DFC Advisory Committee meets monthly and will decide on upcoming Discussion Series selections at its March 10 meeting. Our book group facilitators will also weigh in.

Exciting news: We’re expanding our discussions this year to include podcasts and movies! We’ll share more information soon on a podcast in May, a novel in July, and a film in October.

Get Involved!
Check out our Vote! page for information and news on the upcoming city election.

Suggest a local businesses and nonprofits to add to our BIPOC-Owned Businesses and Local Resources pages.

Write a Community Voices guest commentary. Read guidelines on the About page.


Musicians Celebrate Fort Collins Diversity in New Video
Cary Morin and Ghost Dog’s new song “Trust” produced by Maple Street Music in Fort Collins video celebrates the natural landscapes and diverse residents of Fort Collins.

The next time someone says “Fort Collins has no diversity,” show them this video to help raise awareness of the diversity that exists in our community and in our schools. See more information from the city on this topic at fcgov.com/equity.

City to Hire Chief Equity Officer
The City of Fort Collins recently held employee and community Listening Sessions to inform the hiring of the city’s first Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer and creation of an Equity Office. Read more in the The Collegian article.

Podcast: On The One, “Identity, Community and Passing It On with Jamal Skinner”

Consider this…

“Why BIPOC is an inadequate acronym” by Kearie Daniel

“I just can’t understand why grouping such distinct identities together is necessary—or how it could be beneficial to any of the identities in question. It turns out I’m not alone.” Read more.

“Google is free. On the importance of white allies doing their own work” by author and professor Leah Johnson

Excerpt: “…There was a room full of other people just as capable as me of speaking up and speaking out. And they also chose to be silent.

“I’m not going to feel guilty anymore for not always answering to the undue burden of responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders, and the shoulders of my sisters, to educate white folks. Instead I’m going to challenge y’all, particularly white women, to do your own work. And I don’t mean just in the classroom, though that’s where I experience it most often. I mean everywhere: in your activism, in this movement. I’m asking you to do the research on what has been my lived experience for the past 22 years. I’m asking you to stand up, in your positions of privilege, in the spaces with other folks who look like you and Do. The. Work.” Read more.

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other. Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

Be among the first to read news event announcements. Type your email in the Follow box at DiverseFortCollins.com and watch for the confirmation email to complete the process.

Community Voices: Bridgett Neff-Hickman

Photo by Leonhard Schönstein on Unsplash

“The Colors of Our Rainbow” by Bridgett Neff-Hickman

Walking through Old Town, I’m struck by the beauty of Fort Collins during winter.

Captivated by the romance of the twinkling lights, my wife slides over for a kiss, and a split second of panic engulfs me. I look around quickly, self-conscious of who might be watching. I linger shorter than I would like as I kiss her back, briefly wondering if I’m being overly cautious, or if straight people feel the same apprehension.  

Fort Collins is a progressive, accepting community, I’m told. I drive down Mountain Avenue, the street where I live, and pass by signs that say, “Hate has no home here,” sandwiched by pride flags in every other window. Each time I pass the homes of my allies, the memory of hearing “fag” yelled from a car window pains me. 

People are always stunned when I tell my experiences of being routinely assaulted by homophobic comments, thrown drinks, and judgmental eyes as I exist a queer woman. “In Fort Collins?!” they exclaim. It almost shocks me that they’re shocked. Almost.

This is my reality as a white, cisgender, college-educated queer woman living in Fort Collins.

While pieces of my identity have been victimized, I am more so confronted with the dominance of my privileged racial and gender identities within the community. I have not been the victim of homophobia that intersects with my race, ethnicity, ability status, or gender identity. And while the hurt and fear of homophobia confronts me often, it is nowhere near the confrontation experienced by queer individuals in our community that also claim other marginalized identities.

In a political and cultural environment where silence increasingly speaks louder than words, I call on our community to reject complacency with the battles of other marginalized identities, and to recognize that the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community is inextricably bound to the oppression of other communities. Our first step is standing in solidarity with the Fort Collins BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community.

White queers: we must do better at protecting our black and brown neighbors. Let us not forget that it was trans women of color that propelled our cause at Stonewall. Let us not whitewash the queer movement to be colorful when we often leave black and brown out of our rainbows. And let us not feed into the siloing of LGBTQ+ issues as the issues of one community, when the experiences of so many of us are specifically dictated by the color of our queerness. It is impossible to accurately address the challenges we face without recognizing how racism impacts the queer community. Challenging the racist elements of homophobia—and prioritizing the specific plights of LGBTQ+ people of color—is the only way liberation comes to us all. Because if we leave any color of our rainbow behind, we only further encourage the pain and violence that so many of us are trying ourselves to escape.

The queer community in Fort Collins is small, but strong. We have shown the power we wield when we have organized in the face of LGBTQ+ issues—now it is time for us to do the same for our BIPOC community.

Bridgett Neff-Hickman is a master’s degree student at Colorado State University (CSU) studying political science. She graduated from CSU in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science. Her research has focused on critical theory, postcolonialism, and decolonizing the Middle East. She co-hosts Disrupt, a critical revolutionary podcast focusing on non-western theories of international relations.

Rainbow Love Is Love sign
Love Is Love rainbow sign on white brick building. Photo by Yoav Hornung on Unsplash

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other.

Let’s co-create an inclusive community!

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Mention the Diverse Fort Collins book group at Old Firehouse Books for 20% off the paperback of So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, and join us on Feb. 28 for a discussion of Chapters 6-11 and discussion questions 3-4. Details and registration: DiverseFortCollins/events

Black History Month Events, Plus Listening Sessions on City’s New Equity and Inclusion Office

Photo “Toast To Us” by Neo Latrica compliments of CreateHERstock.com
in celebration of Black History Month and national love month.

Good afternoon, Diverse FoCo friends!

We have lots of exciting news to share about upcoming events this week and next.

Black History Month at CSU features national speaker on race and disability

Colorado State University’s Black/African American Cultural Center and campus partners are hosting a variety of events in February for Black History Month, including a Feb. 17 keynote presentation on race and disability from a nationally recognized speaker. Read more.

Photo by Glodi Miessi on Unsplash

The month-long festivities include more than a dozen events and activities designed to educate, enlighten and celebrate Black culture at CSU. More information and Zoom access on all events is available at baacc.colostate.edu.

Want to Explore the Places in the Black History of Fort Collins? Try this virtual tour of sites that tell the story of Black/African American residents.

From our friends at the Cultural Enrichment Center of Fort Collins, see a list of lectures this month on the Facebook page and Facebook event.

City to Host Listening Sessions to Inform New Equity & Inclusion Office

The City of Fort Collins will host two online listening sessions to help inform the creation of a new Equity & Inclusion Office, Feb. 10 and 16 in Spanish and Feb. 12 in English.

This office will be housed in the City Manager’s Office and the leader will be a member of the City’s executive team, in order to provide a consistent approach to diversity, equity and inclusion across all City operations and community initiatives. Read more.

Poet Amanda Gorman to Recite Poem at Superbowl LV Today

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, one of the highlights of the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, will recite a poem at today’s Super Bowl.

From National Public Radio: Gorman, the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, dazzled viewers with her recitation of her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration this month, and the video of her performance has gone viral. She will be reciting at the Super Bowl pre-show on Feb. 7, before the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Read more.

Pre-order Amanda Gorman’s books from Old Firehouse Books.


Thanks again to the 40 community members who attended our January 24 discussion of So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo!

Based on post-event survey responses, which were overwhelmingly positive about the honest conversations we had in small breakout rooms, we will focus upcoming conversations on Fort Collins-area issues as they relate to the book’s content.

While it’s interesting to hear the perspectives of new friends in other states and countries, Diverse Fort Collins exists to serve local residents in Fort Collins and surrounding communities.

We hope to see you at the second meeting in this series on February 28 when our conversation will focus on Chapters 6-11 and Discussion Questions 3-4.

FREE and Pay-What-You-Can tickets available. Register here via EventBrite. Free tickets will sell out so be sure to register TODAY!

Buy the paperback from Old Firehouse Books and receive a 20% discount when you mention Diverse Fort Collins book group. Include a note when ordering online.

Download the free Reading Guide and Discussion Questions or find them at the end of the book.

Chapter Six: Is police brutality really about race?
Chapter Seven: How can I talk about affirmative action?
Chapter Eight: What is the school-to-prison pipeline?
Chapter Nine: Why can’t I say the “N” word?
Chapter Ten: What is cultural appropriation?
Chapter Eleven: Why can’t I touch your hair?


“After decades without standalone Fort Collins comedy club, The Comedy Fort opening nears”

By Erin Udell/The Coloradoan

The stage is set — and the tables appropriately spaced — for the debut of Fort Collins’ first standalone comedy club in 30 years.

The Comedy Fort is set to open Feb. 12, taking over former Old Town music venue Hodi’s Half Note and fulfilling a yearslong dream for local comedian and comedy show producer David Rodriguez. Read more.

Local Resources Added to DFC Website

We add new links to our Resources page often:

Check out Red Cloud Renewable, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is managed by, and primarly staffed by Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Their goals is to help Native Americans and their communities return to sustainability through renewable energy training and projects, alternative building approaches and educating their people about how to grow and preserve nutritious and traditional Lakota foods.

Check out the Online Restaurant Academy based in Fort Collins, offering “a FREE online mini course designed to level up your restaurant business through proven planning and processing tools. It’s time to work smarter, not harder and enjoy that #restaurantlife you’ve always dreamed of.”

Resources for local businesses include For Fort Collins and NoCo Recovers.

See more on our Local Resources page.

Know of a local resource we should add to our A to Z list? Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com with “Resources” in the subject line.

Diverse Fort Collins is a volunteer-driven community project advocating for antiracism and racial equity. We connect people with resources and each other.

Be among the first to read news and event announcements. Type your email in the Follow box at http://www.DiverseFortCollins.com