Diverse Fort Collins: Week of Feb. 14

Hello, friends!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Be sure to tell a loved one how much you appreciate them.

We have so much great news to share with you.

Our Jan. 26 book discussion drew about 45 folks!

Thanks to all who joined us to discuss Chapters 1-4 of White Fragility: Why Its So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

We packed the upstairs Event Hall and the first floor with six small groups. Thank you to Mia, Jessica, Jamie, and Katherine for volunteering as “guides” for these discussions.

Join us in a NEW location on Feb. 23 for conversations about Chapters 5-8! Details and RSVP at http://www.DiverseFortCollins.com/events


The Jan. 28 State of The City Address focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.

Check out Stacey Abrams’ website on fighting against voter suppression at http://www.DiverseFortCollins.com/vote

Did you attend the Jan. 20 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration? It was a beautiful day of camaraderie, social justice, inspiring speeches and performances.

Anna’s sign

Wendell’s sign


Here are a few of our most popular social media posts over the past few weeks.

Temple Grandin Equine Center


Marketing For Latino Business Owners (Fort Collins StartUp Week)

JLo and Shakira

The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy (Fort Collins Startup Week)

A Diverse Team: Employing Populations of All Abilities (Fort Collins StartUp Week)


Make new friends and discuss books!

Feb. 23 WHITE FRAGILITY book discussion #2 of 3 (Chapters 5-8)

March 22 WHITE FRAGILITY book discussion #3 of 3 (Chapters 9-12)

Mark your calendar for the 28th Annual Powwow on May 2-3 at Northside Aztlan Community Center. Everyone is welcome! Support Northern Colorado Intertribal Powwow Association.


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

Join us and make some new friends in Fort Collins!

Get out the vote! It’s important for everyone to vote. If you’d like to help Diverse Fort Collins with voter registration, email us at DiverseFoCo@gmail.com with “Voter Registration” in the subject line.


If you’d like to help Diverse Fort Collins develop sponsorships to buy books for our book group, email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com with “Sponsorships” in the subject line.

That’s all for now! Enter your email in the Follow box for exclusive content and updates, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of Jan. 14, 2020

“Good people will fight if we lead them.”Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

“The goal is to focus on what connects us, rather than what divides us.”The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Happy new year, friends!

We know some of you have gone through a rough couple of months over the holidays with unexpected financial hardship, illness and the like.

But it’s a new year, a new decade, and we’re grateful for all the good in our lives, including family and friends we can lean on during challenging times.

We’re ready to embrace what’s next!

The above two quotes summarize what’s been on our minds recently here at Diverse Fort Collins.

Both apply to efforts to advance racial equity, anti-racism, diversity, and equity & inclusion. Many challenges lie ahead, but together we can accomplish our goals, one of which is understanding each other better and making new friends of different cultures, identities and abilities.

Are you hopeful? We are!


The new Diverse Fort Collins logo is now live on the website, and will soon be rolled out across our social media! Many thanks to graphic designer Grant Smith for designing this beautiful, dynamic logo that embodies the spirit of our mission and values: “All welcome. Let’s co-create an inclusive community! All cultures, identities and abilities.

We stopped by the Dec. 14 Community Health Fair at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center that featured tables hosted by U.S. Veterans Administration, Planned Parenthood, Rep. Joe Neguse, Colorado Universal Healthcare, and others.

Here are a few photos of posters displayed by Gerri and Julie at the table hosted by Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care. Visit http://www.CoUniversalHealth.org for information.


Local activist Cindy participated in the 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. march and celebration holding signs such as “How are you using your privilege and power to stand up for others? – Bernice King” and “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressors; it must be demanded.” – MLK Jr. Photos by Diverse Fort Collins

Jan. 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration

It’s not just a day off from work. If you’re interested in co-creating a community in which everyone can thrive, bundle up, makes some new friends and educate yourself by participating at the Martin Luther King, Jr. event.

Join the march from Old Town Square to CSU, and the celebration at CSU’s Lory Student Center! Last year’s celebration included informative, inspiring presentations, and this year’s will be equally amazing. The theme: “Preservation to Manifestation” (“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”)

Jan 23 We Are The Radical Monarchs free film screening and discussion at The Lyric! Film is in English with live interpretation in Spanish. Dinner provided. The focus is to engage parents and caregivers of children of color to talk about youth development and social justice. Hosted by ACT Human Rights Film Festival and Poudre River Public Library District.

Jan. 26 Join us for an empowering Diverse Fort Collins Book Group discussion on the accessible first floor of Wolverine Farm Letterpress and Publick House: Chapters 1-4 of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.

We have three talented facilitators – Jamie, Jessica and Mia – who will guide small-group conversations during this event. Some groups will be geared toward teenagers, LGBTQIA+, people of color, etc. if there’s interest among attendees. Buy the paperback at Old Firehouse Books (20% discount if you mention this book group!) and expand your knowledge and social circles.

Porgy & Bess. Photo by The Metropolitan Opera.

Feb. 1 The Metropolitan Opera Met Live in HD will broadcast Porgy & Bess, featuring Fort Collins’ favorite opera singer and our friend Anthony P. McGlaun in the chorus! Field trip, anyone? We’re planning to watch this at Cinemark Greeley Mall.

Feb. 4 Hope for Today event at the Fort Collins Senior Center by NoCo SafeSpace. Hear a member of the LGBTQIA+ community (with lived experience of suicide and recovery) discuss: the signs of depression and suicide; risk ractors and warning signs, etc.

Would you like to volunteer? Write a guest commentary or be featured in a Community Member profile? As always, we’d love to hear from you. Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com

Your friends at Diverse Fort Collins

All welcome. Let’s co-create an inclusive community!
All cultures, identities and abilities



Twitter @DiverseFoCo

Instagram @DiverseFortCollins

다채로운 포트 콜린스에 오신 것을 환영합니다 (Welcome)(Korean)

Welcome to Diverse Fort Collins (Korean)

다채로운 포트 콜린스에 오신 것을 환영합니다!


모두 (모든 민족을) 환영합니다

Thank you for visiting Diverse Fort Collins, a volunteer-driven community project connecting people with resources and each other.

다채로운 포트콜린스에 방문해 주셔서 감사합니다. 이곳은 자원 및 사람을 연결하는 자원 봉사 공동체 프로젝트 입니다.

Read more about the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group below.

다채로운 포트 콜린스 독서회에 대한 관심이 있으시면 아래 정보를 확인해 보세요.

As this website develops, you’ll be able to see lists of community organizations, ethnic businesses (such as restaurants that specialize in the cuisine of other countries) and businesses owned by people of color; a land acknowledgment, a glossary of terms, a list of the wonderful people who are Diverse Fort Collins sponsors, advisers and volunteers (including those who will translate this welcome message into Arabic, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, and other languages).

이 웹사이트는 지역사회 단체, 민족 기업(외국의 요리를 전문으로 하는 식당 등)과 유색인종들이 경영하는 사업들의 목록을 볼 수 있을 것입니다. 게다가 토지 인정서, 용어 사전 및 다채로운 포트 콜린스의 후원자, 고문, 자원 봉사자들의 목록 또한 열람 가능합니다. 이 목록에는 이 환영 메시지를 아랍어, 프랑스어, 독일어, 한국어, 중국어, 스페인어, 러시아어, 다른 언어로 번역해 주신 분들 또한 포함됩니다.

You’ll also be able to connect with new friends who want to expand their social circles through discussions and other events.

그리고 토론이나 다양한 행사를 통해 새로운 친구들과 연결되고 사회 영역을 확장할 수 있는 좋은 기회입니다.

A little about me: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My mom is from the Philippines and my dad (who is Mexican-American from Roswell, New Mexico) grew up in East L.A. I moved to Fort Collins in 2002, and though I was often aware that I was the only person of color in the room, it wasn’t until I attended the 2015 Multicultural Community Retreat and joined my workplace’s equity and inclusion team that I began making new friends of diverse backgrounds, identities, abilities and experiences.

저는 캘리포니아 로스앤젤레스에서 태어나 자랐습니다. 저희 어머니는 필리핀 출신이시며 아버지는 멕시코계 미국인 이시고 뉴멕시코주 로스웰 출신이십니다. 저희는 동 로스앤젤레스에서 살다가 2002년에 포트 콜린스로 이사했습니다. 그동안 보통은 제가 유일한 유색인이라고 생각하고 있었지만 2015년 다문화 커뮤니티 유향 여행 (Multicultural Community Retreat)에 참석하면서 다양한 배경, 정체성, 능력, 경험을 가진 새로운 친구들을 처음으로 사귀게 되었습니다.

My love of Fort Collins and my work in racial equity, diversity and inclusion inspired me to create Diverse Fort Collins.

포트 콜린스에 대한 저의 사랑과 인종적 형평성, 다양성, 포용력 덕분에 저는 다채로운 포트 콜린스를 만들어 낼 영감이 생겼습니다.

Our community lands on many top 10 lists for reasons we’ve all heard. On the flip side, many of my friends and colleagues who are people of color and I have had not-so-positive experiences. Some have experienced racism, racial profiling and discrimination. Some have been vocal; others silent. Some have moved away and returned; others will never return.

콜로라도는 많은 미국인들이 살고 싶어하는 지역 10위 안에 올라와 있습니다 (관련정보 클릭). 반면에 내 친구들, 동료들 중 많은 사람들은 유색인종이지만 이 곳에서의 긍정적인 경험이 많이 없었습니다. 일부 사람들은 인종차별, 인종 프로파일링 등과 같은 차별을 경험을 했습니다. 어떤 사람들은 목소리를 높였고 어떤 사람들은 침묵 했습니다. 어떤 사람들은 이사를 갔다가 돌아왔고 어떤 사람들은 절대 돌아오지 않을 것입니다.

On a happier note, I’m glad to see many businesses displaying signs such as “All Are Welcome Here” (Thank you, Toolbox Creative!) and “Safe Zone: This space respects all aspect of people, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, religion and ability” (Thank you, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse!)

매우 기쁜 소식으로는 “모두(모든 민족이) 여기에 온 것을 환영한다”와 “안전지대(Safe Zone): 이 장소는 인종, 민족, 성적 지향, 성별 표현, 나이, 종교, 능력 등 사람들의 모든 측면을 존중한다.”라는 간판을 내걸고 있는 기업들이 많아 지고 있다는 것입니다. Toolbox CreativeHappy Lucky’s Teahouse 이러한 메시지를 표현해 주셔서 감사합니다.

One opportunity to get involved in Diverse Fort Collins is by joining us for book group discussions. Read details about the next book group meeting on the Events page. 

다채로운 포트 콜린스에 참여할 수 있는 또 다른 기회는 다채로운 포트 콜린스 독서회에서  책에 대해 함께 토론하는 것입니다. 이벤트 페이지에서 다음 독서회에 대한 정보를 찾을 수 있습니다.

Mention the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group at Old Firehouse Books to receive a 20 percent discount off the paperback. Book group selections feature fiction and nonfiction titles. 

Firehouse Books에서 다채로운 포트 콜린스 독서회에 대해 말씀하시면 페이퍼백(paperback)을 20% 할인을 받으실 수 있습니다. 독서회에서는 픽션과 논픽션 책    항목 중에서 선택하실 수 있습니다.

If you like what Diverse Fort Collins is about, please consider supporting us with your time (volunteer) or money (sponsor)(watch for PayPal and other links coming soon.) We seek volunteers to help with strategic planning, event coordination, technology, sponsorships, writing guest commentaries, etc.

다채로운 포트콜린스의 목적과 임무가 마음에 드신다면 자원봉사자나 후원자로서 지원하는 것에 대해 고려해 보시길 부탁드립니다. 곧 페이팔 및 다른 링크들을 웹사이트에 넣을 것입니다. 전략적 계획, 행사 조정, 기술, 후원, 게스트 해설 작성 등에 도움을 주실 자원봉사자를 모집합니다.

Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com if you’re interested, or if you have questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.

관심이 있으시거나 질문, 의견이 있으시다면 DiverseFoCo@gmail.com으로 이메일을 보내주세요. 당신의 생각을 꼭 듣고 싶습니다.

And follow us on social media:

저희의 SNS를 팔로우 해 주십시오:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DiverseFortCollins and www.facebook.com/DiverseFoCo

페이스북: www.facebook.com/DiverseFortCollins, www.facebook.com/DiverseFoCo

인스타: @DiverseFortCollins

Twitter: @DiverseFoCo

There’s so much more I could say. I’ll leave it for future posts.

저는 포트 콜린스를 사랑하고 이 곳에서의 제 인생과 친구들을 사랑합니다. 다채로운 포트 콜린스 공동 제작에 참여해 주시길 부탁드립니다.

I love Fort Collins, and I love my life and friends here. 

저는 포트 콜린스를 사랑하고 이 곳에서의 제 인생과 친구들을 사랑합니다.

I hope you’ll join us. All welcome. Let’s co-create an inclusive community! 

다채로운 포트 콜린스 공동 제작에 참여해 주시길 바랍니다. 다시 한번 모두 환영합니다. 우리 다 같이 보다 폭넓은 공동체를 함께 만들어 봅시다.

Katherine Valdez
Founder and Executive Director, Diverse Fort Collins

캐서린 발데스 “다채로운 포트콜린스” 겸임 전무이사, 설립자

Photo by Timothy Ries on Unsplash

¡Bienvenido a Diverse Fort Collins! (Welcome)(Spanish)


¡Bienvenido a Diverse Fort Collins!

Gracias por visitar Diverse Fort Collins, un proyecto comunitario impulsado por voluntarios que conecta a las personas con los recursos entre sí.

Lea más sobre el Diverse Fort Collins Book Group (Grupo de Lectura)a continuación.

A medida que se desarrolle este sitio web, usted podrá ver listas de organizaciones comunitarias, empresas étnicas (como restaurantes que se especializan en la cocina de otros países) y negocios que pertenecen a personas de color; un reconocimiento de tierras, un glosario de términos, una lista de las personas maravillosas que son patrocinadores, asesores y voluntarios de Diverse Fort Collins (incluidos aquellos que traducirán este mensaje de bienvenida al Árabe, Francés, Alemán, Coreano, Mandarín, Ruso y otros idiomas).

También podrás conectarte con nuevos amigos que quieran expandir sus círculos sociales a través de discusiones y otros eventos.

Un poco sobre mí: Nací y crecí en Los Ángeles, California. Mi madre es de Filipinas y mi padre (que es México-Americano de Roswell, Nuevo México) creció en el Este de Los Ángeles. Me mudé a Fort Collins en el 2002, y aunque a menudo era consciente de que era la única persona de color en el cuarto, no fue hasta que asistí al Retiro Comunitario Multicultural 2015 y me uní al equipo de equidad e inclusión, de mi lugar de trabajo, que comencé a hacer nuevos amigos de diversos orígenes, identidades, habilidades y experiencias.

Mi amor por Fort Collins y mi trabajo en equidad racial, diversidad e inclusión me inspiraron a crear Diverse Fort Collins.

Nuestra comunidad aterriza en muchas de las diez primeras listas por las razones que todos hemos escuchado. Por otro lado, muchos de mis amigos, colegas y yo hemos tenido experiencias no tan positivas. Algunos han experimentado racismo, perfil racial y discriminación. Algunos han sido vocales; otros callan. Algunos se han alejado y regresado; otros nunca volverán.

En una nota más feliz, me alegra ver que muchas empresas muestran carteles como “Todos Son Bienvenidos Aquí” (¡Gracias, Toolbox Creative!) y “Zona Segura: este espacio respeta todos los aspectos de las personas, incluyendo raza, etnia, orientación sexual, expresión de género, edad, religión y habilidad” (¡Gracias, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse!)

Una oportunidad para involucrarse en Diverse Fort Collins es uniéndose a nosotros para discusiones grupales de libros. Lea los detalles sobre la próxima reunión del grupo en la página de Eventos.

Y mencione el Diverse Fort Collins Book Group en la tienda Old Firehouse Books para recibir un descuento del 20 por ciento en libros de pasta blanda. Las selecciones del grupo literario incluyen títulos de ficción y no ficción.

Si le gusta de qué se trata Diverse Fort Collins, por favor considere apoyarnos con su tiempo (voluntario) o dinero (patrocinador) (esté atento a PayPal y otros enlaces próximamente). Buscamos voluntarios para ayudar con la planificación estratégica, coordinación de eventos, tecnología, patrocinios, o escribiéndonos sus comentarios, etc.

Envíe un correo electrónico a DiverseFoCo@gmail.com si está interesado, si tiene preguntas o comentarios. Nos encantaría saber de usted.

Y síguenos en las redes sociales:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DiverseFortCollins
Instagram: @DiverseFortCollins
Twitter: @DiverseFoCo

Hay mucho más que podría decir. Lo dejaré para futuras publicaciones.

Amo a Fort Collins, y amo mi vida y mis amigos aquí.

Espero que te unas a nosotros. Todos son bienvenidos. ¡Co-creemos una comunidad inclusiva!

Katherine Valdez
Fundadora y Directora Ejecutiva, de Diverse Fort Collins

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of Nov. 19, 2019

Hello, friends!

Due to out of office plans and a series of unfortunate events, we’re a bit delayed in bringing you this update. But we’re back, and there’s so much to share!

Take a look, and as usual, don’t hesitate to reach out with comments and suggestions by responding to this post or emailing DiverseFoCo@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Recent News

  • Veterans Day honors people who have served in the military and sacrificed so much to defend the U.S. and allies around the world. One movie gets it right in representing military women, according to The Cherry Picks, a women-focused alternative to IMDB. Info on the film.

Upcoming Events

  • Gearing Up for Giving. Read North Forty News’ roundup of opportunities to donate or volunteer.
  • Fort Collins Rescue Mission needs donations and volunteers for its annual Thanksgiving Banquet.
  • Did you know local Native American families need your help? The annual Christmas Gift and Food Drive by Northern Colorado Intertribal Powwow Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is coming up! Read details here.
  • Interested in contributing yours skills and expertise to Diverse Fort Collins? We seek volunteers for our Advisory Committee. This is a group that provides ideas, insights and guidance to Diverse Fort Collins via email and (coming soon) quarterly meetings. We also seek volunteers to help with translations, technology, sponsorships, etc. Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com and let us know about your interests!
  • Diverse Fort Collins Book Group will provide a safe space to discuss Chapters 1 through 4 of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo on Jan 26.


We publish monthly updates, and will be on hiatus over the holidays.

Whether you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving or not (here are some things to consider), have a wonderful time off with your loved ones. See you in the new year!

Your friends at Diverse Fort Collins

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!


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!

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!

Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of October 15, 2019

Hello, friends!

Happy autumn! If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, there are plenty of local and regional events to choose from.

First, a quick recap of news. Then read on for information about our Oct. 27 discussion of the Fort Collins Reads selection, The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea, co-hosted by Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House. Event will be on the first floor, accessible to all.

There’s still time to buy your paperback copy at a 20% discount at Old Firehouse Books if you mention the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group!


  • Latinx author Teresa R. Funke’s new book Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life is available now! Her Oct. 3 book launch featured readings and a performance by the talented Colleen Crosson
  • City Council heard an Oct. 8 work session presentation from staff responding to Council’s Equity and Inclusion priorities. Watch the video.
  • Actress, comedian and LGBTQIA+ icon Tig Notaro performed Oct. 11 to a sold-out crowd at the Lincoln Center for the first show of the inaugural Laugh Riot comedy series. Fort Collins train horns and a wayward bat startled her, but she incorporated both into her set, drawing a standing ovation at the end of the evening.
  • Read the full 2019 Fall Address by new Colorado State University (CSU) President Joyce McConnell in which she announced the new Race, Bias and Equity Initiative. Watch the video of students silently protesting recent incidents of bias and racism on campus.
    • “As a land-grant institution founded on the principle of access, we cannot turn our backs on any of our students,” McConnell said. “We owe it to all our students to create an environment in which they can flourish and succeed.”
  • Did you know 15 to 25 percent of the population is highly sensitive? That means one in five people share this genetic trait. The recent Sensitivity Summit featured speakers focusing on various aspects of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Visit the website for details. (Are you highly sensitive? Take Dr. Elaine Aron’s quiz.)
  • Interested in attending events and panel discussions on representation in art (such as Native Futurisms: Art and Conversation about Contemporary Indigenous Healing) and other diversity/equity/inclusion topics? Sign up for the Boulder County Arts Alliance newsletter. Closer to home, Fort Collins is fortunate to have The Native American Cultural Center at CSU as a resource.

Upcoming Events

  • CSU Diversity Symposium runs through Oct. 18. Free! See the schedule. Law Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw gave a dynamic and thought-provoking keynote speech last night, “Thirty Years of Theorizing Justice: Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and Contemporary Challenges.”
  • Open Stage Theatre & Company’s Every Brilliant Thing, which tackles the topic of suicide, runs through Oct. 19.
  • Fort Collins Book Fest is this week on Oct. 18-19. Free! Sessions and workshops. This year’s theme is “Food for Thought.” Keynote speakers are award-winning authors Sean Sherman (The Sioux Chef) and Rick Bass (The Traveling Feast). Rep. Joe Neguse (HD-2), James Beard Award winner Toni Tipton-Martin (The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African-American Cookbooks), Octavio Quintanilla (poet laureate of San Antonio, Texas) and Stephanie Anderson (One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture) are also scheduled to appear.
  • Bas Bleu Theatre’s production of Driving Miss Daisy runs through Oct. 20
  • Greeley Multicultural Festival on Oct. 19 will showcase cultures from all over the world.
  • The Catamounts productions feature diverse casts. Everybody by 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins offered a thought-provoking and humorous take on life and death. Buy tickets to the next two productions this season.
  • Just in time for Halloween. Control Group Productions’ Cutting Room Floor runs Oct. 17-30 and features a diverse cast for this immersive ghost tour of the Aurora Fox Arts Center! Tickets are on sale now.
  • MTOB (More Than One Box) monthly meetups for multi-ethnic families and friends began last month in Denver with a viewing party for the new series Mixed-ish. Like the Facebook event page to see notices of upcoming events. For related info (including the podcast Off Color) visit Tan Tigress Productions LLC, which focuses on race and identity.

Upcoming DFC Events

  • There’s still time to read the novel! Diverse Fort Collins Book Group will meet on Oct. 27 on the first floor of Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House to discuss The House of Broken Angels! Mention this book group for a 20% discount on the paperback at Old Firehouse Books. Then buy a ticket to the author’s visit!
  • Watch for announcements of the three-part book group series on White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, coming in early 2020. Diverse Fort Collins Book Group will provide a safe space to discuss this topic, a few chapters at a time.
Continue reading “Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of October 15, 2019”

Community Voices Guest Commentary: Author Teresa R. Funke

By Teresa R. Funke

When I was growing up in Boise, Idaho, our state had the largest population of ethnic Basques living outside of Spain. I grew up surrounded by the Basque culture, and people often asked if I were Basque.

It was a logical question. With my dark hair and eyes and my light skin, I was more likely to be Basque than I was to be my true ethnicity, Mexican. But I also wonder now if there wasn’t a touch of racism in that question. Most of the Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who lived in or around Boise were migrant workers (at least that’s what most Boiseans thought), while the Basque families were working quite visibly in professions like education and the law. Because my Mexican mother was a teacher, and I definitely passed as white, maybe it seemed more likely I would be Basque, though I never thought this then.

I was always quick to set people straight. “Actually, I’m half-Mexican,” I’d say with great pride. My grandmother who helped raise me immigrated from Mexico in the 1920s with her brother and sister. They started successful grocery stores in San Antonio and sent for the rest of the family. My grandfather was Mexican-American, born in Texas. He moved the family to Idaho when my mother was three. For the first time in her life, my grandmother experienced real prejudice, and she immediately instructed her children to integrate and to stop speaking Spanish. Hence, the language was lost to my mother and me.

Growing up, I didn’t know many other Mexican-American families. We lived in a working-class white neighborhood and nearly all of my friends and classmates were white. Yet I sought out the Mexican culture wherever I could find it. How I wanted to embrace that side of me and feel connected!

When my husband and I moved to Fort Collins in 1992, we experienced very little culture shock. Fort Collins was a lot like Boise, including a lack of diversity. After a few months here, I asked a new friend, “Why doesn’t anyone here ask me if I’m Basque?” To which she replied, “What’s a Basque?” I was shocked.

White people still asked about my ethnic identity (Mexican people more often recognized me as one of their own), but the question was framed more as, “So what are you?” I’ve never taken offense at that question. Being half-Mexican, a quarter Irish and a quarter German and Dutch, I know I have a unique look, and I’ve always been happy to talk about my heritage. But without my extended family around, I felt even more disconnected from the Mexican culture.

And then slowly I started to get involved with events at the local libraries, the Museo de Las Tres Colonias and the Northside Aztlan Community Center, and was able to start to connect with Mexican and Mexican-American people. I started getting invited to speak or write about my experiences as a Latina author, which filled me with pride. I was even able to arrange book donations of my World War II stories to organizations that work with Hispanic families. It feels good to be able to reclaim a little of my ties to my family’s heritage.

Fort Collins has grown a lot since we moved here 27 years ago, and I’m glad to see a more diverse population starting to arrive. I’m also glad to see the open displays of welcome in our city for refugees, immigrants and visitors from other countries. Those welcomes remind me that my grandmother came to this country for the same reason most immigrants do. She wanted a better life for herself and her children. And thanks to her bravery and sacrifice, we have that.

Teresa R. Funke is the author of Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life. She has also written seven award-winning novels set in World War II, a popular blog and numerous articles, essays and short stories. She is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant and community catalyst. Please visit www.teresafunke.com or www.burstsofbrilliance.com.

Editor’s note: According to 2018 Census figures, Fort Collins’ population is 89% white, 1.6% Black or African American, 0.8% American Indian or Alaska Native, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 3.6% Two or More Races and 11.8% Hispanic or Latino. Poudre School District and Colorado State University freshman populations show higher percentages of diversity.


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Mention the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group at Old Firehouse Books for 20% off the paperback of The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea, and join us on Oct. 27 at Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House for a discussion one week before the author visits for Fort Collins Reads!