Diverse Fort Collins Update: Week of Sept. 3, 2019

Mural “Rise” by Gregg Deal at Redline Gallery. Photo by Diverse Fort Collins.

Hello, Diverse Fort Collins friends,

Summer has been busy, as usual!

Here’s a summary of happenings from the past couple of weeks, and highlights from our social media posts.

Starting this month, watch for updates on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays.

Diverse Fort Collins News

Our Welcome post has been published at http://www.DiverseFortCollins and we’ll soon offer this message in Arabic, French, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish, thanks to volunteer translators! If you or friends are interested in helping us translate the Welcome post to other languages, please contact us at DiverseFoco@gmail.com

Regional Highlights

Redline Gallery is a Denver nonprofit that presented the 24 Hours Block Party on Aug. 10, focusing on socially engaged art projects and activities.

Artist Gregg Deal (originally from Park City, UT and now a Colorado resident) painted his mural “Rise” (depicting his 13-year-old daughter Sage) on the side of the gallery building, and took time out to speak with event attendees about his life and identity as an artist and as the son of a white father and a Paiute mother who was adopted by white parents.

Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, is a visual artist who gained national attention when The Washington Post covered his performance art “The Last American Indian On Earth.” Listen to his TedxBoulder Talk, “Indigenous In Plain Sight.”

Charlie Miller of DCPA Off Center recaps the year in immersive entertainment at the Denver Immersive Retrospectacle. Photo by Diverse Fort Collins.

The 2019 Denver Immersive Retrospectacle on Aug. 15 at the Denver Center for Performing Arts summarized highlights of the past year and featured several speakers and a keynote on Nordic LARP (live-action role playing).

The highlight (for Diverse Fort Collins, at least) was a presentation by Dan Griner of Otterbox on the importance of inclusion in immersive entertainment.

Tamara Banks (far left), panel and filmmaker Rebekah Henderson (front) at MTOB. Photo by Diverse Fort Collins.

More Than One Box: A Mixed Gathering is an annual event by and for multiethnic families and friends presented by Denver filmmaker Rebekah Henderson’s Tan Tigress Productions.

The Aug. 17 event included two panel discussions moderated by journalist and filmmaker Tamara Banks and screenings of the documentaries “All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities” about Colorado residents who are of mixed heritage and “A Short Roundup,” a “where are they now?” look at a few of the Asian American boys who auditioned for the role of Short Round in “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom,” one of whom would grow up to be the co-founder of Choir Choir Choir!

MTOB panel featuring friends from Denver, Los Angeles and New York. Photo by Diverse Fort Collins.

Social Media Highlights

Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Greeley Multicultural Festival on Oct. 19.

Diverse Fort Collins is hosting an Oct.27 book group discussion on the 2019 Fort Collins Reads selection THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS by Luis Alberto Urrea. Mention the DFC book group to receive 20% off the paperback at Old Firehouse Books.

Being nice isn’t enough. Check out this children’s book list for anti-racist activism. Thanks to Old Firehouse Books for sharing!

Follow us at http://www.DiverseFortCollins and on Facebook and Instagram @DiverseFortCollins

Contact Us!

Interested in writing a 600-word guest blog post about what it’s like to live, work or play in our community? Want to volunteer? We’d love to hear from you. Email DiverseFoCo@gmail.com

Hope you’ve had a great summer!


Welcome to Diverse Fort Collins

Read the Welcome message in English, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.

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

Read more about the Diverse Fort Collins Book Group below.

As this website develops, you’ll 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, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and other languages).

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

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.

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

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.

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!)

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.

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

If you like what Diverse Fort Collins is about, please consider supporting us with your time (volunteer) or money (sponsor). We seek volunteers to help with event coordination, website content development, writing guest Community Voices guest commentaries, strategic planning, technology, sponsorships, etc.

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

And follow us on social media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DiverseFortCollins and www.facebook.com/DiverseFoCo
Instagram: @DiverseFortCollins
Twitter: @DiverseFoCo

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

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

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

Katherine Valdez
Founder and Executive Director, Diverse Fort Collins


Diverse Fort Collins founder Katherine Valdez is a former newspaper reporter and nonprofit communications director who has lived in the city since 2002.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is an award-winning writer whose latest essay was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was published in Rise: An Anthology of Change edited by Northern Colorado Writers, which won the Colorado Book Award for anthology/collection.

Katherine has summitted 65 Colorado thirteeners and fourteeners, and dozens of other peaks around the West.

Our first gathering was a success!

Fort Collins, CO – Thank you to the 10 community members who attended tonight’s informal happy hour chat about Robin DiAngelo’s May 22 “Seeing The Racial Water” workshop at Naropa University in Boulder!

DiAngelo is the author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism.

We learned about each other’s backgrounds and shared why we became interested in racial equity and anti-racist work. Those who attended the workshop shared highlights and impressions, leading to thoughtful observations and questions.

We gathered at Maza Kabob, a locally owned and operated restaurant that has offered from-scratch, authentic Afghan cuisine for more than eight years.

Stay tuned for details on upcoming events, including an Oct. 27 book group discussion of the Fort Collins Reads selection, The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea.