Each year, Women's History Month offers an important opportunity for us to shine a light on the extraordinary legacy of trailblazing women and girls who have built, shaped, and improved upon our community. Earlier this month, Boulder City Council declared March 2023 as Women’s History Month and invited the community to join them in the celebration of all women and the progress we have made as a society, as well as reflect on the work still ahead to reach full gender equality.
This year, the National Women’s History Alliance, which spearheaded the movement for March being declared National Women’s History Month, proclaimed that the theme for 2023 is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” To honor this theme, the city has compiled a list of some of the women who are working to share their community’s stories in various ways.
Inez Buggs was Clinica’s first medical provider and she has been providing health care to the underserved for more than 30 years. Clinica Family Health is a medical safety net for those who otherwise might fall through the cracks of the American health care system.
Inez grew up in east Texas during segregation and her family did not have the privilege of having frequent doctor visits. In high school she saw a black nurse for the first time and it reenforced her desire to become a registered nurse. After high school, Inez joined her mother in Boulder and soon enrolled at CU Boulder, but due to the social challenges of being in a majority white environment, she ended up moving to the Emily Griffith Opportunity School where she obtained an LPN degree. In her 30s, Inez re-enrolled at CU Boulder to pursue an RN degree.
In the late 1970s, while still in nursing school, Inez applied to a call for providers to start a public health clinic to serve Lafayette, Louisville and Erie. She was the only provider to apply and Clinica was born. Since then, Clinica has grown from one clinic to five clinics and to this day provides health care to the individuals and families in our community at a price they can afford. Over her time with Clinica, Inez cared for three generations and formed deep connections within our community.
In early 2023, Inez received a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Living Legend of Boulder County as part of the area celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Watch the Museum of Boulder’s tribute video to learn more about Inez and her work.
Deborah “Deb” Conley is a Colorado native, former University of Colorado runner and the president and founder of Lending Sight, an organization that provided guides, athlete and guide development, as well as travel at no charge to visually impaired athletes in need. Deb currently serves on the board of directors at Center for People with Disabilities.
During her college years, Deb ran cross-country and was a member of CU's first women’s collegiate triathlon team to win a national title. After being diagnosed with PTSD and becoming permanently disabled in December 2004, she refocused her passion for running into Lending Sight.
Through Lending Sight, Deb has moved the sport forward by providing high performer runners as guides which allowed visually impaired (VI) athletes to perform at their highest level. Thanks to her advocacy, the World Games and Paralympics running events now award medals to both guide and VI athlete. She also developed running and swimming tethers, for visually impaired athletes which are sold world-wide. In 2020, she was inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame.
Learn more about Deb’s work on the Lending Sight website.
In celebration of the legacies of sustainability of Communities of Color and the magic of Earth, Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish founded Foundations for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability (FLOWS), and Once & Future Green. She is a facilitator, speaker, and educator connecting social justice issues with climate and environmental justice. Michelle has over 25 years of experience uniting the fields of sustainability, justice, culture, nature, and art.
Founded in 2016, FLOWS was inspired by the Colorado River and its many communities. FLOWS helps bridge social justice and environmental issues through leadership training opportunities that are culturally rooted, green job skills, and free energy and water upgrades to the communities who need it most.
Michelle served as a US delegate for the Colorado River in San Luis del Rio Colorado, Mexico, and is a former US State Department BoldFood fellow (Uganda). She has raised awareness through Candelas Glows about the dangers of Rocky Flats—a nuclear superfund site in our backyard.
Supporting the struggle for food justice and centering the needs of frontline communities and agricultural workers, she serves on the advisory board of Frontline Farming and often teaches about permaculture and ecological design. She also serves on the Colorado Water Equity Partnership striving to transform unsustainable, unjust water systems to ones that value community wisdom and traditional water solutions from the peoples of the Colorado River, and from around the world. Michelle is a wife, and mother of three. In her quiet moments she writes, and her poetry is currently featured at Meow Wolf Denver.
Learn more about Michelle’s work on the Once & Future Green website.
Rossana has been the bilingual equity reporter for KGNU Community Radio since 2019, shifting from a full-time employee to a contractor in 2023 to advance environmental information in partnership with Boulder County’s Office of Sustainability, Climate Action & Resilience (OSCAR). Rossana also contributes monthly as the climate change correspondent for Radio Bilingue.
As a multiethnic immigrant woman from Ecuador, with dual citizenship, Rossana provides information with - and for - underrepresented populations in her community and promotes equity in media. Rossana graduated in 2018 with a Masters in Media and Public Engagement from the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI).
At KGNU, Rossana has led the production of the investigative Trends Podcast as a complement to the Trends Magazine since September 2019. The podcast has covered issues that directly affect the most marginalized populations such as: low-income housing, disabilities, elder isolation, lack of diversity, the gender pay gap, and soil restoration. She was featured in 2022 as part of the 10 Journalist Heroes of Colorado.
Today, Rossana hosts various shows at KGNU including Pasa La Voz in Spanish, Storytellers of Color and the Connections Call-in Show. If you would like to connect with Rossana, you can contact her via email at email@example.com or by phone at 720-838-9087.
Mardi Moore is Out Boulder County’s (OBC) Executive Director, a member of Longmont’s Police Oversight Commission and serves on the boards of Caring for Colorado and Boulder Community Hospital. In her role at OBC, she champions LGBTQ+ inclusion, justice, dignity and connection.
Mardi has been active in LGBTQ+ politics at both the local and national level for 30 years. A storyteller at heart, Mardi weaves empathy into her advocacy. Through this work, Mardi elevates the stories of our LGBTQ+ community members from Boulder to the State Capitol and on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
Last year, OBC’s legislative work supported the Fairness in Data Collection bill, to mandate the collection of sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, race and ethnicity data for public health entities, and the Communities Lead, Communities Thrive Coalition bill which created funding for small nonprofit organizations serving underrepresented and underserved communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The work continues in 2023 as OBC advocates for the Amenities For All Genders In Public Buildings bill which will impact individuals across Colorado.
Visit Out Boulder County’s website to learn more about Mardi and the organization’s work.
Adriana Paola Palacios Luna
Originally from Puebla, Mexico, Andriana Paola is a social justice educator, storyteller, mother of three, maker and founder of Luna Cultura. She is passionate about art, science and culture for social justice. Andriana also serves as a volunteer community connector for the City of Boulder. One of her main goals is to prevent and eradicate gender violence and other forms of systemic violence.
Luna Cultura, Art, Science and Culture for Thriving Communities is a bilingual and bi-cultural organization providing training, consulting, and research services in the field of Art and Maker Education, to develop skills, leadership, and healing, from an intergenerational approach of cultural identity and good living.
For more than 30 years, Adriana has worked on socio-environmental justice and social change projects. She is a textile and visual artist, poet, short story writer, storyteller and explorer in the Maker movement. Her work is led by her personal history, and she recognizes the creative ability of all people to foster collective knowledge to achieve socio-environmental justice. She aims to create a friendly and brave space to share and create socio-cultural experiences. Her podcast, Mosaicos Culturales, creates a space for the expression of cultural diversity.
Learn more about Adriana’s work on the Luna Cultura website.
Minister Glenda Robinson
Glenda Strong Robinson is an Associate Minister and Historian at Second Baptist Church of Boulder. In additional to her roles as a community leader and mentor, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Boulder County NAACP.
Minister Robinson has always been involved in serving her community and is driven by a sense of social responsibility. As a student at Memphis State University during the Civil Rights Movement, she was active participant in the Sanitation Worker’s Strike labeled the “I AM A MAN MARCH,” led by Rev. Dr. Marting Luther King, Jr.
She has received several awards including the 2023 Honorable Menola Upshaw Lifetime Achievement Award. The past February, in honor of Black History Month, Congressman Joe Neguse presented Minister Robinson with the Honorable Gloria T. Tanner Congressional Award for Outstanding Community Service. She was also invited to serve as the Chaplain of the Day for the Colorado House of Representatives at the Capitol in Denver.
Kirsten Wilson is the Artistic Director, founder, and visionary of Motus Theater. She is a narrative and multimedia theater artist, a master teacher in the field of autobiographical monologue work, and the editor of the Shoebox Stories podcast. Kirsten has created several award-winning multi-media performances exploring history through the lens of race and class. She excels in supporting individuals who are marginalized in writing compelling narratives aimed at opening hearts and minds.
Since 2013 she has been working with undocumented leaders to share the stories of people on the frontlines of U.S immigration policy (UndocuAmerica). She began collaborating with formerly incarcerated leaders to share their stories of the criminality and injustice of the criminal justice system in 2019 (JustUs). In 2023, Kirsten will be collaborating with transgender and non-binary leaders in the TRANSformative Storytelling Project. Kirsten is known for creating safe places of courageous empathy and civic hospitality where the stories of Motus Theater’s undocumented or formerly incarcerated monologists are paired with local and national leaders who stand with them and read aloud their stories on stage.
Learn more about Kirsten’s work on the Motus Theater website.
Andrea Yoloteotl Nawage
Andrea Yoloteotl Nawage is the founder and Chief Executive Director for Harvest of All First Nations (HAFN), an Indigenous-led collaborative empowering communities through projects and education. Through HAFN, Andrea works on Indigenous-led reparations, rematriation and Earth based Decolonization for the benefit of BIPOC people with a goal to enhance cultural enrichment and health equity. In2022, HAFN was able to host the first annual Corn Festival in Boulder County, focused on Land Back, Indigenous leadership and regenerative agriculture.
Originally Indigenous from Mexico, Andrea is passionate about fostering social justice and equity for her community. She has a degree in Environmental Studies with minors in Peace Studies and Food Justice from Naropa University where she focused on environmental and social justice on behalf of our planet; she also has a Permaculture Design Certificate. Her cultural, ceremonial and ongoing community work have helped her tell her community’s story and create opportunities for generational healing for the next generations.
Learn more about Andrea’s work on the Harvest of All First Nations website.
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