Women & Girls of Color Fund Grantees Embody Liberatory Leadership
Women & Non-binary Executive Directors of Color Across the Front Range Receive Unrestricted Funding to Support Liberatory Leadership
On International Women’s Day, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado announces that our Women & Girls of Color Fund advisory council has made $440,000 in grants to Front Range organizations. Our Women & Girls of Color Fund grantees’ missions are as diverse as our communities. They focus on maternal health, community healing and grief recovery, mutual aid, immigrant and refugee support, food sovereignty, wellness for Latinx and Indigenous LGBTQ+ folks, and more. While their missions might seem distinct, our 2022 Front Range grantees all have a common thread: liberatory leadership.
We define liberatory leadership, one of the Women & Girls of Color Fund’s core principles, as not only the rejection of systems of racism, classism, homophobia, and patriarchy, but demonstrated, radical practices such as self care and collective leadership. Healing and power building are critical to that work.
“Our work to heal relationships, build solidarity, and practice interdependence are some of the most powerful tactics to win our collective liberation.”
– Felicia Griffin & Neha Mahajan, Co-Founders and Executive Directors, Transformative Leadership for Change
Unrestricted funding is also critical. Women & Girls of Color Fund grants are made with no strings attached, which gives executive directors the flexibility to respond to needs as they arise and the ability to invest in collective care for themselves and their communities. A culture of care for women and nonbinary executive directors of color is an antidote to burnout. The better you can care for yourself, the better you can care for your community.
“As a woman of color who is a founder and executive director of a new non-profit, it has been challenging to receive adequate funding to support our mission. Being a recipient of this grant makes me feel hopeful and acknowledged for the work we do to support bereaved moms. It is also a game-changer in the way that it also provides me with a meaningful opportunity to manifest the radical self-care that is necessary for effective leadership, balance, and sustainability.”
– Shay Jacobs, Founder and Executive Director, Adam’s Purpose
We invite you to get to know our 2022 Front Range Women & Girls of Color Fund grantees and explore the ways that each executive director is building collective power below.
Meet the 2022 Front Range Women & Girls of Color Fund Grantees
Shay Jacobs, Founder and Executive Director
The mission of Adam’s Purpose is to provide help, hope, and healing to the Black women and their families who are impacted by the death of a loved one through normalizing grief recovery, awareness, education, and access to culturally responsive support services.
Andrea Loya, Executive Director
Casa de Paz is on a mission to reunite families separated by immigrant detention, one simple act of love at a time. This work includes providing hospitality – food, clothing, shelter, emotional support, and transportation – to people released from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Aurora.
Sadé Cooper, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
CHIC mission is to build women’s economic, social, and cultural capital because powerful women build healthy families and thriving communities.
Angell Pérez, Executive Director
To create a pathway for our youth to discover sacred relationships with self, family, and community, to reduce violence and incarceration so that youth can reach their full potential.
Analise Harris, Founder and President
Curls on the Block is an enrichment program for girls of all curls and colors to embrace, explore and empower their natural selves while working to increase engagement, investment, and commitment to careers in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
DIFRC’s mission is to strengthen vulnerable AI/AN children and families through collaborative and culturally-responsive services.
Patience Kabwasa, Executive Director
Food to Power’s mission is to cultivate a healthy and equitable food system in Colorado Springs. Its purpose is to provide integrated programming that encompasses the entire food cycle to empower local communities using fresh food as the vehicle. Food to Power’s vision is a world in which communities heal and thrive in relationship with food, land, and each other.
Mimi Madrid, Executive Director
Fortaleza Familiar is dedicated to the wellness of Indigenous Chicanx Latinx Lesbian Gay Bi Queer Trans Two-Spirit young people and their families in Colorado.
Summer Nettles, Chief Inspiration Officer
The Mission of Greater Purpose Media (GPM) is to activate the filmmaking process from pre production to post production to educate and engage: students of color, viewers, policy makers and various stakeholders to effect change.
Thai Nguyen, Founder
Our mission is to prevent food waste and improve food justice and health equity in communities facing food apartheid.
Angela Ceseña, Executive Director
To provide bilingual and culturally sensitive services to Latinx survivors of domestic violence and their families.
Birdie Johnson, Founder
Our mission is to promote awareness, access and availability of professional Doula support and promote evidence-based, respectful maternity care to all childbearing persons. We aim to promote the availability and use of skilled maternity care. We provide continuing education and networking opportunities for health, social service, and mental health professionals. The ultimate goal is to improve perinatal health outcomes such as neonatal-maternal disability and death.
MJ (Maleeka Jihad), Founder
To dismantle culturally incompetent practices and mitigate the community impact of these practices by challenging sources of oppression and inequality in the child welfare system. We do this through education, advocacy, partnership and direct services.
Jacquelyn Clemmons, Founder
Okionu Birth Foundation is built on a passion for improving the lives of individuals and families. We connect the entire family to the help and services they need, right when they need it. We provide so much more than just food and group support. In partnership with you, we are building strong people, communities, and families.
Tanaka Shipp, Founder & CEO
Our mission is to empower all young women including queer, trans, and non-binary students. We achieve this through a holistic approach that includes leadership development, mentorship and community engagement to develop emotionally intelligent and civically minded leaders who contribute to their families and greater communities.
Marilyn Hollinquest, Co-Founder/CEO of Finances & Operations & Anayvette Martinez, Co-founder / CEO of Programs & Communications
The Radical Monarchs organization empowers young girls and non-binary youth of color so that they stay rooted in their collective power, brilliance and leadership in order to make the world a more radical place. We define the word “radical” as being a bold, innovative advocate for local, disenfranchised communities.
Mariana Del Hierro, Executive Director
Our Mission is to work with people in economically marginalized neighborhoods to develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems, and create an economy owned by the community.
Michelyn Johnson, Executive Director and Co-Founder
RISE 5280’s mission is to provide equitable opportunities to close educational attainment gaps and promote fiscal and social mobility for Black and Brown youth. The program empowers underrepresented high-school-aged youth through a cultural lens to develop healthy social-emotional skills and career planning.
Nelly Limon, Coordinator
To improve health equity in the city of Sheridan by creating power in the community, facilitating the process of self-determination regarding education, programs, activities, and housing with community members to inspire efficacy
Yvette Plummer, Executive Director
Show and Tell advocates for families of children with disabilities from birth to twenty-six years old and youth with disabilities and special healthcare needs to achieve and perform to their full potential while striving to be contributing members of their school and communities.
Rev. Tawana Davis, PhD, Co-Founder and Interim Executive Director
To transform Colorado and beyond through Black Womxn-led, faith-based racial justice programs that focus on anti-Black racism, reproductive justice, reparations, and voter engagement toward actualizing Black healing and Black liberation.
Shalonda Haggerty, Founder/Executive Director
STAR Girlz mission is to Mentor, Empower, and ultimately Transform the lives of female youth and young adult women through providing mental health services, psychoeducational empowerment classes, transitional housing, entrepreneurship training and educational exposure to create jobs and promote healthier lifestyle choices.
Shana Shaw, CEO
The mission of the Compound of Compassion to provide a self-sustainable environment created to encourage a safe place of healing for youth, young adults, veterans and seniors. To meet those in need where they are and provide disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and other tangible assistance.
Gloria Kat, Executive Director
Working alongside diverse families we provide high quality childcare and supportive services, with an emphasis on cultural attunement with the Latinx community. This work is done with an explicit vision of creating a community in which all families are safe, supported, and thriving.
Felicia Griffin & Neha Mahajan, Co-Founders & Executive Directors
TLC’s (Transformative Leadership for Change) mission is to transform ourselves (BIPOC movement leaders), our organizations, and the larger movement ecosystem so we can thrive in our leadership, build real power for our communities, and see our visions of liberation come to life.
Amuda Mishra, Founder and Executive Director
Ujyalo Foundation is a feminist organization based in Aurora, Colorado led by South Asian women focused on enhancing the leadership capacity and number of women and girls in decision making roles. We believe in building societies and communities where women and girls of color especially from South Asia (which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) are heard, accepted, and meaningfully represented without any exception.
Carmen Medrano, Executive Director
UNE builds people power for racial and economic justice by: Organizing in our communities across race; Winning bold policy solutions for all; Building a multiracial voting majority to transform economic, political and social systems.
Ali Duncan, Founder
Our Mission is to create and establish a safe space for people of color and the LGBTQAI+ community by giving them access to tools, resources, and a positive culture through yoga, meditation, and movement courses.
Kristiana Huitrón, Executive Director
Voces Unidas for Justice as una organización culturalmente Latin@ y basada en la comunidad. Usamos español e inglés al propósito. Celebramos las identidades Latin@s que se extienden por todas Las Américas. Existimos para apoyar a sobrevivientes de violencia e injusticia, como violencia doméstica y acoso sexual. Apoyamos con servicios de asesoría confidencial y practicas culturales utilizado para sanación y justicia. Voces Unidas for Justice is a Latino cultural organization rooted in the community. We use both Spanish and English on purpose. We celebrate the Latin@ identities that span the whole of the Americas. We exist to support victims of violence and injustice, such as domestic violence and sexual assault, with confidential victim advocacy and cultural practices for healing and justice.
Diana Pineda, CEO/Program Director
VUELA’s mission is to mobilize and engage parents by offering education, resources, and support that strengthen their sense of self-worth, and promote a healthy change in their families and communities.
Janiece Mackey, PhD, Co-Founder and Executive Director
To encourage and support disengaged and underserved youth to participate in their communities socially and politically, in order to make changes within the community. To create political and social awareness regarding issues that directly and/or adversely affects our communities, it is necessary to be educated. Through activism and education, we can redefine the standards that have been placed upon us.
Debra Locke, Executive Director
Youth Empowerment Agency’s Mission is To Provide Underprivileged Youth with access to resources to guide healthy development. Healthy Development includes mental health support, financial literacy, Social and Emotional support, and physical opportunities.
tara jae, PhD, MFA, Founder & Executive Director The mission of YS is to foster and empower the social and emotional well-being of LGBTQI youth and their families in all communities.
Italics – 2021 grantee
* – Executive director serves on advisory council (Advisory council members who serve as staff, board members, and consultants of applicant organizations recuse themselves from conversations about their organizations and abstain from voting on funding decisions.)