Project Description

Cutting Edge Leadership

To help us figure out how to create a better future for everyone, listen in on a public conversation with innovative leaders in health care, education, bias and inequity in the workplace, and racial justice work. Ginnie Logan from Chinook Fund joins panelists Dr. Lilia Cervantes, Dr. Michael Benitez, and Erin Yoshimura in an engaging evening of storytelling. View the recorded event on Colorado Humanities Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Moderator and Panelists

Ginnie Logan, Chinook Fund

Chinook Fund Program Director

Ginnie is an educational research practitioner with 14 years of instructional leadership as a high school teacher, middle school assistant principal, university professor and researcher, program director, academic theorist, and non profit founder. Some of her academic work can be found in her recent book, Black Girl Civics and many articles on youth activism. Ginnie also co-leads The Giving Project, and founded Big Hair, Bigger Dreams. Her current passion, The E/P Project, focuses on closing the wealth gap for working-class high school students and their families.

Dr. Lilia Cervantes, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine

Dr. Lilia Cervantes is a physician with a deep commitment to community service, programs, health policy activism, and research focused on promoting health justice for underserved communities, such as racial and ethnic minorities. Lilia completed her bachelor’s degree, medical degree, and internal medicine residency in Colorado and has worked at Denver Health, the safety-net hospital for the city of Denver, for over 13 years. Lilia has partnered with patients and stakeholders to create change that advances the health and well-being of Colorado’s racial and ethnic minority communities.

Dr. Michael Benitez, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Benitez is a nationally acclaimed educator in diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and a popular speaker and workshop leader at colleges and conferences nationwide. Dr. Benitez has been recognized with multiple leadership and academic awards throughout his career and continues to serve as one of higher education’s leading and transformative change-makers and DEI leaders. Over the last two decades, he has served higher education in different capacities, devoting his life to addressing the inequities he experienced and witnessed growing up. He received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy, emphasizing social justice in higher education from Iowa State University.

Erin Yoshimura, Empowerful Changes


Erin Yoshimura, Founder and Principal of Empowerful Changes, LLC, has empowered clients through leadership, diversity training, and executive coaching for over 20 years. Erin is a certified emotional intelligence trainer and a certified professional coach with certificates in Diversity & Inclusion and Conflict Resolution from Cornell University. She combines her corporate and nonprofit experience and her passion for equity and inclusion with training and coaching to teach empowerful leadership and cultural agility skills.

Our Calendar

Policing in Communities of Color

On October 6, 2021, at 7 p.m. MDT. Attorney, former Colorado state senator and representative Penfield Tate moderated a public conversation with Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Deputy Director Juston Cooper, former Independent Monitor of the Denver Police and Sheriff Departments Nicholas Mitchell, civil rights attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, and Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. They talked about the past, present, and future issues surrounding policing and public safety in communities of color and explore how to work together to enhance public safety. You can view the recorded event on Colorado Humanities Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Moderator and Panelists

W. Tate III
E. Mitchell

This program is the sixth in the collaborative Changing the Legacy of Race and Ethnicity – Conversations for One America series presented by Colorado Humanities and many partners to encourage understanding and discussion about the legacy of race and ethnicity in America. Conversations examine causes for current situations and offer ways to make changes now for a more just future. This program was inspired by summer 2020 events, when several violent acts of racism sparked an awakening in America and the streets were filled with passionate advocates who demanded the end of police brutality and systemic racism.

Whites and Racial Justice

Dr. Dwinita Mosby Tyler facilitated a conversation with journalist and author Helen Thorpe and former Colorado State Senator Michael “Mike” Johnston of Gary Investments about what Whites can do to support racial justice. The panelists responded to live to questions and comments from online participants. View the recorded event on Youtube and Facebook.

Moderator and Panelists

Dr. Dwinita Mosby Tyler
Helen Thorpe
Mike Johnston

Latinx Equity Before/After Covid

View an online panel of experts from a health equity agency, city government, school board, and chamber of commerce discussing issues and prospects for Covid-19 recovery for Latinx and Hispanic communities, both locally and nationally. This public conversation addresses equity gaps in education, health, and economics for Latinx and Hispanic Coloradans. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing racial and ethnic inequalities. According to recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, white Coloradans are twice as likely to have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as Hispanic Coloradans.

Moderator and Panelists

Theresa Trujillo
Bobby LeFebre
Debbie Ortega
Angela Cobián
Mike Ferrufino

About the Series

The issue of racism and violence against people of color runs deep. While we‘ve made progress over the years, this feels like a moment when people all over the country recognize that half-measures are not enough. This is a deep, centuries-in-the-making challenge that we face to undo racism, and we need decisive action.

Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity is a conversation series initiated by Colorado Humanities and implemented with partners to encourage understanding and discussion about the legacy of race and ethnicity in America, and how to make changes now for a more just future.

The first five panel presentations are available to view on Colorado Humanities’ and select partners’ YouTube and Facebook pages.

Please help support Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity through your sponsorships and personal contributions.


We urge all Coloradans to find their own ways to contribute to the struggle for justice and human rights, and we are redoubling our efforts to find ours.

We are always looking for ways to make our programs more relevant, more accessible, more inclusive, and more effective. Offering the important Changing the Legacy of Race & Ethnicity program is one more step we are taking now.

Your support is vital to the important and timely initiation of this program in 2020, and its sustainability into the future. Donating today is a simple step you can take now, too, to endorse learning and discussion about the issues of race and ethnicity in Colorado. Thank you!


Want to know more? Read, view, and listen to selected resources by clicking the button to the right, and here’s a Federation of State Humanities Council blog about the program

To learn how to support this statewide program as a Sponsor or Partner, please contact Director of Programs Josephine Jones at


Presenting Partner

Community Partners

Mountain States

Aurora Branch

Media Partners

Special thanks to our sponsors

Upcoming Events

History Live Durango

September 7 @ 8:00 am - September 29 @ 5:00 pm


Colorado Humanities forges program partnerships statewide to improve education, strengthen cultural institutions and enrich community life. Your contribution makes you an important part of it.