Date, Time, Location, Room:
Friday, October 17, 6PM, Holiday Event Center, Education Center
• Because I Am That Girl, a special presentation by the Girls of The Blossom Project
• Panel Discussion
• Now Go Forth and Live Out Loud!, Cleo Parker Robinson, Founder/Executive Artistic Director of Cleo
Parker Robinson Dance
We are proud and honored to announce this extraordinary panel of outstanding women, who will share their live stories and experiences in Society, Economy and Government.
Women’s Leadership Panel with:
- Dr. Hava Rachel Gordon, Director, Gender & Women’s Studies Program, University of Denver. Hava Gordon is an associate professor of sociology and the director of the Gender & Women’s Studies program at the University of Denver. She received her PhD from the University of Oregon in 2005. Dr. Gordon specializes in the social construction of inequalities such as gender, race, class and age; social movements; schooling; and qualitative research methods. Her previous research explored how gender, race, and class inequalities together shape youth political movements, and is the subject of her 2010 book, We Fight to Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism (Rutgers University Press), as well as journal articles. Her current research focuses on community struggles over urban school reform. She teaches courses on gender, schooling, globalization, and research methods, as well as service learning courses on social movements and youth cultures. She is currently the co-chair of the Women’s Coalition: a network of faculty, administrators, staff, and students working towards gender equity at the University of Denver.
- Susan Shepherd, City Council Woman/District 1, Denver City Council. Elected to represent Denver City Council’s District One in 2011, Susan Shepherd’s ultimate goal is to make District One the best place to live, work, play and raise a family in Denver. Susan’s vision includes dramatic enhancements to livability in District 1, including formalizing an extensive network of bike and pedestrian lanes linking major parks and destinations in order to strengthen connectivity within District One and between other Denver areas, and encouraging walkability by leveraging public investment to improve sidewalk conditions and remove land use barriers. Susan will also work to maximize investment in local business districts that help create a unique sense of place in our neighborhoods, provide diverse shopping opportunities for residents and support local entrepreneurs. Susan will also work to support the development of a strong local food system in Denver so that a minimum of 10% of food consumed in District One is locally grown and affordable. Councwilwoman Shepherd’s 2011 Committee and Special Assignments include: Health, Safety, Education & Services Committee; Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; the Facilities and Energy Efficiency Advisory Board and the Greenprint Advisory Council.
- Roweena Naidoo, Director of Self-Sufficiency at the United Way and Executive Director/Founder of The Blossom Project. Roweena Naidoo founded The Blossom Project in 2012,to amplify the voices of girls, inspiring them to disrupt the status quo and make a positive difference in the world. The Blossom Project uses core elements of leadership, learning, advocacy and philanthropy to develop a pipeline of activists, leaders and philanthropists who will continue to advocate for issues affecting the lives of women and girls. In 2013, Ms. Naidoo was named the Director of Adult Self-Sufficiency at Mile High United Way, where she works in partnership with volunteers and organizations to strengthen communities and ensure positive outcomes for families. Ms. Naidoo is originally from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. She also holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Baruch College (CUNY) in New York. Roweena serves on the board of The Women’s Lobby of Colorado and is on the advisory boards of Colorado Women’s College and RMPBS Women and Girls Lead.
- Diane Feliciano, Co-Founder/COO, Biocosm Corp and Co-Founder of BolderLife and Director of its Women’s Programming. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry from Cornell University and an MBA in Marketing and Business Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a marketing and business operations strategist who has devoted her career to building profitable and socially conscious Life Science businesses within a framework of corporate and social responsibility. Her vision is to look beyond the business silos that often exist within the Life Science market and build an infrastructure or platform that would enable the different stakeholders along the business continuum to work seamlessly and profitably together to better serve the greater good. Diane spent the early part of her career as an Analytical Laboratory Director and Marketing Director in a Contract Research Laboratory that served the Biotech/Pharma and Microelectronics Industries. She went on to a successful career at Siemens Industry where she developed and led the company’s first Life Science Center of Excellence, which won both the U.S. and Global Siemens top+ Awards for Sales Stimulation. Her final position at Siemens was that of Vice President of Marketing, where she managed a staff of more the 50 people. More recently, her entrepreneurial drive and passion has led her to co-founding Biocosm Corp., a biotechnology company set to employ a revolutionary approach to the existing Synthetic Biology business models.Outside of her technology-based work environment, she is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and her long held interest in film, theatre and the arts. During her tenure with Siemens, she established and led the Diversity and Inclusion efforts for the U.S. Industry Sector and served on the Executive Steering Committee for the U.S. Women’s Affinity Network. With her involvement with BolderLife, one of Diane’s many goals is to convey messages of substance and social relevance through artistic mediums, bridging the arts with education. Feliciano now utilizes her extensive communications background to facilitate creative concepts which not only enhance the message of the BolderLife, but draws together interest and support from local, national and international audiences.
- CLEO PARKER ROBINSON is founder, executive artistic director and choreographer of the 43-year-old Denver-based artistic institution, CLEO PARKER ROBINSON DANCE. She leads a professional dance Ensemble, Youth Ensemble, a School of Dance, an International Summer Dance Institute, a 300 seat theatre that bears her name, and a myriad of community outreach programs. She continues to be the recipient of honors and awards from civic, community, and artistic organizations around the world, and is called on by a myriad of organizations and performance venues to bring her Ensemble for performances, and to conduct workshops, master classes, and motivational seminars. Her philosophy of “One Spirit, Many Voices” is reflected in all she does, and is the vision she brings to everyone she meets, everywhere she goes. A master teacher,/choreographer, and cultural ambassador she has taught and performed with her Ensemble in such diverse places as Iceland, Singapore, Hawaii, Nassau, Belize, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, throughout Europe, and throughout the African continent.People of all ages and backgrounds have participated in Ms. Parker Robinson’s workshops and master classes at conservatories, universities and neighborhood dance centers worldwide Ms. Parker Robinson’s awards include the Colorado’s Governor’s Award for Excellence (1974), Denver’s Mayor’s Award (1979), induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (1989) and the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame (1994). Recognized in Who’s Who in America Colleges and Universities she holds Honorary Doctorate from Denver University (1991), an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Colorado College (2003), and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Regis University in Denver (2008). Ms. Parker Robinson was a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and in 1998 Cleo Parker Robinson Dance became an affiliate of the Center.
In 2011, she was voted an Honorary Lifetime Trustee of the Denver Center For the Performing Arts, in recognitionof her longtime commitment and lasting impact on the Center. In 1998, President Clinton named Ms. Parker Robinson as one of two artists to be appointed to the National Council on the Arts where she served until 2005 as one of the two appointed members of the fourteen member council in Washington D.C. In 2005, Ms. Parker Robinson received a Kennedy Center Medal of Honor during the Center’s “Masters of African American Choreographers” series. Also in 2005, Ms. Parker Robinson received the King M. Trimble Community Award for service to the Denver community. Ms. Robinson received the first-ever Peaceful Heart Award from Mile-Hi Church, and was honored by the Colorado Gospel Hall of Fame, and the Metro State College Plain & Fancy Ball. In 2006, she received the “Jill” Award from the South Suburban Denver Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., honoring her work with young people. Also in 2006, Ms. Parker Robinson was honored as a “Pioneer In Black Dance” by the Dynamic Dance Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2007, she received the Huntington’s Disease of America Distinguished Leadership Award., the “Fairfax B. Holmes Community Award” from The Denver Links, Inc. and the “Unsung Heroes Mountain Award” from African American Leadership Institute.
In 2008, she was awarded the President’s Award of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, the Civil Rights Award of the Anti Defamation League, and the Civil Rights Medallion of the Rachel B. Noel Distinguished Visiting Professorship program. In 2009, Ms. Robinson received the Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award for Service to the Community, and the Dr. Martin King Jr. / William “Bill” Roberts Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award. . She was awarded the 2009 NEWSED Civil Rights Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver (2010). In March 2011, she was inducted into the Denver and Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame, and in 2012, she was named a “Timeless Legend” by the Denver Urban Spectrum. To the delight of audiences around the world, the 2011/2012 seasons see Ms. Parker Robinson resuming her role as a significant choreographic master – with two new works “Dreamcatcher” in 2011 and “Romeo and Juliet” in 2012. In 2013, she was honored to produce and present, for the first time in the United States, the incomparable “Southland”, a masterpiece of the immortal Katherine Dunham.
For more information about our festival in October that uses film and the arts as a catalyst for opening up challenging conversations and developing emotional education email or call the Women’s Leadership Program Director, Diane Feliciano at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.977.3982.