Black Historical past Month: Group Spotlights 

This February, we wish to honor the unbelievable contributions, achievements and resilience of Black people in our group. 

We determined to take this area to share inspiring tales from people throughout our Entrance Vary communities. Be part of us as we rejoice Black excellence, make clear native tales and work in the direction of a extra inclusive future. 

Minister Glenda Robust Robinson 

Founder and chair of Dr. MLK, Jr. 2024 Planning Committee 

Glenda Robinson sitting with historical images from her march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Meet Minister Glenda Robust Robinson, a outstanding Boulder minister, and historian for Second Baptist Church and the NAACP Boulder County Department.  

Glenda joined the Civil Rights Motion in 1966 whereas she was a university pupil in Memphis. Due to that have, she mentioned, “My very own life modified immeasurably.”  

 On the peak of the motion, she marched throughout the Memphis Sanitation Employees’ Strike led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Simply days after the march, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  

A longtime Longmont resident, Glenda works with the Maria Rogers Oral Historical past Library, the Museum of Boulder, and the Longmont Multicultural Motion Committee to call a couple of. She is founder and chair of the Dr. MLK, Jr. Planning Committee of Boulder County.  

Glenda is extremely concerned in her group and was honored thrice in 2023 with native, state and nationwide awards. 

“I hope individuals are impressed by my journey to become involved of their group,” Glenda mentioned. “Be the very best you that you would be able to be. Although each particular person is totally different, we should use our variations to make a distinction.” She quotes Dr. King, who mentioned, “The time is all the time proper to do what is correct.” 

Whereas rising up within the Jim Crow South in Tennessee, Glenda was raised in a loving, Christian house of hard-working dad and mom and group leaders. 

Thanks, Glenda, for all you do to carry the group collectively and maintain historical past alive. 

DeAngelo Bowden 

Fort Collins lead environmental sustainability specialist 

DeAngelo Bowden with sunglasses in front of a green, yellow and red banner

DeAngelo grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. His sturdy and proud dad and mom taught him the reality mattered above all else: going to varsity was the one choice, and the one good barbecue was vinegar-based barbecue. His mom is an accountant for Duke Vitality, and his father works for the Division of Social Companies. These careers definitely helped information his sturdy ardour for sustainability and fairness.   

DeAngelo graduated from Appalachian State College with a level in Sustainable Growth. After graduating, he joined AmeriCorps, main him to FEMA and being chosen because the EDI Fellow for the Metropolis of Fort Collins. DeAngelo is now the Senior Environmental Specialist for the Metropolis of Fort Collins.   

He engages with residents in discussions on meaty matters such because the insurance policies behind oil and gasoline operations, the well being impacts of air high quality, and the significance of centering fairness and inclusion by way of environmental justice initiatives. DeAngelo strives to construct belief and understanding between authorities and the individuals it serves. “I wish to set an instance for different black people who wish to be concerned in native authorities. I hope to construct relationships with group members and community-based organizations that serve our most marginalized,” DeAngelo mentioned. “We take into account an equitable group to be one the place an individual’s identification or zip code doesn’t negatively influence their potential to thrive. As a result of native authorities is uniquely poised to assist dismantle the institutional and systemic impacts of racism and oppression, the Metropolis of Fort Collins seeks to proactively handle boundaries that perpetuate inequity.”   

DeAngelo believes inclusivity is crucial to sustaining a wholesome surroundings, and fairness is the piece that makes all of it come collectively easily. Having vibrant and various cultures in a group makes us extra resilient, guaranteeing that we bounce again faster and stronger than ever earlier than. It permits for extra innovation and collaboration inside a group. “To realize that “Excellence” that all of us attempt for,” DeAngelo mentioned, “we should first guarantee that everybody can succeed and that everybody is offered the assets to take action.”  

Thanks, DeAngelo, for all you do to enhance the collective surroundings of Fort Collins. We’re so grateful you shared your story with our group. 

Zion Council 

Senior member options information, Elevations Credit score Union 

Zion Council in front of a red, yellow and green banner

Zion was born and raised within the South, dwelling in Florida most of his life. He moved across the state lots, dwelling in metropolitan facilities resembling Miami and Orlando and rural Florida in locations resembling Lawtey. Zion’s mom, a retired lawyer and freelance author, instilled in him the significance of following his goals and having the training to execute them. When she confronted discrimination and different obstacles barring Zion from receiving the very best training doable, she was a fierce advocate, permitting him to develop and flourish personally and in his training. Along with his mom, Zion’s father was his function mannequin in how he approached life in a calculated, results-oriented method.  

“My father was a major proponent of me reaching my goals and objectives by using the training I obtain and gaining real-life relevant abilities that enable me to take steps towards my objectives,” mentioned Zion. 

Figuring out that monetary literacy is essential in growing wealth, Zion pursued a profession in finance at Elevations Credit score Union. He can higher perceive private finance due to the conversations and knowledge he’s uncovered to at work.  

“The newest milestone I achieved was touring to Japan final November,” he mentioned. “It has been a lifelong dream, and I didn’t suppose I’d see Japan so quickly. I’m grateful past phrases for the concrete proof to a really intimate diploma that once I take motion and put my thoughts to perform one thing, it might probably and can be performed.”  

“I strongly imagine that we will overcome any impediment in life with perseverance and a supportive surroundings,” he mentioned. Zion’s story is a testomony to this. He confronted many challenges and hardships, however he by no means gave up. He needs us to be extra empathetic in the direction of individuals of various cultures and races and notice that they could face battles or discrimination that we now have by no means thought-about. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences and story within the making with our group, Zion. 

Michele D. Simpson, JD

College of Colorado school member 

Michele Robinson in front of a red, yellow and green banner
  • School affiliate & analysis affiliate, Renee Crown Wellness Institute 
  • Affiliate instructing professor, Inventive Minds & Honors Residential Tutorial Packages 
  • School affiliate, Heart for African & African American Research 

At a younger age, Michele Simpson realized the significance of talking out and discovering power in her household.   

In the course of the Montgomery bus boycott, Michele’s grandmother drove a bus for individuals who have been dedicated to not sitting on the again. She was additionally denied the suitable to register vote many occasions however fought endured till she efficiently registered.  

Michele is now the host of the radio present Black Discuss, created by the Boulder County NAACP and Boulder Public Radio’s KGNU. Her programming makes area for and elevates Black voices and tales of Colorado.   

“As a individuals, storytelling has offered Black of us the chance to create our narratives, inform our truths, heal and categorical pleasure,” she says. “Storytelling is a revolutionary act, particularly for communities which can be spoken about and to not.”  

Michele’s dad and mom left Alabama as a part of the Nice Migration. She was raised in Brooklyn and Lengthy Island, the place inequities nonetheless existed “coded and wearing fancier laws, insurance policies and practices than within the South however dangerous and unjust nonetheless.”  

When confronted with obstacles, her ritual consists of wanting in a mirror to remind herself of the power of her lineage. “All through my life, I’ve carried my grandmother with me,” Michele says. “I used to be taught to not quit, to talk up and to persist.”    

Now an Affiliate Educating Professor on the College of Colorado Boulder, she was impressed by her lecturers and her father, who used to learn the dictionary together with her. Michele obtained the Boulder School Meeting’s 2023 Excellence in Educating Award.  

She emphasizes the significance of claiming sure to alternatives with youthful generations. “Early on, I knew that as somewhat Black woman, I would wish to carry on to my goals and imagine in them even when nobody else did,” Michele mentioned.  

Michele says household and group assist has formed her life. “Something I’ve performed, anybody I’m, I attribute to coming from a household and a individuals who have all the time beloved me even once I wasn’t significantly loveable,” Michele mentioned. She remembers her mom saying, “We all know find out how to do arduous issues.”  

Thanks for sharing your experiences and work in training and advocacy, Michele. 

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