Shaundra Van Wert Named  DCPA VP of Human Resources

Shaunda Van Wert has joined the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) as Vice President of Human Resources, a new position at the nearly 40-year-old organization.  
Van Wert came to the DCPA on September 18 from IHS Markit, a leader in critical information, analytics and expertise that offers solutions for major industries and markets worldwide. During her 10 years at IHS, she served as Director of Human Resources, Director of Global Mobility & Immigration and Director of Global Talent Acquisition and Executive Recruitment, and oversaw every aspect of human resources and integration for more than 60 global mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to her positions at IHS, she also worked with Lehman Brothers and ISYS Technologies.
At the DCPA, Van Wert will oversee a team of six employees who support the 300 full-time and seasonal staff plus an additional 700 visiting teachers, artists and actors who contribute to the not-for-profit theatre organization’s success.
Van Wert holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of
Hawaii,Manoa and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications & Business Administration from Michigan State University. She is married with two teenage children and enjoys soccer, hiking, reading and the arts.

DPS Schools Receives Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards

Place Bridge Academy and The Writing Center at Manual High School Embody Inclusion and Diversity
Mayor Michael B. Hancock and members of his community commissions honored 10 individuals and organizations with the 2017 Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards at an event themed “Denver’s Commitment to Welcoming and Celebrating All,” hosted by the Denver Immigrant & Refugee Commission.
“In Denver, we stand firmly for the ideals ofinclusion,acceptance and opportunity,” Mayor Hancock said. “These are our values. And the individuals and organizations we’re honoring with these awards are proof that we will continue to work together against hate and will not allow it to divide us or our city.”
The Denver Women’s Commission honored The Writing Center at Manual High School with Olivia Jones, in memory of student co-founder Mardale Jay. The Writing Center at Manual High School is the first student-led writing center in thenation,
and strives to be a place where students work together to develop the skills and confidence they need to reclaim the power of voice and become powerful agents of social change. The center empowers students to become authors of their own learning and to construct their own knowledge.
The Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission honored Place Bridge Academy. More than 60 languages and over 40 countries are represented at the ECE through 8th-grade newcomer magnet school. At Place Bridge Academy, students receive a standards-based education that leverages English-language development and the ability to access rigorous academic content, as well as support in the social/emotional skills necessary to develop
aworld view and be successful in a diverse American society.
“We are incredibly proud of Place Bridge Academy and the Writing Center at Manual. Both of these Mayor’s Diversity Award recipients exemplify our support for equity and inclusion with all DPS families and the greater Denver community,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg.

Four Women To Be Honored at CBWPA’s Annual Tribute to Black Women Luncheon

Colorado Black Women for Political Action (CBWPA) announced its 2017 Tribute to Black Women awardees who will be honored at CBWPA’s 39th annual award luncheon on Oct. 14, at the Renaissance Hotel Stapleton in Denver. The event starts at 12 p.m. noon; doors open at 11 a.m.
Four courageous African-American women will be recognized by the organization for their call to activism and their impact on the community. For CBWPA’s 40th Anniversary, the organization is honoring two women under 40 and two women over 40. The 2017 “Tribute to Black Women” honorees are:

Clementine Washington Pigford - A master researcher, storyteller,scribe and historian of Denver’s African-American community.




Rev. Tammy Garrett-Williams – Founder and CEO of “Above the Waters Project (AWP), and a faith and community activist.




Janiece Mackey - Executive Director and co-founder of Young Aspiring American for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA), a PhD student at Denver University and an adjunct faculty in Political Science.




Xakema L. Henderson - Attorney of law, volunteer at Florence Crittenton Legal Clinic, 5280 High School founding board member, member of Colorado Women’s and Colorado Bar Associations.

These four women represent the power of women to transform a community, a state, and a nation. Special guest speaker, TaraDowdel, nationally known political analyst will highlight this theme and speak on the importance and power of Black women getting involved in the political process at all levels.

Editor’s note: For more information about the event, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit or email Connie Rule,