Denver Urban Spectrum Highlights 2020 Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame will induct the next group of extraordinary contemporary and historical Colorado women, who have made enduring and exemplary contributions to their fields. These 10 women who have inspired and elevated the status of women and helped open new frontiers for women and society will be inducted on March 18.
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame (CWHF) was founded in 1985. Every two years, the organization inducts contemporary and historical women who have significant ties to Colorado and have made a difference for women and girls through their courage and leadership. Since its founding, the CWHF has inducted 162 women from many races, backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, career paths, political philosophies, and religious beliefs for their outstanding contributions to society.
The 2020 Colorado Hall of Fame Inductees include Katherine Archuleta, former head of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; civil rights activists Lupe Briseño; Denver Urban Spectrum Publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris; Attorney Velveta Howell; physician and educator Marianne Neifert, MD, MTS; and Gale Norton, former Secretary of the Interior and Colorado State Attorney General. Historical Inductees are Mary Lou Anderson, a community builder; frontier physician Dr. Alida Cornelia Avery; educator, political activist, and suffragist Elizabeth Piper Ensley and restaurant owner Carolina Gonzalez.
This month, Denver Urban Spectrum highlights the last three CWHF 2020 (Contemporary) Colorado women inductees..
Rosalind “Bee” Harris
Rosalind “Bee” Harris has dedicated her career to elevating communities of color by providing a platform for voices to be heard and stories to be told with the founding of the Denver Urban Spectrum in 1987. Spreading the news about people of color has been its mission since inception and through informative and entertaining articles; Denver Urban Spectrum grew into a thirty-three-year-old institution that went beyond merely delivering information to showcase voices not heard in the mainstream media.
Harris has not only facilitated communication and advocated for people of color, but she has also been a cultural ambassador, historian, and advisor on local, national, and international levels; and has established lifetime business and personal relationships in many parts of Africa. Locally and over the years, she has served on many diverse and community boards as a director or an advisor.
Her desire to uplift youth, especially young girls, was conveyed in 2000 with the development of the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation, a mentoring program that trained youth ages 11 to 17 in the field of journalism. More than 250 youth participated in the award-winning program that produced multiple publications over the six years in operation with many who have pursued careers in journalism.
Her passion for and commitment to empowering women to reach new frontiers is seen in every issue of the publication and every event she supports. By dedicating her life’s work to the empowerment of others, Harris’ dedication to elevating the status of women is indispensable.
Growing up in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, Katherine Archuleta has had an extraordinary and influential career that has changed the landscape for what is possible for women and, specifically, Latina women. Her work has allowed her to guide policy at the state and national level on significant issues that impact all Americans. She is an exceptional role model for what it takes to be successful in the public and private sectors, with an unwavering commitment to justice and equality. Her core values have led her to provide women, especially women of color, with opportunities we might not have imagined for ourselves.
In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Archuleta to be the first Latina to lead the U.S. Office of Personnel Management with a budget of approximately $250 million. In this role, she had the enormous job of managing human resources for the federal government’s 2 million employees.
Archuleta also served as Chief of Staff for two U.S. Cabinet members, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena. In one of the most important and influential roles in government, she was responsible for providing direct policy, program, and managerial support and served as the designated liaison between the Secretary, the White House, and other Federal departments and agencies. When Federico Pena became the Secretary of Energy, Katherine transitioned to his senior policy advisor.
Gale Norton was the first woman Colorado Attorney General (1991-99) and the first woman to be appointed as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (2001-06). On behalf of Colorado and 45 other states as Colorado Attorney General, Norton helped negotiate the most extensive legal settlement in history: a $206 billion national tobacco settlement, the benefits of which continue to accrue. Gale is an exceptional role model for all women, but in particular those interested in pursuing careers in the law and public policy advocacy.
Norton pursued and won the suit against the Canadian mines speculator responsible for the environmental disaster at Summitville, caused by leakage of mining by-products into local waterways. She also won a significant court victory against the federal government, requiring the government to clean up hazardous waste at Rocky Flats and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
During her time as Secretary of the Interior, the US faced an energy crisis, and Norton introduced and diversified new domestic energy supplies. Among other initiatives, she worked closely with Congress to enact the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which set a 10-year goal for 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy from public sources. Norton also resolved a 70-year water dispute between Colorado and California, launched her water initiative to address western-water challenges and championed the creation of two crucial Colorado conservation areas: the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.
In 2011, she established the Norton Regulatory Strategies, where she provides policy advice to companies and organizations. She remains active representing the public interests in environmental policy and the protection of our natural resources, having chaired the National Park Foundation and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.
Editor’s note: The Colorado Hall of Fame Induction is proudly sponsored this year by Colorado Public Radio, 5280 Magazine, Denver Channel 7, La Voz, and Denver Urban Spectrum. For more information on the induction ceremony, email email@example.com.