Colorado Springs

International Women's Day

The 2018 International Women's Celebration:

Planet 50/50 By 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality 

  • Deb Walker, (Emcee) Citizen's Project 

Program Speakers Included:

  • Leslie Erway Wright is UN International Committee Chair for Zonta International, a leading international non-governmental organization of professionals working together to empower women through service and advocacy, and also serves as Executive VP for VGIF, a fund based in New York that provides grants to women's empowerment projects in developing countries. With 20 years of experience working in advocacy at the UN in the area of women's issues, Wright has served on a number of boards and been elected to local public office. She has a BA in Latin American Studies, MA in Public Policy, and MS in Marketing Management. A Brooklyn, NY resident, Leslie's been an advocate for women and girls for 50 years! 
  • Margaret Sabin, national leader in preventative health and wellness, has more than 37 years of accomplished health care experience. Under her leadership as President and CEO since 2008, Penrose-St. Francis has been named one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals for 10 consecutive years. Sabin has also served as president of Centura Health's South State Operating Group, overseeing operations at all Centura hospitals in southern Colorado, including Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center, St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, and St. Thomas More Hospital, and she has served as CEO in four additional health care systems in Colorado and California. 
  • Dr. Regina A. Lewis, director of Regina Speaking, LLC, specializes in leadership development and organizational communication. Her clients are Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and educational institutions, and she has worked with executives, groups and organizations in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and the United States. Her work includes diversity and inclusion, cross-cultural leveraging, strategic planning, executive speaking, interpersonal communication, personal professional development, media & public relations, social media communication, understanding and climbing out of poverty, and retention. Lewis holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Research and Policy, and an MA in Communication, and a BA in Psychology.  

The 2017 International Women's Day Celebration: 
Women Empowered By STE@M

Birgitta De Pree (Emcee) Millibo Art Theatre

Program Speakers Included:

  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick is a program manager for National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE). She leads the Southern Colorado Girls STEM Initiative, a regional organization that supports more than 500 middle-school girls in exploring careers in STEM fields. She sits on the leadership board of the statewide Collaborative For Girls in STEM (CoCoSTEM). Prior to joining academia, Kathleen worked as process engineering manager for Hewlett Packard's Colorado Springs site, where she was the first woman engineer on the production floor. Kathleen has a BA in management engineering, and a BS and MS in industrial engineering from Stanford University.
  • Dr. Katherine Gaulke obtained her PhD in Structural Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park while researching "Crew Protection for Armored Vehicles" at the Army Research Lab in Aberdeen, Maryland. Katherine’s favorite memories from her time abroad include constructing a playground at an Albanian orphanage, advising the design of a remote water treatment plant in Brazil with Engineers Without Borders and several years living in South Korea and Belgium. She is currently the CEO of Sigma Metals and a Colorado state-licensed professional engineer. Katherine’s first love, however, was in the performing arts as a professional ballet dancer at the age of 15. In 2014 Katherine’s heart was pulled to return to the arts as a professional photographer to specialize in portraits of women and girls. Katherine believes women are the backbone for compassionate advancement of the human race. We must EMPOWER women to value themselves, SUPPORT women to advance their education, and PROTECT women to advocate for their rights. Dr. Katherine Gaulke proudly served 12 years on active duty in the US Air Force and is the mother of two daughters.
  • Dr. Penelope Eucker was setting the groundwork to launch the first-ever K-12 STEM school in Colorado in 2006, before the acronym STEM* was widely recognized.  In 2015, Eucker was one of three finalists for the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business.  In 2012, she was recruited by the Douglas County School District to help the then struggling charter school, The STEM School and Academy.  When Eucker joined, the school was the lowest performing in the district and within one year, under Eucker’s leadership it rose to become the 11th ranked school out of 136 high schools in Colorado. Since 2012, the school’s enrollment has grown to over 1600 students and is the only STEM school in Colorado serving students in grades K-12 on one campus.  With a PhD in Education Leadership and Innovation from the University Colorado, Eucker’s educational model, founded on the belief that all children can learn, engages and inspires all students, no matter their race, ethnicity, culture, or income. ype your paragraph here.

​​​​Artist/Copyright: Estelle Carol/ CWLU Herstory Project SCW@2010

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2016 International Women's Day Celebration: 
Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!

  • Birgitta De Pree (Emcee) Millibo Art Theatre

Program Speakers Included:

  • Lisa Lundquist, painter and teacher.  Through her work with women's shelters, halfway houses, and religious communities she developed a course of painting she calls "spiritual painting."
  • Allie Burritt, Program Coordinator African Community Center's "We Made This" - A Sewing Training and Empowerment Program.  
  • Judi Arndt, textile artist, world traveler. Sharing her collection of third world textiles and her work of exploring social, cultural, and physical significance of textiles.


2015 International Women's Day Celebration:

Inspiring Change

  • Helen Upton (Emcee) Served two terms on the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Institute Board of Directors and is Executive Director of Pueblo StepUP, which provides access to health and wellness services and benefits for low-income families and seniors.​

Program Speakers Included:

  • Sharlene Brown, National Director, Oikocredit USA. Oikocredit is a worldwide financial cooperative that promotes global justice by empowering disadvantaged people with credit.  
  • Lisa Johnson, Executive director of Girls on the Run of the Rockies, a non-profit organization that uses the power of running to change the way girls ages 8 – 14 see themselves and their opportunities.  
  • Melissa Marts, Executive Director, ​Women's Resource Agency.  Melissa has an established history of community engagement. From her early roots as a special education teacher who rallied for the first unified soccer team with her students, to her work on local and healthy food access, to her job leading the Women’s Resource Agency.  
  • Regina A. Lewis, Ph.D, Director of Women's Forum and assistant dean in the Division of Communications, Humanities and Technical Studies. 
  • Alcira Estevez.  Middle school educator.  Alcira has served as a volunteer and worked for organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Dream Academy Parent Education Program, Valley Interfaith Project, and High Plains Church.  



2014 International Women's Day Celebration:

A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women

Program Speakers Included:

  • Janet Kerr, the Executive Director at TESSA.  She talked about the gender-based violence, which is rampant in Darfur.  Khadijah's story of Sexual Slavery and Domestic Violence simultaneously broke your heart and reminded you of the resiliency of the human spirit.
  • Dana Wittmer, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Colorado College. She studies American politics, with specific interests in gender and politics, public opinion, and human trafficking.  She presented the preliminary results from a nationally representative public opinion survey about human trafficking. 
  • Doris Rivera-Black, shared her personal story of surviving domestic violence, while presenting ideas on how we can take proactive measures toward ending violence against women  After 10 years of prior law enforcement experience, she made it her life’s mission to speak out on these issues and founded NEVER a Victim, which is a program geared towards teaching self-defense and awareness to women.
  • Becky Kiser, founded the Trampled Rose, Inc. in Ethiopia after she learned about the problem of obstetric Fistula while visiting the country as a tourist. Trampled Rose is helping 5,294 girls in the remote regions in North Shewa, Ethiopia to stay in school and bring hope to the future. 


2013 International Women's Day Celebration:

Local Women Making an International Impact

Program Speakers Included:

  • Becky Kiser, founder and CEO of The Trampled Rose, serving victims of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia
  • Sarah Ray of Yobel Market discussing fair trade practices that benefit women in emerging economies
  • Fran Pilch, Fullbright professor sharing her experiences providing training in Mongolia for future diplomats
  • Binh Riybacki, founder of Children of Peace international, which provides orphan care, medical assistance,                                                                                    and education/training for children and women in Viet Nam
  • Omhagain Dayeen, of the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, will share her vision and                                                                                   latest work


2012 International Women's Day Celebration:

Advocating for Legislative and Attitude Change

Program Speakers Included:

  • The Honorable Alice Borodkin served in the Colorado House of Representatives for eight years, before being term limited in 2009.  She is the founder and past editor/publisher of Women’s Business Chronicle, a newspaper for and about business for professional women.  
  • Katie Groke Ellis is the Rocky Mountain Regional Director for The Whitehouse Project and has a background in running ballot initiative campaigns and grassroots organizing.  
  • Pauleta Terven, President of the Colorado Springs Branch of AAUW will be sharing the AAUW Woman-to-Woman Voter Turnout initiative. 
  • Jean Swartzendruber, League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region.  


2011 International Women's Day Celebration:

Speakers Forum 

This was an introduction for many, who had not heard of all the the good work that was going on in the community.  The 10 organizations included:

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW).  AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
  • Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado.  The mission of the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado is to build a collaboration of organizations and individuals to reduce human suffering caused by human trafficking, through advocacy, awareness, rehabilitation, and services for survivors.
  • Soroptimists.  Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.
  • TESSA.  TESSA’s mission is to help women and their children achieve safety and well-being while challenging communities to end sexual and family violence.
  • UNA-USA.  A membership program of the UN Foundation, the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the UN among the American people.
  • The Whitehouse Project.  The White House Project aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors, up to the U.S. presidency by filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women. The White House Project creates a culture where America’s most valuable untapped resource—women—can succeed in all realms.
  • The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.  At The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, our goal is that every woman in Colorado is economically self-sufficient, and every girl in Colorado is on the path to economic self-sufficiency. Our mission to get there is to build resources and lead change so that the women and girls of Colorado are full and equal participants in society.
  • Women’s Resource Agency. The Women’s Resource Agency is the oldest, continuously operating women’s human service organization in the Pikes Peak region. Since forming in 1972, we have helped thousands of women re-enter the workforce and grow personally and professionally. Our mission is to empower women and girls to attain and maintain personal self-sufficiency and economic independence.
  • Yobel Market.  Yobel Market is committed to empowering and promoting the value of exploited,  displaced, and impoverished people groups of the world through the provision of sustainable economic opportunities by marketing beautiful, handcrafted products utilizing micro-financing and fair trade principles.  Our hope is that through awareness and equitable trade, marginalized people of the world may be offered the hope of freedom and abundant life.
  • Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area.  Zonta International seeks to advance the status of women worldwide by improving the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local levels through service and advocacy.