The 2016 International Women's Day Celebration had the theme "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.


The 2015 International Women's Day Celebration had the theme "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.  

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The 2014 International Women's Day Celebration had the theme " 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. 

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The 2013 International Women's Day Celebration was about 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

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The 2012 International Women's Day Celebration was about 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.  

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In 2011 the International Women's Day Speakers Forum consisted of 10 women's groups, who shared their mission. 

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.

​​​​Artist/Copyright: Estelle Carol/ CWLU Herstory Project SCW@2010 www.syracuseculturalworkers.com/iwd

Syracuse Cultural Workers "Tools for Change" catalog is 40 pages of feminist, progressive, multicultural resources to help change the work and sustain activism.  The Peace Calendar, Women Artists Dabebook, over 100 posters on social, cultural, and political themes, holiday cards for Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, plus buttons, stickers, T-shirts, notecards, postcards, and books.  Great fundraising products.  Box 6367, Syracuse, NY 13217 800.949.5139; Fax 800.396.1449. 24-hour ordering. Visa/MC. email: scw@syracuseculturalworkers.com

Colorado Springs

International Women's Day