​​​​​​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.  

Colorado Springs

International Women's Day

​​​The 2020 International Women's Celebration:
PLANET 50/50 BY 2030: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change​​​

  • ​Emcee, Dr. Rosenna Bakari is an author, advocate, and scholar. She is a role model for those whose life experiences have been steeped in challenges of oppression, including race, gender, and sexual violence, and an expert at building bridges between men and women. She is a visiting assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She is also a Cornell University and SUNY alum. 
  • Lisa Mae Brunson is a Creative Visionary, Speaker, Author & Social Innovator that is committed to impacting humanity on a global scale. Lisa Mae is the founder of Wonder Women Tech, Hiring Humans, and the Wonder Women Tech Show, and has launched Junior Innovation Camps for underserved kids. She was recently included in the 2019 “Create & Cultivate 100” List, in partnership with Chevrolet, is a Long Beach Post’s “40 Under 40” Winner in 2017, and she is a Commissioner on the Commission for Technology and Innovation for the City of Long Beach since Dec 2016. She is founder of two hackathons–Hacks 4 Humanity, a hackathon for Social Good, and Wonder Women Hacks, a hackathon to address challenges facing women and girls. She has hugged over 10,000 people on her “Love, Hugs, and Inspiration Campaign” launched in 2007.
    Lisa Mae received a multi-year commitment (2016 – 2019) from the City of Long Beach and Mayor Robert Garcia to host the Wonder Women Tech Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center. She is featured in three Award-Winning documentaries, “Breaking the Silence” (2014), “Kindness is Contagious” (2014), and “Nevertheless” (2019).​
  • Dr. Taylor Nygaard holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies from the University of Southern California, the number one film school in the country. She researches and teaches about the social and cultural impact of representations of gender in the media and is currently in the final stages of writing a book about representations of gender and race in contemporary television comedy. She taught gender and media studies classes at the University of Denver for four years and is published in a number of academic journals. She is currently teaching online for Arizona State University, consulting for Rocky Mountain Women’s Film, and teaching at the Colorado Springs School as she raises her child and writes a screenplay.
  • Amanda Metcalfe has spent twenty years serving the Colorado Springs community as a community and military counselor and consultant.  She is currently an assistant professor of Behavioral Science and Leadership at the United States Air Force Academy, and an adjunct instructor of Counseling and Human Services at UCCS. Within her community Amanda has extensive experience with trauma treatment which she has utilized for recovery and support of veterans, soldiers, civilians, and numerous survivors of sexual trauma. She applies further specialization of mindfulness for performance in support of warriors, athletes, and students to hone mindfulness skills to improve resiliency and performance. Recently, she focused her research efforts on post-trauma growth and feminist cultural leadership through research travel to Cuba, Kurdistan, Palestinian areas of Israel, Rwanda, and Uganda. Current academic efforts have been dedicated to the empowerment of women making significant global strides in leadership. Amanda is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado and Ph.D of Leadership, Research, and Policy. Amanda was a finalist for the Mayor’s Young Leadership award and was a recipient of the Ambassadors’ Distinguished Scholars Program in Ethiopia from the Institute of International Education in 2018.


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.

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.


​​The 2019 International Women's Celebration:
PLANET 50/50 BY 2030: Advocates Transforming Women's Lives 

  • Deb Walker, (Emcee) Executive Director of Citizens Project, a local grassroots organization that fights for equality, diversity, and separation of church and state in the Pikes Peak region through education and advocacy. 
  • Keynote Speaker Katica Roy is the CEO and founder of Denver-based Pipeline, an award-winning SaaS company that leverages artificial intelligence to identify and drive economic gains through gender equity.  Pipeline is the first company from the state of Colorado to be accepted to Salesforce Accelerate.  Katica is driven by a passion to eradicate economic inequality and champions the rights of refugees, women, and children. An award-winning business leader with more than two decades of experience in technology, healthcare and financial services, Katica is credited as a rare combination of expertise in and passion for gender equity, people analytics, and sales operations. She pours her knowledge and unique lens into several community and global initiatives, including as a former board member of the Edge of Seven, and board member of the University of San Francisco’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, Book Trust, and Isabella Bird Community School, a member of the CU Leeds Women’s Council, and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, as well as a 2018 Colorado Governors’ Fellow. Katica is also an industry entrepreneur, thought-leader, and frequent editorial contributor and speaker, and was recently named a Luminary by the Colorado Technology Association. ​​​​​​​
  • Dwanna L. McKay (formerly Robertson) is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Indigenous Studies in the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies program at Colorado College. Raised within the boundaries of her tribal nation in Oklahoma, McKay understands the definitive disadvantage of growing up in a rural area steeped in discrimination and how that manifests in constrained access to basic needs like housing, healthcare, employment opportunities, and equitable education. More importantly, McKay seeks to inspire others to overcome such obstacles. McKay previously held an appointment as Secretary of Education for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and served as a member of the Native American Advisory Committee for the Office of the Governor of Kansas.  McKay’s research focuses on the reproduction of social inequality through institutionalized race, ethnicity, and gender processes, particularly for American Indians. Dr. McKay holds a PhD in sociology and a graduate certificate in Indigenous studies from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a MS in sociology from Oklahoma State University, an MBA in management science from East Tennessee State University, and a BA in political science from the University of Central Oklahoma.
  • Terri Carver was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2014 to represent House District 20.  The district covers western El Paso County.  She currently serves on the Transportation and Energy Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. Prior to being elected, Terri was a civilian attorney for Air Force Space Command, a JAG (lawyer) in the Air Force Reserves, and a college instructor for courses on energy policy and space law and policy. She retired from the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Colonel.  Terri is committed to community service, and strongly believes in the power of citizens joining together to solve our most challenging issues.  She works with local community groups to fight human trafficking, prevent domestic violence, and find solutions to our opioid addiction crisis.  As a state legislator, Terri has been at the forefront in sponsoring legislation to strengthen Colorado’s laws against human trafficking and support the victims of this horrific crime.  Some of the legislation Terri has sponsored include mandatory jail time for a person convicted of human sex trafficking of a minor, changes to state licensing to stop criminals from using sham massage therapy businesses as a cover for human trafficking, and the “Truckers Against Trafficking” bill
  • Lola Woloch serves as the President & CEO for the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (SCWCC).  She leads SCWCC's mission in “Empowering our members through education, advocacy and collaborative partnerships, focusing on economic vitality.” Through her efforts over the past two years with many dedicated volunteers and board members, SCWCC has been transformed and now provides its members with resources, quality programming, knowledge, and the networks to build and operate successful businesses. During her tenure, SCWCC member attendance has more than doubled significantly increasing membership.  Lola has held leadership positions in the corporate sector and higher education, and has expertise in strategic planning, business development, and marketing and sales.  She's also an experienced organizational and process change agent.  Her talent comes from years of starting up businesses and being a successful entrepreneur.  Her success is driven by her entrepreneurial thought process and approach to drive results.  Lola has numerous accolades to her credit of achieving national and regional business development goals and turning around sales channels and corporate divisions to be profitable.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in management and marketing.
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​​The 2021 International Women's Celebration:
Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights for an Equal Future

  • Michelle Duster is an author, professor, public historian, and advocate for her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, the pioneering women's suffragist. She has written, edited, or contributed to 17 books, including her just-released biography Ida B. the Queen, the extraordinary life and legacy of Ida B. Wells. She has written articles for Time, Essence, HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, and The North Star.  She has appeared on television programs on MSNBC, CNN, WTTW, CBS & CW, as well as numerous radio shows. Michelle's advocacy has led to street names, monuments, historical markers, and other public history projects that highlight women and African Americans, including Wells. Her many awards include the 2019 Multi-Generational Activist Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College.  
  • Isabel Harris is a senior at Simpson University in Redding, CA and plans to graduate in the Spring of 21 with a Bachelor's degree in both Political Science and Cross-Cultural Studies. She has gained various academic and leadership recognitions and awards for her work and research in both departments as well as is a Presidential Scholar at Simpson U. She has an extensive background in community service both locally and internationally. Isabel is passionate about empowering and equipping individuals and communities, especially women, toward sustainable life improvement. She is excited to attend law school in the Fall and pursue her JD in International Law aspiring to continue to work in the justice field, more specifically working among women in vulnerable situations. In her free time, Isabel is an outdoor enthusiast and true Colorado native who enjoys rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, and going on adventures with friends while drinking only the best coffee!

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.  



  • ​​Danielle Shoots is a proud Colorado native, mother and community advocate with passion for people and leadership!  Her CU Denver grad roots serve her well as an entrepreneur and business professional.  Currently the VP/CFO for the Colorado Trust, she has held several leadership roles in her young career, including CFO for the Colorado Department of Health & Environment and VP of Finance & Business Operations for the West Division of Comcast.  As an entrepreneur, she founded and is CEO for Daily Boss Up – providing leadership coaching, mentoring and consulting.   
    Often the youngest executive in the boardroom, Danielle possesses unique insight on leadership dynamics, millennial engagement and workforce transitions.  Danielle has received many accolades and recognitions, including Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business; 2020 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy; 2018 Woman of the Year; and, Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.  She’s been featured at TedxMileHigh, Women of Telecommunications Tech It Out Talk, Black Women Lead and Women of Denver Summits.  
    Her “give back” activities include mentoring with the Challenge Foundation; serving as Board President for Mile High Ministries, and Board Member for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. 
  • ​Annie Snead (emcee) is a storyteller for Ent Credit Union’s Internal Communications Department. A former journalist, she uses her love of storytelling to inform her colleagues at Colorado’s #1 Credit Union! She is passionate about helping improve people’s quality of life in the communities we serve. Snead is an active volunteer with Pikes Peak United Way and other nonprofits; serving on numerous fundraising event committees. A firm believer in shining a light on others, she serves on the Women Empowered (WE) Board at Ent. This group lifts women up throughout the credit union and encourages them to lead! She's the proud recipient of a Colorado Springs Business Journal Rising Star Award for her work in the community. And the Colorado Broadcasters Association has recognized her for her news reporting. When she’s not working… you can bet she’s on the slopes, dining at her favorite local restaurant 503W (female owned business) or snuggling at home with her rescue dog Porter.
  • Dr. Rosenna Bakari presented an original poem. Dr. Bakari is an author, advocate, and scholar. She is a role model for those whose life experiences have been steeped in challenges of oppression, including race, gender, and sexual violence, and an expert at building bridges between men and women. She is a visiting assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. She is also a Cornell University and SUNY alum.