At the Heart of the Matter Virtual Series

Join Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation, for conversations with local and national leaders about the impacts of long-present, systemic racism on the health of communities of color and what we all must do to spark change once and for all.

While the coronavirus pandemic has pushed deeply entrenched health disparities into plain sight, many are simply calling for a “return to normal” – but “normal” wasn’t so great for everyone, and this hope misses the responsibility in front of us entirely. In Karen’s words, “the moment we’re in as a country must become a movement.” By exploring the roots of inequity – by getting to the heart of the matter – we can consider what it will take to create a new, more equitable “normal” that can bring health in reach for all Coloradans.

Spanish interpretation is available.

Next in the Series

At the Heart of the Matter: Faces of the Frontline

Wednesday, Oct. 28 | At the Heart of the Matter: Faces of the Frontline

Register to join Karen on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 (Noon – 1:30 p.m. MT) for a conversation with Colorado’s frontline workers about their vision for a healthier future. 

The essential workforce is disproportionately made up of people of color, women and folks living on low income. Grocery clerks, childcare providers, medical and mental health practitioners, reporters, and people working in housing and homelessness were all essential before the pandemic hit. Often lacking adequate resources, they are no strangers to the intersectionality of inequities that come with the “essential” job. Now, they are on the frontline of two public health crises – the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism – and we want to learn from them.

Karen will be joined by:

  • Valerie Beltran – Owner, Beltran’s Meat Market
  • Sammi Blain – Lead Preschool Plus Teacher, YMCA of Pueblo
  • Yolanda Dandridge, MA, LPCC, R-DMT – Lead Counselor, GALS Denver
  • Esteban Hernandez – Reporter, Denverite
  • Cuica Montoya – Safe Outdoor Space Manager, Colorado Village Collaborative
  • Tara Rynders, MFA, BSN, BA, RN-BC – Nurse, Dancer, Artistic Director and Founder of The Clinic


Past Events in the Series

Watch the recording (available in English and Spanish) of Karen’s conversation with Colorado youth about their vision for a more equitable future, and a performance by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a hip hop artist and environmental activist. Karen was joined by Mariem Dia, Rishika Kartik, Caleb Washington and Kaliah Yizar.

If you enjoyed this conversation, you may be interested in the following: 

Karen led a discussion with Colorado women leaders about creating a more equitable future built by and for women of color. She was joined by:

Watch the recording (available in English and en Español).

If you enjoyed this conversation, you may be interested in the following:

  • Watch Tanaya Winder’s performance of “resistance.” A singer/songwriter, poet and motivational speaker, Tanaya comes from an intertribal lineage of Southern Ute, Pyramid Lake Paiute, Diné and Duckwater Shoshone Nations. She is the director of the Upward Bound Program at the University of Colorado.
  • Watch Toluwanimi Obiwole’s performance of “Community” at the 2017 Colorado Health Symposium. A Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised poet, educator and organizer, she was Denver’s first Youth Poet Laureate (2015-2016). Toluwanimi writes to cultivate her own black girl magic while creating space for people who have yet to realize their voices are necessary.
  • Watch Tiffany Anderson’s talk at the 2016 Colorado Health Symposium. The first African American female Superintendent of Topeka Kansas Public Schools, she is known nationally for her innovative work with schools in high poverty communities. Tiffany co-chairs the Kansas Committee on Racial Equity and Justice.

Watch the recording (available in English and en Español) of Karen's discussion with Colorado leaders about the starkly different realities Coloradans experience across the state, the roots of those realities and impacts on health. She was joined by:

If you enjoyed this conversation, you may be interested in the following related resources: 

  • Watch: Susan Taylor Batten, president and CEO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, talks about structural and institutional racism, and what gives it power (from the 2017 Colorado Health Symposium archive).

  • Watch: Gloria Wilder, MD, MPH, founder of CORE HEALTH, discusses community-driven social justice solutions and the importance of acknowledging racism and biases (from the 2016 Colorado Health Symposium archive).

  • Check out the list of resources attendees shared during the conversation.

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Questions about this event series? Contact us.