Collective Liberation II: Sanctuary

The question of sanctuary is a salient one for our current times. What could it and should it mean? How might we think of sanctuary and intersecting identities?

The actions of the current political administration have left many LGBTQ people in our community with deep concerns, a desire for radical hope, and more motivated than ever to take action.

As local partners, Out Boulder County, A Queer Endeavor, and CIRC are hosting an event with the intention of continuing the urgent work of intersectional coalition building and community action across Boulder County.

On April 19th (from 7:00 – 9:00), at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, 5001 Pennsylvania St. Boulder, we invite you to gather to hear powerful stories on the theme of Sanctuary from various community leaders.

Please RSVP to:

The evening will also feature an opportunity for facilitated small group conversation and a call to commit to ongoing action aimed at restoring Justice and Equity.

To activate and mobilize, we have invited many local organizations in order to bring visibility to all of the awesome work that exists in the community to support gender, sexual, and family diversity, and to provide action steps for folks who attend. Along with information and resources, these groups will prepare a short handbill with action steps that people can take to support their work, to bring an intersectional lens to the work, and to further equity, justice, and liberation for all.

Featured Speakers:
Josie Valadez Fraire is a 23 year old Xicana/Indígena womxn, born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Zacatecas, México/Boulder. She recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Ethnic Studies with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. She is a writer/researcher, educator, and community worker that is passionate about serving marginalized communities, particularly working with youth and womxn in the Black, Brown, and/or Indigenous community. Josie is currently a Community Educator in Denver, teaching 9th – 12th Grade College Prep working to create decolonial, culturally-affirming, and liberating educational spaces for youth in Denver and beyond.

Jordan T. Garcia is the Immigrant Ally Organizing Director for Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, a project of the AFSC. During his eleven years with AFSC he has served as the chair of the board of directors for the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, now called SOL, which works to end violence within and against the LGBTQ community and volunteered for their 24 crisis hotline. He has also served on the board of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, as a member of Denver Mayor’s LGBTQ Commission and contributed to the LUZ Reproductive Justice Think Tank. Jordan advocates for change using a community wide anti-oppression lens to do vision based leadership development in our movements for justice. Jordan was born in San Antonio, TX, grew up in Kansas City, KS and moved to Colorado in 1998. He graduated from Colorado College in 2002 with a B.A. in International Political Economy with an emphasis on Urban Studies.

Maria Mercedes Garcia. Mercedes is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico and moved when she was eight years old to Guadalajara. She graduated with a nursing degree from the University of Guadalajara. She now lives in Boulder, CO with her three citizen daughters. Mercedes is a leader in the statewide immigrant rights movement working with her community to defend the rights of all immigrants. She wants to prevent more families from being separated like hers was, due to unjust immigration laws. She also leads Know Your Rights trainings and works with other grassroots leaders teaching how to fight against unjust deportation.

Arturo Hernandez Garcia is a married father of two daughters who runs a subcontracting business. He was due to be deported to Mexico on October 21, 2014 after losing a four-year legal battle. With the support of others in the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, an interfaith coalition, First Unitarian Society of Denver offered him sanctuary for nine months. Arturo rejoined his family and will tell us the story.

Donia Hanaei (pronounced dawn-ya like sonya, and pronounced han- AY- ee)
Undergraduate student, senior at CU Boulder pursuing a bachelor of the arts in International Affairs with an emphasis in the Middle East and North Africa, a minor in Political Science, and a certificate in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies​. Member of the Persian Student Organization and Middle Eastern Student Association at CU Boulder. Member of the Islamic Center of Boulder.
“My parents are Iranian immigrants/American citizens. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to Colorado for school three years ago. I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree in three years. I’m also an assistant daycare teacher and I play rugby. I’m a political activist mainly focusing on American Islamic relations with the community as well as immigrant relations with the community. In Boulder, I hope to bring together the Jewish and Islamic communities as two marginalized communities in America today under threat. I try to do this by working with CU Hillel. Other issues I feel strongly about include but are not limited to: climate change, LGBTQIA+ issues, undocumented students and workers, women’s rights and choices, and veterans’ affairs.”

Krishna Pattisapu, Ph.D. is a social justice activist-scholar. She is an advocate for queer and trans youth and first-generation students. As a queer, brown, first-generation student, Krishna enjoys confronting social inequities through service, scholarship, art and activism. She has nine years of experience building inclusive campus environments and fostering conversations about inclusivity and college access. In her free time, Krishna seeks out opportunities to interact with cats and harvest her creative energy. She works for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County as Director of College & Career Programs.