Community Voices

Honoring the stories of our DU community

In our C+V declaration, we declare our intention to “engage multiple perspectives and foster greater belonging.”

Born out of the Experience Pathway, C+V has made it a mission to gather the stories of the people we work, study, and live with to share our community's voices. There is power in a person’s story—in their culture, background, and experiences. We want to make space for everyone and ensure that all DU community members have a seat at the table. These stories will help us to understand the different experiences of people on our campus and how we can take action steps to ensure DU is a welcoming and inclusive place for all. We know that DU is not a perfect place, and we want to acknowledge these errors and learn from them. In addition, these narratives will inform our DU Values as we explore them as a community and boldly state what we stand for and what we do not stand for.

Over the past year, we reached out to our community. Many responded with bravery and a willingness to share, and we are honored to feature their voices in our Community Voices initiative. There is power and importance in storytelling and sharing one's experiences (Crenshaw, 1997; Ladson-Billings, 1998; Solórzano, 1998; Solórzano & Yosso, 2002). We intentionally have created this space for our community. We want to emphasize that we encourage all of those listening to these stories to practice active listening, compassion, and empathy. This project is meant to honor and recognize that each individual’s story is unique to them, and this is not meant to be a space for conflict, but rather, a place for learning from one another in our community and creating connection so that we can begin to create a deep sense of belonging at DU for all.

We commit to continuing our efforts to capture our students, faculty, staff, and alumni stories. We know the importance of a personal narrative. And especially during these unique times, it’s more essential than ever to feel belonging and to bond through our shared values and experiences.

Check out other stories in the Community Voices Archives

Focusing on our "Why"

Learn more about the C+V Steering Committee

Dong Dinh

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Staff, Alumni, Graduate Student
Program Coordinator, First@DU

I was a graduate fellow for the inaugural initiative and have stayed on through my various roles at DU. The motivation to do this work comes from building community across the university with a particular lens in DEI. We have lots of work to do, but happy to have a seat at the table. 

Learn More about First@DU

Abbie McAdams

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Undergraduate Student
Undergraduate Student Body President, USG President; Junior, BA in Public Policy w/ minors in International Studies, Leadership Studies, Economics, & History

Any entity on campus that shares our USG pillars in working with administration and students alike to craft inaugural and pragmatic solutions to cyclical issues at DU is an entity I want to utilize and support; the C+V Steering Committee is not only that entity, but its structural framework allows for student, faculty, administration, and community perspectives to shine and receive recognition equally like few places on campus. I am thrilled for the opportunity to sit on the committee this year, and am consistently motivated by the amazing committee members & the opportunity to craft programmatic opportunities to co-curricular involvement. 

Learn More about USG

Christopher Miofsky

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Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence, University of Denver

Community and Values is a cornerstone of our Fraternity and Sorority Life Community so it is a natural fit for us to be part of this important conversation. While we continue to improve our campus, I felt it to be essential that we support the work of this Committee.

Learn More about FSL

Renea Morris

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M.Ed., Fellow PRSA

I joined because I believe in community and collaboration. All organizations are complex and imperfect. I believe C+V has makes space for us to name and appreciate our strengths and our opportunities. I am motivated because I want to help ensure there is a sense of belonging for everyone at DU. This is critical to our short- and long-term success as the real power in any organization lies in relationships among its people.

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Laura Perille

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Executive Director, 4D Experience

The work of C+V aligns very closely with our institutional imperatives around the 4D Experience and the aim to support the lifelong learning, engagement, and thriving of our student, staff, and faculty populations. As it is, belonging and community not only create the conditions for the 4D Experience but are also pivotal to sustaining it. Holistic learning and development and the activation of a person's full, authentic self may only happen if they feel seen, valued, and included. I'm excited to be part of the Committee's work and collaborate on initiatives that advance those goals, seeking to foster a community and institutional culture in which everyone sees themselves.

Learn More about the 4D Experience

Mia Sundstrom

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Staff, Graduate Student
Graduate Student, Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, MPP 
Special Assistant for Student Engagement, Office of the Chancellor 
Volunteer Assistant Coach, University of Denver Gymnastics 

I think C+V plays a huge role in fostering a strong culture on the DU campus and our community, and I find it to be a very valuable vehicle to bring to life the strategic vision of the University. I've had a tremendous experience at DU which motivates me to serve in this role. I'm honored to be part of the committee! 

Learn More about the Office of the Chancellor

Andrea Smith

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Alumni Council (DEI Committee co-chair), DULAA, Alumni of Action, Latino Law Alumni

I am a strong believer that creating an inclusive and welcoming community will increase alumni engagement, improve the college experience for BIPOC students as well as the recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty and staff.   

Learn More about Alumni Communities


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I have been working with the University for a number of years and truly value the connections that I've been able to make across campus. I am passionate about building connections in all areas of life and this is the perfect opportunity to help others engage with one another and build a sense of community on campus where I haven't always had during my time here.

Learn More about Faculty & Staff Groups & Resources
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Community Voices Archives

Check out more stories of DU community members and the valuable work on campus.

Visit the Archives

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Share Your Story

If you are interested in sharing your story* or if you have any questions, please email to connect.

Email C+V

*Interviewees are asked to consent to video and audio recording. All interviews will be conducted and recorded via Zoom. Interview clips are uploaded on our C+V website, on our Instagram page, and used in other C +V communication items.

  • References

    Crenshaw, K. W. (1997). Color blindness, history, and the law. In W. Lubiano (Ed.), The house that race built (pp. 280-288). New York, NY: Pantheon.

    Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what's it doing in a nice field like education? International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11(1), 7-24.

    Solórzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). A critical race counterstory of race, racism, and affirmative action. Equity & Excellence in Education, 35(2), 155-168.