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C+V Community Talk in Partnership with Heritage Months: Women’s Herstory: Grounded in Justice, Moving Forward Together

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Community + Values

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“Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, reveling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community.” 

― bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope 

This month’s Women’s Herstory Community Talk is a part of the phenomenal annual HerDU conference and draws inspiration from the conference theme, inspired by bell hooks: Justice.  Provost Mary Clark and panelists will delve into the need for a community-based approach to truly transform institutions and greater society.  

In order to see this true transformation, communities of support for all women are critical, as systems are challenged and new ways of carrying out work are brought to the forefront. DU is honored to support seven unique and empowering communities of support for women at DU (listed below under Resources). This C+V Community Talk will dive into why it is so important to be in community together as women. Additionally, panelists will discuss how the DU community can, as the Women's Coalition states, “foster an inclusive, safe, and empowering environment at DU and beyond” through “partnering with women and groups with different cultural and social backgrounds and goals.”

The panelists will engage in conversation around how a community can push boundaries, take on systems of inequity, and make institutional and societal change. This talk will highlight how women have done this throughout history at DU and beyond and will continue to do so as an empowered group of women in solidarity, together, moving towards the future. 

Featuring DU community panelists:

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Mary Clark
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Denver 

Mary Clark serves as the provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Denver. With expertise in the areas of higher education law, women’s legal history, legal ethics, judicial politics, and property, Provost Clark also holds an appointment as professor in the Sturm College of Law.

Prior to being named provost at DU, Provost Clark served as interim provost, deputy provost, and dean of faculty at American University, associate dean for faculty & academic affairs at AU’s law school, director of its doctor of juridical science program, and acting director of its Law and Government Program. 

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Lorena Gaibor
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Denver

Lorena Gaibor is a faculty member and serves as program coordinator of the Latinx Social Work Certificate Program at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) at the University of Denver. Prior to becoming an educator, she worked in non-profits on a range of issues that span the micro and macro realm including as a school social worker, as director of a neighborhood redevelopment program, and as an advocate for affordable housing in New Jersey. 

As an educator, her teaching centers on the nexus between critically examining the social environment and the self-inquiry needed as social workers in anti-oppressive praxis. As a first-generation Latina, she understands the importance of centering minoritized voices on issues of social justice and is committed to this in her work. Professor Gaibor is proud to serve DU as a co-founder and faculty advisor of Hermanas Latinas, a graduate student group led by and for Latinas. 

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Theresa Hernandez
Assistant Vice Chancellor of IT Campus Partnerships, Co-Chair Women's Leadership Council (WLC), University of Denver

Theresa Liguori Hernandez is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of IT Campus Partnerships at the University of Denver and serves as the Co-Chair of the University of Denver Women’s Leadership Council. Theresa is a thoughtful and dedicated leader with proven experience developing productive relationships throughout campus and beyond. She is a versatile and results-oriented professional with years of working with high-performing teams that consistently excel in customer support and satisfaction. Theresa came to the University in 2004 and has been a part of the University of Denver Women’s Coalition for over 18 years, serving in a variety of capacities across the various groups. She is a trusted, pragmatic individual with a collaborative attitude and the ability to lead change. She has a passion for making a difference and she works cross-functionally to ensure resiliency is accomplished in all that she does.

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Anthea Johnson Rooen
Interim Senior Director, Access and Transitions
Interim Senior Director Denver Promise Director, Equity STEM (E-STEM) Program
University of Denver

Anthea brings over 30 years (10 at DU) of experience in diversity, STEM student success, and college access from the University of Colorado at Boulder and at the University of Denver. She has held multiple roles at DU within the Center for Multicultural Excellence (CME) and the division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (SAIE). In 2017, she created the Equity in STEM (E-STEM) Program, supporting historically underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in STEM.

As a long time member of the Women's Coalition, she is the co-founder and advisor for the Sistah Network, a group committed to helping DU Black women who are graduate students contend with the pervasive challenges they face related to graduate student socialization and academic persistence. She also helped to develop Hermanas Latinas with her staff and faculty partners. Also, she co-founded the Black Women Lead, Empower, Achieve, Dedicate (LEAD), provide high school Black women students with an opportunity to participate in a program that promotes leadership, academic achievement, and community involvement while developing their Black woman identity.

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Dr. Gloria Thomas
President and Executive Director, HERS (Higher Education Resource Services)

  • Learn about Gloria

    Dr. Gloria D. Thomas was appointed President of HERS (Higher Education Resource Services) in August 2021. Prior to joining HERS, Thomas led two campus-based women’s centers—the Carolina Women’s Center at UNC Chapel Hill (2016-2021) and CEW (Center for the Education of Women) at the University of Michigan (2009 – 2016). Prior to these roles, Thomas spent 8 years at the American Council on Education (ACE), first as associate director of the ACE Fellows Program (2000 – 2004) and subsequently as associate director of the former Office of Women in Higher Education (2004 – 2008). She brings to her current role decades of experiences and publications related women’s careers in higher education, especially those from historically marginalized gender identities. Thomas received a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Michigan; a master’s degree in English from Villanova University (PA); and a bachelor’s degree in English and Black Studies from Swarthmore College (PA).