Nonprofit Engagement Commission
The Nonprofit Engagement Commission serves as a catalyst for leveraging the best of Denver’s public and nonprofit sectors and their commitment to engaging in innovative and collaborative work. The Commission’s core work is focused on providing support for the Office of Nonprofit Engagement and the implementation of its strategies and goals.
It is made up of representatives from the nonprofit, government, and for-profit sectors, and Commissioners serve two-year terms. Applications for the Commission are accepted annually at any time, but has specific recruitment focus occurring in January and February, with new appointments being made in April.
The Nonprofit Engagement Commission is a group of dedicated community members and nonprofit leaders who advocate for Denver nonprofits. We bring the voices and concerns of nonprofits directly to the mayor’s office, paving a way for more vibrant partnerships.
We are currently recruiting commissioners that represent Denver’s diverse and thriving nonprofit sector to join us in our efforts to strengthen our city check out our 2021 Commission Priorities for more info!
2021 COMMISSION PRIORITIES
- Support Nonprofits that Serve our Unhoused Neighbors
- Advocate for the end of the traumatic displacements of our unhoused neighbors
- Support aligned housing policies on the state level
- Advance the Work of the Mayoral Nonprofit Wellbeing Taskforce Improve and streamline the contracting process within the City of Denver
- Increase operating funds for all nonprofits
- Amplify the Stories of Nonprofits Elevate the diverse voices, achievements, and needs of local nonprofits through storytelling
The Denver Nonprofit Engagement Commission meets the first Wednesday of every month from 12pm to 1:30pm. The commission is meeting virtually during the COVID19 pandemic.
Zoom Meeting Information
Meeting ID: 899 8982 6967
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If you need a sign language interpreter or CART Services, contact SignLanguageServices@denvergov.org with at least a three (3) business day notice. For other public accommodation requests/concerns related to a disability, please contact DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.
Benjamin Weeda - Chair
Ben is obsessed with cultivating extreme badassery in the world. He brings 15 years of experience working face-to-face with diverse groups of leaders including CEOs, executive directors, entrepreneurs, funders and community groups. As a proud Co-Founder of Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, Ben spent 9 years on the front lines of microfinance engaging in facilitating, training, and community engagement. After a stint in various nonprofit leadership roles, Ben founded Balanceo in 2018 to spend more time with his true love: entrepreneurs. He has served on the Commission for 5 years.
Gerardo Lopez, a.k.a., Clever, has been working in gang intervention since 1998. Formerly of the notorious MS-13 from Los Angeles, Lopez escaped gang life and works to keep at-risk youth from making the same mistakes. Gerardo serves as the Executive Director of Homies Unidos- Denver. He works with youth on a daily basis doing gang intervention/prevention and talking to them about his history with gang violence, and how he was able to overcome the odds and leave that life behind.
Tracey, who joined The Colorado Health Foundation in November 2020 as a senior program officer, has amassed a breadth of experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, including public policy development and community investment projects. Backed by almost twenty years of expertise in family economic mobility, she searches for sustainable investments that create lasting solutions, and ultimately change the way philanthropy thinks about community-driven initiatives to emphasize self-sufficiency and self-determination.
Chris Conner works at the Department of Housing Stability (HOST) on responses to homelessness. HOST is City of Denver's newest city agency, leading city strategies on a full spectrum of housing investments and homelessness response. Prior to HOST, Conner worked at Denver Human Services as both an administrator and director of the Denver's Road Home program, supporting many nonprofits serving households experiencing homelessness.
As founder and principal at Barefoot PR, Cori Streetman has garnered extensive experience working with local nonprofit organizations and businesses in the areas of communications, brand development, strategic partnership building, public relations, community investment initiatives, and strategic message development.
Dee Dee serves as Radian’s Executive Director. With Master’s degrees in Architecture and Environmental Engineering, she brings more than 10 years of management experience in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors and has spent her career leveraging design and community advocacy in the pursuit of equitable outcomes.
Prior to her current role, Dee Dee created and led the Equitable Development Studio at Radian, spearheading community-centered initiatives and managing projects that elevate and respond to the voice of under-represented communities in Denver. She developed and implemented multilateral initiatives within the equitable development sector that include equitable development plans, equity toolkits, and equitable policy advocacy. She finds joy in designing tools that build radical empathy, increase representation, and support design justice.
Djuana Harvell, PhD, serves as Director of The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities where she leads strategic planning, research, and implementation of key projects and initiatives, particularly public health programs that have improved the lives of more than 34,000 community members in several East Denver neighborhoods. She also collaborates with project teams, partners, managers, and volunteers to implement health advocacy, promotion, and prevention plans and lead a team of 25 community stakeholders and subcommittees, creating goals and governance structure.
LeRita Cavness is Director of Adolescent Know Your Rights, a non-profit corporation designed to elevate autonomy, individual accountability, and knowledge of the rights of adolescents through personal reflection.
Linda Foster is President and CEO of Jewish Family Services (JFS). The organization serves the Denver community who are in need regardless of religion, race, age, income, sexual orientation, or ability by providing food security, housing stability, mental health counseling, aging care, employment services, and disability services for individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their families.
Frederick implements community designed grant projects to recruit, organize, and support local advocates and community stakeholders who want to work on changing current policies on housing for older adults, with a special focus on low and extremely low-income minority Older Adults. Her objectives are to maximize opportunities with current Colorado initiatives on housing policies, especially the American Rescue Plan funds, advocating for access to funding for low-income Older Adult resources and affordable housing. She works closely with relevant advisory committees and key influencers to guide and shape housing policy for Older Adults so they can successfully age in place.
Melanie Tsuchida serves Colorado’s nonprofit community as the Manager of Strategic Learning for Colorado Nonprofit Association. She leads the evaluation and organizational learning efforts of the Association to ensure strategies, goals, and programs are grounded in, and informed by, the nonprofit community. She has a passion for nonprofits working to uplift and support those most impacted.
Flavia Zarcula has served as the Director Grant Management and Evaluation at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFSRM) for more than six years. LFSRM provides adoptive placement for babies and services for birth parents, foster care, older adult services, refugee resettlement, immigration legal services, child abuse prevention services, parenting support for at-risk or struggling families.
Denver Nonprofit Engagement Commission Bylaws